MuseScore DrumLine command line conversion of midi -> pdf

• Aug 26, 2019 - 00:16

I'm attempting to produce drum sequences with accents, multiple voices / instrumentation, all in standard drum notation as pdfs from midi input. I'm using csvmidi to convert CSVs such as the attached test.csv into midi. I understand I that the attached one is technically for a piano, but how would I need to modify this csv file such that I could express:

different voices / drum types playing at the same time
choose different time signatures

and what would the final command look like to get it to convert a midi file? As an example, right now I am using:

/Applications/MuseScore\ -o test.pdf test.midi

Is there a file I need to pass via -M, or some other flag, and some way to note that I want it to use drum notation?

Thanks for the help!

Attachment Size
test.csv 1.12 KB
test.midi 190 bytes


I'm not fully understanding what you mean, but I can say that MIDI is entirely unsuited for representing accents, multiple voices, etc. It was never designed with notation in mind and lacks the most basic information you would need. I am also not understanding why you are using CSV files. Can you step back and explain your actual goal here? Is it to write scores using a text editor? Is so, I recommend LilyPond or ABC.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Sorry, let me backup for a second. My goal is to not need any manual intervention in the process of programmatically converting an internal representation in a music program I'm working on into proper drum notation pdfs - particularly focusing at first on generating variations on a rhythm for creating practice sheets. A side goal is to also convert this representation into midi files for playback, which I have working in primitive form, using the csvmidi command-line tool (which is where that csv representation came from that you saw).

I was hoping I would be able to take some sort of more nuanced midi file, and convert that directly into drum notation, but it sounds like that won't be possible. Instead, I'm gathering, I will need to produce files that drumline can read directly, and then convert those files to pdf directly using the mscore command-line tool. Would this be correct, and if so, would you be able to point me in the direction of the appropriate documentation, tutorials, and examples for understanding the file format I will need to be writing out to for me to be able to use the mscore command line tool to generate drum notation in pdf format? Thank you again for your prompt reply, and sorry I was not more clear at first.

In reply to by

I'd recommend using MusicXML as the standard format for exchanging notation information between programs. Documentation on MusicXML is widely available online. If your program is written in or can interface with Python, I would encourage you to check out the music21 system, which not only provides all sorts of primitives for representing music but also can export MusicXML automatically.

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