12000 songs for Direct Access in all important formats

• Nov 3, 2014 - 09:00

For iPad/iPhone users, Androïd tablet users and other computers all music from the Wikifonia library ( over 6000 songs in .mxl format) and all music from the Yahoo BIAB group (another 6000 songs in .mgu format) have been converted into 3 important formats by me.One is the standard PDF format usable on any platform! The second is .mxl ( compressed musicXML) which can be used with any notation program and with "Avid Scorch" (iPad app). Which means on the spot transposing your scores to any key is available on your iPad! Secondly you can import and edit all .mxl files with MuseScore the free notation program or any other notation program like Sibelius or Finale! The third format is .mscz which is the format for MuseScore which can be used for the "MuseScore Songbook". That means also Androïd users have optimum access to all files. The "MuseScore Songbook" is available on iPad and Androïd platforms, secondly the app soon will be available with a transpose function as well so also Androïd users will be happy! All files have been optimised in size for the iPad. All chords (as far as are available in the original songs) have been optimised to be transposable with the scores. All conversions were done via batch processing. Imo the results are pretty useful. The links to the different formats are available here:




Wow, this is fantastic. Thank you for preserving the Wikifonia collection and saving me tons of time converting all those BIAB files to MusicXML (and opening the BIAB files doesn't work at all in MuseScore 2.0).

Note - I also use Notion on a PC for notation, and the MusicXML files from your archive don't import directly into that program. No error message, just no response when I try to import them.

As a workaround, I open them in MuseScore (2.0) first, then export them as MusicXML. Notion is then able to read them.

I can't believe the copyright police are still trying to squeeze royalties out of starving musicians who have paid dues far in excess of what they've taken in. Moreover, lawyers are killing American music. They're shooting themselves in the foot by ensuring that the ears of today's listeners will be deprived of the "Great American Songbooks," or the standards that Bob Dylan recently said have more high quality and staying power than any songs by his or subsequent generations. These are the songs written for Broadway musicals and MGM films. The litmus test for a real musician is a song that can stand up as a pure instrumental, as any great symphony does--which is the case of any of the jazz standards by Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington (and Strayhorn), Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers (Coltrane's fav) with Hart or Hammerstein, bringing out two musical identities from the versatile melodist, then Jimmy Van Heusen (Sinatra's and Bill Evans' fav composer), finally Jule Styne, Harry Warren, Victor Young--these are America's top composers, responsible for the unique 32-bar song and its variations--as important an art as Shakespeare's mastery of the 14-line sonnet.

Jazz and the classiic American popular song are inseparable. From Louis in the 1920's to numerous tenor saxophonists (Coleman Hawkins 1939 recording) to Coltrane, Johnny Green's "Body and Soul" has been the standard that must be met by all of these leading musicains---Just listen to every saxophonist's version, including Sonny Stitt's. Without the American popular song (with the sophistication of Cole Porter's many ingenious compositions) there would be NO JAZZ--and without jazz, the classic American song would have been some non-swinging rudimentary creation--like the gear-heavy music of today, melodies of one phrase, lots of electronics, and no swing.

Jazz and the Songbook are symbiotic. Ken Burns has done justice by one-half of the jazz story while he's missed America's greatest contributions in musical material (by Jewish composers, italian singers, African-American soulful jazz masters--from Louis to Miles and Dizzy, from Fatha Hines to Bill Evans, from Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young to Benny and Artie, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins and Sonmy Stitt and finally to John Coltrane)--the Great American Songbook and its unique and universal composers are vital to and inseparable from America's art of jazz. Burns could do a count-down, the best of each, week after week, with lots of historical and live footage. Jazz is the style, the pulse, the swing and the feeling--light and free adult music; the Standards are the material that endures from one generation to the next, frequently providing the harmonic basis of a Bird or Monk tune or used in its original form to facilitate many different musicians performing together for the first time on the concert stage. A real "jam session" is not a walk in the park; it's the struggle to fly as free as a Bird and as high as Coltrane. But there has to be a common language, and that's where the Songbook, along with the heartbeat pulse of a "walking 4/4" comes into "play."

In reply to by samuelchell

Why don't you start a "Free Music Foundation", and get composers to sign up with it instead of BMI and ASCAP and the like, the difference being that subscribers would get no royalties? Protesting composers and other artists (and estates) who wish to be remunerated for their music is a dead end. I like free beer, too.

In reply to by BSG

By the way, be careful when you open any Wikifonia file, as the individuals behind them were not necessarily experts with notation software. In other words, if you open a file with MuseScore and try to transpose the whole tune, you may discover (as I did) that the chord symbols do not transpose together with the notes, in many cases. This is because those chord symbols were likely added as "system text" or "staff text" or some other such text, resulting in quasi-chord-symbols instead of MuseScore-editable "chord symbol text." Consequently, as "system text" is not designed to transpose at all, it will not transpose, even if it looks just like "chord symbol text" with the same font. The only way to solve this, that I know of, is to re-type all the chords symbols correctly (clicking a note and pressing CTRL+K) BEFORE you delete the pseudo-symbols that were displayed when you opened the score, and in this way you can, at least, save time by using the phoney symbols as a guide, typing "behind" them, if you will, and using the space bar or tab key to move along quickly from one beat to another, or from one measure to another. When you get to the end of the score, save it, then click on one of the phoney chord symbols, right-click "select all similar elements" and MuseScore will then select only the "system text" or whatever else was used to type in those symbols originally. At that point you can delete them, all at once, and you will be left with only true "chord symbol" text, editable and transposable.

In reply to by ErikJon

Unfortunately, the Wikifonia collection has all 6,000 songs listed with the composer's name first, so it is very hard to find a song by title. One solution is to download a free program called "Advanced Renamer" and re-title all the songs automatically by simply swapping the order between title and composer. This is done using the separator found on each of the scores, which is simply a space, a dash, and another space (" - "). Using the "swap" option in Advanced Renamer, type in space, dash, space, as the separator that it should recognize as its point of reference, drag the files into the selection window, and click "start batch." Within seconds it will re-title every song with the title first, and will retain the composer's name at the end of the file name. Then you can search titles in alphabetical order.

In reply to by ErikJon

Try dropbox link below, asfaik all directories are in order of songnames, secondly asfaik all text-based chords have been replaces by true recognizable chords (or at least most since it all was done via find/replace and I didn't check each song sepearately). Additonally you need to remember all available .mscz files were created for Musescore 1.3 at the time. I'm not aware what this means for the latest Musescore versions. Let me know if you've severe trouble using this stuff.

In reply to by Robipad

My copy of "MSCZ-Wikifonia-Songs #-Z' is alphabetized by song titles.

You wrote:
Additonally you need to remember all available .mscz files were created for Musescore 1.3 at the time. I'm not aware what this means for the latest Musescore versions.

Most of the Wikifonia library consists of basic pop song lead sheets, requiring no complicated layout, so easily rendered by newer MuseScore versions.

BTW: It was sad when Wikifonia closed, as it was a favorite of many musescorers.
I thank you for saving and then continuing to make this resource available.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

If opening older 1.3 type Musescore files in newer Musescore notation software the program may suggest it contains mistakes and you may decide not to open it but you should ignore the messages like those and open it anyway. It probably will open the file without problems and if you save it again with the new version it will automatically save it as a correct file for the newer version software. At least that's my experience up to 2.0. About the latest versions I've no experience since I didn't use Musescore notation lately.

In reply to by Robipad

oh yes. That's a very good point. In fact, I am still using musescore 2 and any time I open a midi file or XML file or a file created with another notation program, and I get an error message, before opening the document, it usually opens without any problem anyway in spite of the warning, or the errors are concerning small issues that I wouldn't even care about anyway. In fact, sometimes I get two or three error messages in a row and I just continued to click whatever is necessary to ignore them, and most of the time the document opens without any problem regardless. The only issue that I have not been able to avoid is when a document is in musescore 3.0 format and will not open in musescore 2, so, whenever I download scores from other people on the website these days I just choose to download the XML format option rather than the musescore format, and the document opens without problem.

In fact, recently I have been opening lots of files that were created with a notation program called Guitar Pro and saved in GPX format I believe. I can still open these files with musescore but sometimes they include bugs that must be corrected along the way, such as having two first ending repeats rather than one first and one second, but, more commonly the issue is more serious in that the notes themselves get misplaced globally, to the point that they appear to be off by a few semitones or to the point that they are neither between the lines nor on the lines exactly or the The Ledger lines get misplaced. The Simple Solution for this is 2 select the whole document and press Ctrl + R, which, of course, simply resets things according to the preferences and all is well, but if I do we need transposing or shifting of notes by any interval, the document is still susceptible to displaying these anomalies until I reset the display with the same Ctrl + R combination.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.