Score Notation Library

Apr 15, 2012 at 6:14am

Score Notation Library

Hello maxers,

i’m searching a C/C++/Python library for music notation to work with in the futur ; a BSD/LGPL one is best …

I found those :


LilyPond is GPL ; JMSL is Java and $$$ …

Have you another link to share ?
Is anybody know what’s inside FTM ?
Hey Andrea ; what’s your secret for Bach suite ?

Anyway … I’ll continue with google ( ;-)

Apr 15, 2012 at 8:42am

also look in to FOMUS

and the new [note~]

bach is the awesomest of all of course…

Apr 15, 2012 at 10:46am


Thanks pid.

FOMUS seems to be GPL …

Apr 15, 2012 at 1:17pm

ah i see, license troubles.

is MuseScore GPL? maybe, as they use some Lilypond stuff.

what about NtEd? it is feature rich, C++ and developed over a long period. However, not sure of license…

FTM sources are open. but will not be of much help to you – pretty basic implementations.

maybe look at PWGL and the ENP-notation package – it is very impressive.

i am useless on licenses sorry. i just code hunt for learning and so.

Apr 15, 2012 at 2:13pm


MuseScore GPL, Nted GPL too ;-)
ENP looks nice but i can not find any sources …
OK, i should search a bit more.

I’m looking for a way to embed GUI score notation in an application nothing really urgent but just thoughts to plan the futur work ; i care about licence as even if i’m not at all implied in money process (i’m learning too) i don’t want to base the job on viral GPL.

Thanks again.

PS : GUI sucks, i’ll do everything with ASCII ;-)

Apr 16, 2012 at 5:19pm

Hi Vanille, it’s good to hear from you ;)

Actually, you know, the secrets of music layout are Daniele’s secrets. Every time I ask him “where the f**k did you find your magic formulas” he just shrugs and says “oh, you see, it’s just rather dumb stuff”… and actually I don’t think we’re going GPL – not in the near future, at least. So I’m afraid I can’t help you.

On the other hand, did you give a look at inscore – ? Looks quite impressive to me…


Apr 16, 2012 at 5:36pm

Hello Andrea,

yep, i had a look ; more or less closed to GUIDO project ; it seems It’s not easy to find a “light” library for musical notations (specially BSD/LGPL) …

oh, you do not plan to released bach project opened-source ?


Apr 16, 2012 at 5:57pm

I’d personally recommend JMSL. It’s not a ton (35$, IIRC, though forget if that was academic) and it works well. It’s really well oriented towards performance, as it’s not _just_ a notation platform. It’s got all sorts of cool ways of transforming musical data on the fly and a quality built-in scheduler, so it’s definitely worth a look. For notation, it’s got a good transcriber (better than Finale, Sibelius, et al., and customizable) and is the engine for MaxScore by Georg Hadju.

I’m using it in my dissertation, and I think it’s actually a pretty good choice for a lightweight, performance-oriented notation library. My two cents.

Apr 17, 2012 at 5:29am

Hello Peter,

It seems the licence is 120$ (i’m not a student) ; i do not want to embed something in my code that i can not distribute freely …

But anyway thanks to have shared your experiences ;-)


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