Composer Joe Berkovitz, CEO of the online music notation platform Noteflight, has announced the launch of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s Music Notation Community Group to develop and maintain format and language specifications for notated music used by web, desktop, and mobile applications. The group aims to serve a broad range of users engaging in music-related activities involving notation, and will document these use cases. The group has been created as the result of a partnership between MakeMusic (the company that owns the music notation software program Finale), the Hamburg-based music software and equipment company Steinberg, and Noteflight, which is owned by the Milwaukee-based Hal Leonard Corporation, the largest sheet music publisher in the world. According to Berkovitz, he and the two other founding group co-chairs—Michael Good (MakeMusic vice president of R&D and the inventor of the MusicXML format, which creates a standard interchange format for music notation applications) and Daniel Spreadbury (product marketing manager for Steinberg‘s in-development scoring application and, until 2012, the senior product manager for the notation software program Sibelius) are expecting to be joined by many others shortly.
“One never knows what a moment means when it occurs,” writes Berkovitz, “but this could be a significant point in the history of music representation. In the hope that this moment can be just such a point, I’ve been working towards it for some time.”
The coming together of these industry leaders in music technology as part of this think tank can completely change the way that written music is formatted, stored, and distributed—something that will have a great impact on both composers and the interpreters of their music.