Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


##What is this?

A javascript library for rendering music notation in Hummingbird notation (details about Hummingbird at


1.) Fork the repo

2.) Clone it down to your machine.

3.) Make a feature branch, and work on something (See "To Do and Known Issues")

4.) When it's ready, pull request back. Try to keep PR's small.

##Getting Started

Assuming you've forked and cloned the repo, then you should...

1.) npm install

2.) Open index.html to see a couple things.

##What's in here?

This project consists of these main components:

  • Music XML Parser (js/parser)

    • Responsible for reading input from a musicxml file, and translating it into renderer commands

    • Note that all inputs to the parsers are in native js data types (object, array, string, number). So, it should be possible later to render from other input formats besides xml just by writing new parsers

  • Renderers (js/renderers) Receives commands from the parser and renders the output.

    • basicRenderer - the base renderer class

    • consoleRenderer - just console logging

    • multiRenderer - allows you to use multiple renderers at once, like maybe a console renderer and a canvas renderer

    • vexFlowRenderer - renders to html canvas using the VexFlow library

    • vexFlowHummingbirdRenderer - extends vexFlowRenderer to add support for hummingbird glyphs

    • SVG Glyphs the svg folder contains the hummingbird symbols in svg format grunt_tasks/svgToVexfont - reads the images from the svg folder, converts the path commands and other details to the font format used by vexflow

  • Tools

    • Grunt tasks:
      • grunt test - runs jshint and mocha
      • grunt svgToVexfont - converts the svg files and outputs to js/renderers/vexFlow/hummingbirdVexGlyphs
      • grunt web_server - just what it sounds like
  • HTML Pages

    • glyphs.html - a simple test of hummingbird svg rendering as vexflow font glyphs
    • parser.html - upload a music xml file and see the output via either vexflow renderer
  • Unit Tests

    • Parsers have pretty good test coverage
    • No test coverage for the renderers yet, but we probably should
    • No test coverage for svgToVexfont yet, but it needs some
  • V1

    • The current code was extracted and refactored from a previous version. I've saved the previous version in the js/v1 for easy reference, as there are still a few bits of logic to be ported over

To Do and Known Issues

SVG To VexFlow Font converter

  • If you view the glyphs in glyphs.html, some of they symbols are recognizeable and some are quite a mess. they are being filled between some line points, resulting in lots of triangular fills/artifacts. Not sure if this is an error in the conversion process, or exactly how to fix it.

  • Also, the vertical offset needs to be adjusted somehow - if you look at the hummingbird rendering example in parser.html, you'll see that the correct notes are being rendered but they are not lining up on the staff lines correctly

  • The D note shows up as only a tiny dot instead of a dot in a circle

VexFlow Renderer

Issues that need to be handled in the standard vex flow renderer, and possibly also in the hummingbird version:

  • staff alignment - the staff rows should be right aligned, and the staff vertical spacing is not always right. If you look in the original v1 folder, in the 'staff stepper' and possibly some other files, there is some logic to adjust these values

  • ties - there was some logic in the v1 code to handle ties, which also needs to be ported into the new version

  • beams - currently all of the notes are being rendered individually with no grouping of eighth/sixteenth notes

  • directions and annotations, multiple parts, and many other music xml details are not yet implemented

Hummingbird Renderer

  • glyph names - vexFlowHummingbirdNotes._getNoteGlyphName needs to be finished, currently it just maps everything to the eighth note glyphs since those were the most recognizeable

  • rests - need to map glyph names for the rests also

  • stems - I haven't looked yet at how vexflow handles note stems, but we need to remove the stems

  • beams - probably will also need to be handled differently for hummingbird

HTML / CSS Renderer

Given the difficulty of getting some parts of hummingbird to work well in vexflow, I think it may be worth experimenting with an html/css renderer, in Backbone or other framework. If the html and css are well structured, it should be possible to handle the most common cases in a clean simple manner.

PDF Output

Ultimately the goal is to be able to also save output as pdf documents, preferably without having to write a new renderer but by consuming the html/canvas output and converting to pdf



  * Copyright 2013 Blake West and Mike Sall

    Licensed under the "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike" Vizsage
    Public License (the "License"). You may not use this file except
    in compliance with the License. Roughly speaking, non-commercial
    users may share and modify this code, but must give credit and
    share improvements.

However, for proper details please read the full License, available at

and the handy reference for understanding the full license at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, any
    software distributed under the License is distributed on an
    either express or implied. See the License for the specific
    language governing permissions and limitations under the License.


A javascript library for rendering music notation in Hummingbird notation (details about Hummingbird at






No releases published


No packages published