MusicXML is a great format.  Virtually every music program imports it, exports it or both; and it gives you the whole notation, making the music instantly transportable from application to application.

But how do you get the Music XML in the first place?  In the old days, if you wanted to turn paper music or a PDF score into MusicXML you would have had to buy an expensive desktop music scanning program for your PC or Mac.

Well now, with PlayScore 2 you can use your phone or tablet, and for a fraction of the cost!  PlayScore 2 is the app that plays sheet music straight from a photo.  But PlayScore 2 doesn’t just play the music, can also export it in several different formats, one of which is MusicXML.

If you have sheet music you can simply snap it with your camera.  Or of it’s a PDF that’s easy too.  You can open a PDF score in several ways.  You can send it to PlayScore 2 straight from your browser, or from an email, or by using the import icon in PlayScore 2.

Let’s suppose you have just bought the PDF score for a song, or you have downloaded one from a free sheet music site.   When you get the PDF you will see the music in your browser, say Safari or Chrome.  Now all you need to do to hear the music play is to use the browser’s send-to function, and send it to PlayScore 2.  On Safari send-to is an option on the export menu.  On Android you can access send-to from the three-dot menu.

That’s it.  PlayScore 2 opens up and there is your music ready to play.  Select the pages you want from the thumbnails (tap above the first and below the last) and tap the Play button.

Export as MusicXML

Now, to export as MusicXML just tap the export button, and choose ‘Save as MusicXML’.  You will see the normal export screen for your device.  You can choose to send it to another app, say a notation app, or send it to yourself or someone else by email.

If you want to send the MusicXML to your computer so that you can open it in MuseScore, Dorico, Finale or Sibelius, simply send the email to yourself. Then you can go to your computer, open the email and simply drop it over the notation program.

That’s it! Instant MusicXML, and for the price of an app.  As they say ‘There’s an app for that’!