Year One Update
It has already been a year since you helped us kickstart the sheet music revolution! A lot has happened in the world of digital sheet music; with a new app for IMSLP, the complete redesign of MuseScore’s website, its merger with Ultimate Guitar, and the release of MuseScore 2.3. We also oversaw the digitisation of over 250 pieces for voice and piano as part of the OpenScore Lieder Corpus, proving that large scale crowdsourced music digitisation is possible.
We have also made significant progress with the pieces that you, our Kickstarter backers, selected for digitisation during the initial campaign. But we haven’t got as far as we would have liked. There has been a huge amount of interest from transcribers, yet turning this interest into progress has been more challenging. We have received submissions for most of the works on the list, and the quality has generally been very good, but even the very best transcriptions have needed to be substantially reworked before they were ready for publication. This was necessary to ensure the scores meet our guidelines and are consistent with other editions.
As a result of these challenges, we have had to rethink our strategy. Over the last few months we have been working on a set of automation tools designed to make the task easier for transcribers and reviewers. One of these tools allows us to join scores together much more reliably than we could using the albums feature built-in to MuseScore. This enables us to split larger scores among multiple transcribers, with each transcriber working on a different section, and then join all the sections together at the end using the new tool. Another tool checks scores against the guidelines, reporting any problems and giving instructions on how to fix them. We will be making this tool available via a web interface, so that transcribers can upload scores and get feedback without waiting for a manual review. This in turn will mean less work for reviewers, enabling us to get through pieces much faster, while still maintaining a high standard of quality.
These changes mean that we have had to push the target date for delivery back to February 2019, by which time we hope to have complete transcriptions for all but the most challenging of pieces. We will be attending the FOSDEM open source event on the 2nd and 3rd of February 2019, where we will give a presentation about the project and unveil the completed collection. If you can make it to Brussels that weekend then please come and join us to talk about all things OpenScore!
If you would like to find out if you would like to find out more about the challenges faced, how we were able to overcome them for the Lieder Corpus, and how we will overcome them for the remaining pieces, then please read this post on the OpenScore blog.