Wikisource:Sheet music

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Music is a important aspect of any digital encyclopedia, and ogg files are surely the right choice when it is important to hear the original recording, speeches, singer voices and other effects. But sometimes, it is better to host not the audio file, but the sheet music itself.

The Score extension makes musical notation simple and editable, as a true wikisource element. It can also automatically output either a graphical printer-friendly sheet music or a audible MIDI file, which is normally only a few bytes long, as it is transformed into music by the visitor's computer, saving Wikimedia's server space and bandwidth.


Most on-line distribution of scores is done using bitmap graphics files (e.g. PNG, JPG, GIF, TIFF) and formats such as Postscript and PDF. All of these are graphical formats that define elements to display on a page; the underlying structure of the music is lost. As such, possession of a PDF file for a piece of music is rather like possession of a binary executable image without the related source. Further, these files are often large compared to the amount of musical information conveyed; of these, PDF is the best in this regard.

Early support for sheet music on Wikisource was also limited to uploaded image files. However, the score extension allows musical notation to be written directly to Wikisource (which can, of course, then be edited directly on Wikisource) and automatically generated:


  • No copyrights infringement for the actual phonogram, as no artist actually played or recorded the work.
  • Music can be edited for corrections, different versions etc.
  • Laypersons may add music with their basic primary school notions and experts can turn into a featured sheet music.
  • Ready for print to students, ready for hearing for anyone.
  • All easier and quicker to edit and contribute, in a true wikimedian way.

Present state of affairs[edit]

Now that the Score extension is deployed and can render and preview Lilypond and ABC notation:

Directions and notes[edit]

To be done[edit]

  • Wikisource users need to add this notation to works on Wikisource.
  • Wikisource needs a category for articles with <score> tags.


  • Sheet music is enabled by the score extension (link to page on Media-Wiki)
  • Open bugs for this extension can be seen on Phabricator

Wikimedia Commons[edit]

External links[edit]

Sheet music sources[edit]

Other sheet music libraries[edit]