An alternative to Band In A Box

• Dec 6, 2009 - 19:18

I use "Band In A Box" on a regular basis for practicing and working out improvisation arrangements. But I use MuseScore for notational editing and generation of MusicXML files for sharing and publication.

I am interested to know if anyone know of any software which is a replacement for or competitor to "Band In A Box"? In particular, it would be really great to find an alternative which can import MusicXML files so that I can take advantage of my growing library of MuseScore and MusicXML files.


Lowell, MA, US


In reply to by Thomas

Unfortunatly Impro-visor does not import MusicXML (yet). It does export it (I'm the one to blame for this export feature)
Importing should be possible for simple "leadsheets", but it has to be coded.

In reply to by frfancha

I've installed Impro-Visor, but I don't have much experiences with that application.

A long time ago (isn't it the beginning of some fairy tales ;), ...

...I tested short the application "Ludwig". It isn't open source, but in my memories there seems to be available a free version with limited rhythm styles. Not sure, if it's an equivalent to Band-in-a-Box and about the quality of the results. For me it was fascinating at the time, that the application is using similar structures like a chess engine:

In reply to by Guillaume Hue

Why wouldn't it? It should. I just couldn't test it since I don't own one.

Please test and let me know... Actually any OS where you can install Python should be OK, so I see no problem for you.

What part of my description made you think it wouldn't work? So I can rephrase it.

Have a nice day.

In reply to by berteh


I have just attempted the install using your GitHub install instructions.

However, when I attempt to use the plugin in MuseScore 3, I get the following error:

MMA accompaniment is ready for you, but we could not generate the MIDI file from it.
Please fix the following error:

The generated MMA file is nevertheless available at "C:/Users/Alvin/AppData/Local/Temp/Snare 16th Warm-up &"

This is also reported on your GitHub "Issues" page.

How can I correct this problem?

Thank you so much!

In reply to by bluegrassbandit

I just tried this and am having the same problem but on a Mac instead.

"MMA accompaniment is ready for you, but we could not generate the MIDI file from it.
Please fix the following error:

The generated MMA file is nevertheless available at "/var/folders/wm/sk2hdgs522xb4yd9q_rn8kzr0000gn/T/"

Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • Mike.

In reply to by wmkennerley

I've just started using BandInMuseScore, and was able to get it installed on Windows and working in MS. I ran into an issue that I use a variety of chord symbols such as Ct, F-, E07, etc, that MMA doesn't seem to recognize. I got around this by inserting the following code into the plugin, which seemed to work ok for the charts I've done so far.

        console.log('buffering Harmony '+elt.text+" at " + currentTick);
        // fix non-MMA chord symbols
        var symbol = elt.text;
        symbol = symbol.replace('-', 'm');
        symbol = symbol.replace('t7', 'M7');
        symbol = symbol.replace('t', 'M7');
        symbol = symbol.replace('07', 'm7b5');
        symbol = symbol.replace('o', 'dim');
        symbol = symbol.replace('(', '');
        symbol = symbol.replace(')', '');
        measureChords.push({ txt : symbol, tick: currentTick })

I'm curious if there's an expectation that the generated harmony would be merged back into the original MS file, so that the melody and harmony would play at the same time. Maybe I'm missing something, it seems like this would be useful.

Better late than never...

JJazzLab is a new free alternative to Band In a Box. MusicXML import is planned for the next release (in the coming weeks).

In reply to by jjazzboss

Very cool, looking forward to checking this out! I see from the site it's "built on an open source base", I gather maybe that means, the libraries handling the generation of the accompaniment themselves are open source, but perhaps the UI is not? As one of the MuseScore developers and a jazz musician myself, I am very interested in hearing more about this, and maybe seeing about ways of integrating. FWIW, I currently have an intern (!) working on an integration with iReal Pro, but if you plan to have MusicXML import working soon, that could be a great option for MuseScore users too!

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