Frequently Asked Questions
- What can I find on Wikifonia?
- Why Wikifonia?
- What is a lead sheet?
- How can I find a music sheet on Wikifonia?
- What if I can't find a sheet?
- What is personal use?
- Create and upload a lead sheet to Wikifonia
- How can I create sheet music?
- How can I upload sheet music?
- Can I edit sheet music on the Wikifonia website?
- What is MusicXML?
- How to convert commonly used music notation formats to musicXML?
- How does Wikifonia display sheet music?
- Can I find sheet music for piano?
Wikifonia is a website where you can find lead sheets. They are all created and revised by the Wikifonia community. From each sheet you find on Wikifonia, you can download a high quality pdf file. You can use the sheets for personal use only.
Wikifonia aims to supply sheet music in a different way. Unlike other sheet music websites, it offers
- Improved musical and visual quality. Numerous websites offer sheet music of poor quality: text files, incomplete sheets, no notes, etc. For musical quality, Wikifonia relies on you. Once registered, you can easily alter erroneous or incomplete sheets, through our simple and transparent collaboration scheme. As for visual quality, Wikifonia uses a vector-based rendering process to generate your sheet. This implies high-quality pdf's, and no pixels (check out the zoom!). Sheets, just like you want them to be.
- A legal framework. A lot of sites are now being closed because they don't provide remuneration for the copyright owners. In a way, sheet music you downloaded or published on these sites is endangered, and might be off-line soon. Through a contract with copyright holders, Wikifonia commits herself to pay a fixed amount per sheet per month, so as to ensure that the original artists get their share. This legal framework we consider necessary for the durability of our commitment: collaborating on sheets with you.
A lead sheet is a simplified form of sheet music and typically consists of the melody, lyrics and the chords progression of a song. Wikifonia software requires the melody of the lead sheet to be monophonic, so it will not be able to deal with multiple voices. It's important to check your sheet in advance before uploading it.
A more detailed description of a lead sheet can be found at Wikipedia.
Wikifonia contains lead sheets of songs from different artists and presenting different music genres.
You can use the form at the top of the page to search by artist or title.
You can also click on the lead sheets section on the top navigation menu to see last submitted sheets or recently requested ones.
The artists section let you browse through the list of artists by selecting the first letter of the artist name. Click further on the artist name in order to get a list of available titles.
Fill in the search form at the top of the website. If the title is not listed, take a look at the request section. You may see already submitted requests which you can vote up or add a new request by filling in the request form.
When a request is getting more popular (see top requests), a Wikifonia editor may pick it up, create the sheet and publish it on Wikifonia. Ultimately you can use music notation software and try to create the lead sheet yourself and publish it on the Wikifonia website.
Wikifonia is legally entitled to copy, offer and distribute author protected sheet music. Wikifonia indeed holds a licence to offer the sheet music on its website. The website users may therefore freely and legally, with respect of the terms and conditions, download sheet music for private use only. Private use shall be construed as personal use. It is the website user prohibited to sell, trade or distribute the sheet music downloaded from Wikifonia. Private use does not exclude professional use. The website user may download the music sheets for professional purposes but not to trade or sell the music sheets. Therefore professional musicians are of course invited to down- and upload sheet music as much and many times as they please. They are not entitled to sell the sheet music, which is indeed freely available.
You can create sheet music with a lot of available software packages. There is only one requirement: it has to support the MusicXML format. A considerable number of music notation programs already support MusicXML:
- Free and open source programs:
- Commercial programs:
For the current listing of programs that support musicXML, please visit the Recordare website.
If you use another software package to create MusicXML lead sheets which is not in this list, let us know.
After logging in, you can upload sheet music on the Wikifonia website. These lead sheets will be immediately available on the website for all visitors of the website.
Wikifonia only accepts sheet music in the MusicXML format. Most music notation software can export sheet music to the MusicXML format. We will tell you soon how your program can export MusicXML through a series of helpfull videos.
One more important tip before you start uploading: make sure you lead sheet does not have multiple voices, Wikifonia software only handles a monophonic melody.
As a registered user you can easily edit a sheet by clicking on the edit link at the right side of the sheet. The edit page is divided in two main sections:
- a section to edit any metadata field such as composer, poet, performer, title and subtitle.
- a upload section to submit a better version of musicXML file
You can change one or more metadata fields and upload a new musicXML version at the same time. Once you submit your changes, a new version of the sheet will be published. You can compare your new version of the sheet against the previous one by following the revisions link at the right side of the sheet.
In case you don't feel comfortable to edit a sheet yourself, you may always post a discussion below the displayed sheet in order to point out a possible mistake in the chord names, melody or lyrics. Someone else may pick this up and finally adjust the sheet.
MusicXML is a young but promissing music format. It is designed for the purpose of portability, and is already adopted by thousands of musicians in the world.
For more detailed information on what programs support musicXML, please visit www.recordare.com
If you have a lead sheet in Sibelius, Finale or any other format but don't know how to convert them to MusicXML, you can send us your files to upload [at] wikifonia -dot- org.
- Encoded formats
- Finale: In case there is no MusicXML export in your Finale version, download the free Dolet plugin for Finale.
- Sibelius: As of Sibelius 7, there is MusicXML export on board. For older version, download the free Dolet plugin for Sibelius.
If you have PDF files you can use OMR (optical music recognition) software.
As you know, Wikifonia is built on the promising MusicXML format, which is a portable file format between your favourite music notation program and the Wikifonia website. But MusicXML isn't suitable for visual presentation. That's why Wikifonia converts the MusicXML to the Lilypond format which can be rendered to high quality sheet music.
More information about Lilypond can be found on www.lilypond.org.
No. For the moment, Wikifonia only offers sheet music in the form of lead sheets due to technical and legal reasons. Lead sheets are a special form of sheet music, supplying the melody, chords and lyrics of the song. This should be sufficient to get you started on the piano.