If you are a musician and run a music-related blog, you might be interested in the new block for Gutenberg that the Vienna-based company PhonicScore has recently released. With its help you can embed beautifully looking sheet music on your site.

OpenSheetMusicDisplay (OSMD), which is the name of the plugin, available for free in the WordPress repository, is used to render digital sheet music in the browser. It is a kind of bridge between VexFlow and MusicXML. VexFlow is a JavaScript API for rendering music notation, and MusicXML is a standard open format for digital sheet music.

"As WordPress is one of the most popular CMS systems, we decided to create a solution that users could easily connect to their WP sites. It wasn't easy, but luckily OSMD provided all the necessary tools to make it happen. We relied heavily on the latest release of OSMD and included them in the plugin."

wrote Marin Jurcic in a news post

How to use the plug-in

Install it first. It is available in the free WordPress repository. If you don't know how to install the plugin, read this article: How to install a WordPress plugin.

This is enough for a new block to appear in the Gutenberg editor.

MusicXML block in Gutenberg

The next step is to drop the block where you want it and load the MusicXML notation file.

Music notation and rendering configuration WordPress

In the block settings, apart from uploading the file, you also have several other options related to the configuration of the appearance. You can decide on width, aspect ratio or zoom, plus you can enable or disable rendering of selected objects:

rendering

As you can see, there is nothing difficult about using the plugin and its block. Until the end of 2018, embedding something similar would require inserting shortcodes with various arguments, which would not necessarily be easy to remember. Besides, previewing the changes was possible only on the preview, and today, using the block editor and its extensions, this activity is incomparably simpler, faster and more convenient.

Summary

OSMD was never a WordPress-first project. It was a standalone library that the company decided to make available to WordPress. This has to do with the huge and growing popularity of WordPress (exceeded 40%) as Marin Jurcic has explicitly written about, and with the fact that Gutenberg is getting better and more stable. Similar moves like the one coming from PhonicScore can be expected from many other companies in various industries. That's the magic of WordPress 🙂 .

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