Monday, November 4, 2013

Music21 on GitHub

Just a quick note that music21's code is now hosted on GitHub at .  For people who have been using SVN, we will have instructions on how to make a Fork of the music21 Git repository and to begin contributing pull requests soon.  Please hang tight.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Music21 v.1.7 Released

The newest version of music21, v. 1.7 has been released and is available for download at

In the three months since v. 1.6 some good changes and improvements have been introduced.  We focused primarily on stabilizing features that were already in music21 in some form but were too experimental to advertise widely.

A noCorpus version of music21 has also been released, the first since v.1.0.  This version can be used in pure Free/Libre projects since files that were licensed for music21 only or non-commercial use have been removed.  If you are not sure which version to download, definitely get the full version. But maintainers of Debian Linux and others can update to 1.7 noCorpus.

Music21 v 1.7 (actually 1.7.1) will be the last version to support Python 2.6. Python 2.7 is over three years old and is supported by other flavors of Python including Jython (which skipped 2.6), PyPy, IronPython and is an easy upgrade for Python on Windows.  Mac users have had 2.7 since Mountain Lion and we're happy to report that with Mavericks being free and supporting systems that can run Snow Leopard, we're happy to be able to use this opportunity to take advantage of the latest features and start a roadmap to supporting Python 3.3 as well.  This is also the last release to use SVN.  We are moving to GitHub.  Updates soon.

The most important improvement for users is a much improved system of metadata searching (thanks to Josiah Oberholtzer). See:

for more details.  LocalCorpus objects are elevated to equal status as the Core corpus so you can now build searchable indexes on any data you have and find the file you want much faster.  Try'haydn') and read the docs above to see what's possible.

Among the other 150+ changes since 1.6 include:

  • Chord.inversion(2) will take a root position chord and put it in second inversion. (this is a change of behavior from before, where .inversion(2) would specify that the chord was in second inversion and override default inversion reporting (for things like Jazz 6 chords). To get the old behavior, use .inversion(2, transposeOnSet=False)
  • Fixes for abc parsing (N.B. the next version will rename the "abc" module to "abcNotation" to avoid the occasional name clash with the python AbstractBaseClass (abc) module).
  • Stream.getElementsByOffset(4.0) can now find a zero-length object at 4.0 -- bug fix.
  • Many modules are now packages (Stream, for instance).  This should not affect your code.  Existing packages with X/ can now find their files in X/  Again, this should not affect your code.
  • Page break support in Lilypond.
  • MIDI translate works better with instruments (thanks to Christopher Antilla)
  • Improvements to Braille Music Code output (thanks to Mario Lang; more to come)
  • Bug fixes in measure copying involving pivot chords and secondary dominants in RomanText
  • Roman numerals for VII, VI, viio/vii, vi/vio in minor are made more robust.  It6, Ger65, Fr43, are now supported.
  • Many many many bug fixes.  Thanks to community help!
Thanks as always to the NEH, Digging into Data program, the Seaver Institute, and MIT for their support of the project.