In keeping with current web2.0 trends for sharing and collaboration, the hard-working people behind free, open-source notation program MuseScore have been working on a new website which allows you to upload and share your MuseScore creations with the world.
The popularity of MuseScore is steadily increasing and downloads of the program reached a record level of more than 80,000 for the month of November in 2010. The new site – www.musescore.com – is currently in an alpha stage, but there are big things ahead.
Signing up for the site allows you to create a personal profile and then upload your own scores or browse the scores of other MuseScore users from around the world. You can filter the uploaded scores by genre, instruments used or language.
Clicking on a score title takes you to takes you to the score page where you can view, playback or download the music. You can also see detailed information including the instrumental parts, the duration of the piece, the number of pages in the printed score, key and number of bars.
Users can upload scores in two ways: from inside MuseScore itself (File > Save Online) or by going straight to musescore.com and clicking the Upload button. Composers and arrangers are also able to assign a Creative Commons license to their work if desired, allowing other musicians to use or “remix” their work.
One of the best features of www.musescore.com is that scores can be downloaded in a variety of formats, including MuseScore files, pdf, MusicXML (to allow import into other notation programs like Sibelius or Finale) and even MIDI.
The site has some great implications for educators: students can upload their scores and share them with classmates for feedback or collaboration. You can also opt to keep your scores private which makes the site a good choice for online backup or storage of your work. One of the more recent additions to the site is the facility to create a private or public group so you can share scores and exchange feedback. There are already 18 groups, including a Suzuki Music Education group, a Jazz group and a group for those interested in Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir project.
Lastly, perhaps my favourite part of the site is the VideoScores section which allows you to find a Youtube music video you like, upload the matching score that you created in MuseScore and then synch the two so that they play back together.