It’s an exciting time for MuseScore at the moment, with massive changes underway both in the code and on the website, helping to ensure that musicians have the tools they need to create and share amazing content! However, there is one more thing that every budding composer needs: inspiration!
It is my great privilege to announce OpenScore, the successor project to Open Goldberg and Open Well Tempered Clavier. The goal with those projects was to liberate specific works by Bach. The goal with OpenScore is much more ambitious; we want to liberate all public domain music!
The aim is to digitise and liberate the works of Mozart, Beethoven and other famous classical composers by making their scores freely available in MuseScore’s MSCZ format. This enables convenient sharing, adaptation and playback across a range of devices, including computers, phones and tablets. The scores will also be available in various other formats, including PDF, MIDI and MusicXML, as well as accessible formats like Braille and Modified Stave Notation for blind and partially sighted musicians.
Best of all, the scores will be released under a Creative Commons license, meaning there are no copyright restrictions, so everyone will be free to use them for any purpose! This will be of huge benefit to orchestras, choirs and individuals looking for materials from which to practise music. It will also facilitate a number of uses in research, academia, and education, and help to inspire composers and arrangers in producing new content.
To make it happen, MuseScore is joining forces with IMSLP and a number of partners across the music and tech industries. However, for OpenScore to be a success we also need the help of the community. MuseScore and IMSLP represent the two largest online communities actively creating and sharing sheet music. We want to harness this potential to create the largest, and most accurate, digital collection of public domain scores available anywhere. We need your help to make this happen.
In the coming months we will be running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to fund the liberation effort. We will be very grateful if those of you who are able to could donate to the crowdfunding campaign, and help spread the word among friends and family, and via social media, etc. Once the campaign is live, it’s very important that we get the word out as quickly as possible to build momentum. (The campaign isn’t live at the moment, so don’t start sharing just yet!)
There are other ways you can get involved too, such as by helping to produce the transcriptions of public domain works in MuseScore format. There will even be rewards available, in the form of PRO accounts on MuseScore.com, for users who complete transcriptions that make it into the OpenScore collection. If you’ve always fancied having a PRO account, but didn’t have the money to buy one, then now you will have the chance to earn one!
Finally, we’re looking for talented people within the community to come forward to help us ensure that OpenScore has the greatest possible impact. If you have some experience with online marketing, communication or graphic design and are willing to help out then please get in touch via my contact form.
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