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Guido Music Notation

The GUIDO Music Notation Format (GMN) is a general purpose formal language for representing score level music in a platform independent, plain-text and human-readable way. It is based on a conceptually simple but powerful formalism: its design concentrates on general musical concepts (as opposed to notational, i.e, graphical features). A key feature of the GUIDO design is adequacy, which means that simple musical concepts should be represented in a simple way and only complex notions require complex representations.

GUIDO supports most of the commonly used concepts of conventional music notation; however, it is designed to be a flexible and easily extendable open standard. Various extensions of the Basic GUIDO Notation Format include mechanisms for representing musical structure, abstract scores, micro-tonal music, and generalized timed events (for multi-media support).

GUIDO has not been developed with a particular application in mind but to provide an adequate representation formalism for score-level music over a broad range of applications. The intended application areas include notation software, compositional and analytical systems and tools, large musical databases, performance systems, and music on the World Wide Web.

The GUIDO Music Notation Format has been developed by Holger H. Hoos, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany and Keith Hamel, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada; some features are based on discussions with Michael Fuhlbrugge, Kai Flade, Thomas Helbich and Jurgen Kilian. It is named after Guido d'Arezzo (990-1050), a renowned music theorist of his time and important contributor to today's conventional musical notation (CMN). His achievements include the perfection of the staff system for music notation and the invention of solmisation (solfege).


The current documentation describes the Guido Music Notation language as supported by the Guido Engine version 1.6.8.