musescore file format

• Oct 22, 2019 - 16:47

Just curious, when you save a score as musicxml, and open it back into Musescore, what exactly do you lose?

In other words, what is MS supporting that musicxml is not?

Because, if the default file format for Musescore could be directly musicxml, that would save so much trouble...


Try it some time (write it out and see what you lose).

Tons of stuff -- positions, images, note off-and-on time, whether articulations and ornaments are played or not and whether they are hidden or not (there is no concept of "hidden" in musicxml). There is vastly more in mscx/z. And surely, ms-defined instrument details now in the mscx/z don't go into music xml.

The MSCX format is optimized to reflect our actual data structures. MusicXML is not. Making MusicXML be the "native" format basically requires completely rearchitecting the internals of MuseScore - and then being at the mercy of the committee in charge of the MusicXML format and having to update our architecture when they make changes. Frankly, I can't see that ever happening.

As for what's lost, the question is essentially like asking, "what exactly do you lose" when you use Google translate to go from English to Italian and back. It's pretty hard to predict exactly what. but in short, most formatting is gone, certain semantic information may be lost in translation, probably much about style settings that have no analogue, etc.

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