Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2017


OpenScore - by MuseScore and IMSLP

Open-sourcing music with open source software

OpenScore is a new initiative to liberate public domain music using MuseScore, the leading open-source music notation program. The aim is to unite MuseScore’s millions of users in an effort to digitise and liberate the works of Mozart, Beethoven and other famous classical composers. OpenScore extends the principles of open source to apply not only to software, but also to the content produced by the software, thereby opening up a new avenue of funding for open source software development.

The goal of OpenScore is to improve access to public domain music. The project is a collaboration between MuseScore, the leading open-source music notation program, and IMSLP, the largest online archive of public domain music.

The IMSLP archive contains scanned copies of scores by Mozart, Beethoven and other classical composers in “binary” PDF format, which allows musicians to read them, but not edit or listen to them. OpenScore will unlock the true potential of the scores by making the actual “source code” to the music available in MuseScore’s text-based format, which allows listening, editing, and easy conversion to other formats like MusicXML, MIDI and PDF, as well as all audio, video and image formats. Text-based scores offer improved accessibility over PDFs, and are easily parseable by software tools to allow searching, indexing, data mining, and analysis for research purposes.

To make this happen, OpenScore will adopt the open source model and draw upon the strength of MuseScore’s massive online community. The digital scores will be published under a Creative Commons license to allow anyone to adapt, share and improve upon the transcriptions.

OpenScore partners: MuseScore, IMSLP, RNIB, MIT, St Andrews, music21, Nicholas Rougeux


Peter Jonas