MaxScore – music notation in Max/MSP
MaxScore, music notation for Max/MSP, helpfile screenshot

At last, standard music notation in the Max/MSP environment!

MaxScore is a Max object which accepts messages that can create a musical score, add notes to it, transform the notes, perform, save, and load the score, and export the score to popular formats for professional publishable results.

MaxScore is more than a notation tool. It is an interactive performance object. MaxScore can play back a score and drive your MSP patches through an instrument interface. Scores can be created and modified in real-time. You can add notes explicitly by specifying durations and pitches, or use Max to generate an arbitrary stream of musical events and use MaxScore’s Transcriber to notate them automatically.

MaxScore currently exports to MusicXML so you can load your scores into Finale and Sibelius. MaxScore also exports to the GNU LilyPond automated engraving system.

MaxScore was programmed in Java Music Specification Language by Nick Didkovsky (but requires no Java programming to operate). MaxScore was commissioned by "Bipolar - German-Hungarian Cultural Projects." Bipolar is an initiative of the Federal Cultural Foundation of Germany. While MaxScore is freely available to the public, it requires purchasing a JMSL license to run (see below).

Download instructions

First get JMSL License!!!

Download MaxScore for Max 5:
Windows Installer for Max 5 Updated 1/09/10
Mac OSX Installer for Max 5 Updated 4/23/10

MaxScore Manual in PDF format

MaxScore News

MaxScore working in Ableton Live

At a recent MaxScore workshop at Harvestworks, NYC, MaxScore co-author Georg Hajdu demonstrated how to use MaxScore in Ableton Live.

Georg got MaxScore performing a score using Ableton Live instruments as output (!).

Then Georg used MaxScore's sophisticated transcriber to read data from Live's MIDI Editor, and generate a notated score from the patterns he'd entered by hand.

MaxScore and Max for Live make standard music notation possible in Ableton Live!

Nic Collins uses MaxScore in his "Roomtone Variations" to generate a score in real-time based on room resonances.

From the composer:
I use a feedback system for finding the strong resonances (basically a 24 filter version of the Sabine Feedback Exterminator), and convert the fcs to their nearest tempered equivalent. I then "fold" the full range down, by octaves, to progressively narrower ranges -- this latter tactic came from experiments I was doing on what I call "the fallacy of octave equivalence" (intervals change feeling with spread), about which I got into extended correspondence with Christian Wolff. The result is the closest I've come in 40 years to serial composition.

I've included a pdf of typical notation sets and the final nulling filter set.

Thank YOU guys for all the custom work & advice -- I hope I can do it justice.


PURE (Peter Votava) of artists duo terminalbeach uses MaxScore to generate scores in real-time for Heart Chamber Orchestra

From the composer:
I am just recovering from our recent Heart Chamber Orchestra performance at the Pixelache Festival in Helsinki last sunday - the first one with maxscore. Here is a picture taken through the rehearsals showing 12 maxscores obeying to my realtime composition sent via udp. Here's a picture that shows how it looked from the other side during the concert. We are working on a video documentation which will soon be online on our Website.

Thanks again for all your help - I will for sure continue working with maxscore so you will here back from me some time.


See a video of this inspiring work.
HCO got an Honorary Mention in the "Digital Musics and Sound Art" categoy of the Prix Ars Prize of the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz/Austria
HCO got nominated for the Prix Lux Prize at FILE Festival in Sao Paulo/Brasil for which could be voted here