´ How to import and to transpose MusicXML files | FORTE Notation
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How to work with MusicXML files in three steps

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It’s all about your notes

The internet offers lots of legal ways for optaining free sheet music. While most scores tend to have a good to great quality in their PDF format, they have a decisive disadvantage: you cannot edit, transpose or arrange them.

You’d have to do some tiresome typing for each note to arrange for your very own arrangement. But rather than PDF documents, you’ll be able to find a good deal of scores in the MusicXML format (*.xml or *.mxl).

FORTE Premium and FORTE Home both support a smooth and simple import of MusicXML files. Let’s get your score done!

How to get free sheet music

We can recommend the Petrucci Music Library as an excellent source for legal sheet music. You can enter composer’s names or works into the search bar.

We recommend you’ll add “xml” to your inquiry. For example: “Bach musicXML”. Via google’s search engine you’ll get a list of many different works by Bach.

We decided for the second item on the list “Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden” (“Praise the Lord, all ye nations”, Psalm 117). On the following page, you can look for the file named *.xml. Click on the arrow to download the file.

Generally, your downloads are saved in the folder named “Downloads” (who would have guessed that?). Having downloaded the file, you’ll need to unzip it. Just double-click on the downloaded ZIP file.

Get your score done in 3 steps!

1) Import MusicXML files to FORTE

Start FORTE and import the MusicXML file.

Once the importing is completed, the choir music is ready to edit with FORTE. Most likely you’ll have to do some layouting and add the title information.

Here’s some step-by-step help for your layouting:
4 steps to your perfect score layout...

2) Transpose scores

FORTE Premium has several options for transposing scores. You can transpose according to key, interval or instrument. All these options are in the main menu “Home”.

Select the desired key in the properties window. The little black arrow determines the transposing direction (up the fifth or down the fifth). Click “apply”. 

You’ll see the result right away.

3) Print parts

Apart from your transposing options FORTE also supports your creation of individual parts for each instrument or singer. Even with creating parts, the complete score remains intact. You’ll find this option in the main menu “Score” and the group “Parts”.

Click on the green cross button. Select “Create all parts”. Now you can switch between the single parts and edit the layout.

Please note: Printing parts is an exclusive feature of FORTE Premium!

How did you like this post? We’re looking forward to your comments!

Your FORTE Team


  1. Olof Kangas - March 6, 2017 Reply

    Can I find other music than classics, maybe jazz?

    • FORTE Team - March 13, 2017 Reply

      Dear Olof,

      we can only recommend sources that respect the composer’s copyrights.

      Kind regards,
      FORTE Team

  2. Richard - April 4, 2017 Reply

    What if I scan sheet music I have purchased, would I be able to Transpose it?

    • FORTE Team - April 5, 2017 Reply

      Hi Richard,

      thank you for your excellent question!
      Yes, you can transpose sheet music.
      If you scan sheet music, here’s the steps:

      1) Open FORTE, select “Import…”, “Scan…”
      2) Open the desired file.
      3) Let FORTE Scan do the reading of the file, assist the reading.
      4) Open in FORTE
      5) Correct minor reading mistakes
      6) Transpose your music.

      Here’s some information on transposing:

      Kind regards,
      FORTE Team

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