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VectorGraving is the only non proprietary method for music notation. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an XML markup language, designed for creating images for web browsers initially.
By now, many other programs can read, manipulate and produce SVG files. If you are unfamiliar with coding, don't be intimidated. Markup languages are among the easiest to learn, and with the data I provide, the hardest parts are done for you.
Note: The text is written by VectorGraving author Dana Steven Gormel and it is added here with his permission.
Those who look for an introduction to SVG, try these resources:
SVGBasics SVG Basics Tutorials
Independent of my musical endeavors, I began learning SVG in 2004, fascinated by the ability to create images on a computer without any special program; just a text file and Firefox.
Being a guitarist, composer, transcriber, I tried many music notation programs and was always disappointed. It didn't take me long to start playing with the idea of using SVG. I had already created a bitmap library of music symbols, so off I went.
One of the great things about SVG is, there is no limitation on what symbols you have and what they look like, or how they are placed; a huge advantage over the programs I tried. SVG is mostly limited by your imagination and your knowledge of the language, and like most things, the more you use it, the easier it gets.
I believe I've gotten to the point where I can turn out a piece of music faster than I could have using a program, and nothing that I want in it is missing.
I've named the process VectorGraving.
As I began this for myself, most of the original library is for standard guitar notation. The updated library is for multiple staff systems, including symbols rarely, if ever, used in guitar notation. Not all symbols are represented yet; I create them as I need them. The work on both libraries is on-going.