About OpenMuse

OpenMuse was founded by Jim Wright in January 2003, as an open-source effort to encourage the continuing evolution of tools for making music with computers. What kind of tools? Tools for composition, performance, sound design, audio production; tools for organizing sonic materials however you like.

Hopefully, OpenMuse will become a gathering place for software developers, researchers and other individuals interested in furthering music technology. In keeping with the nature of open-source efforts, participation in OpenMuse is by individuals rather than by companies. We hope to follow procedures similar to the IETF for coordinating and managing our work. A description of the IETF process is available here.

Why open-source?

  • To make sure any work produced can benefit the community at large, even if OpenMuse disappears.
  • To minimize current and future problems with intellectual property concerns.
  • Because it's often easier for people to work together than for companies to do so.
  • Because employers are often much happier about their employees working with members of other companies when it's an open-source effort (sympathy is offered to those persons for whom the reverse is true).

Protocols and software developed by OpenMuse will be released under the Common Public License (CPL). The CPL is based on the IBM Public License, and has been approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

  • The text of the Common Public License is here.
  • The FAQ for the Common Public License is here.
  • OSI approval of the CPL is here.

Note that previously-created content posted on this site is generally covered by other terms. Content covered by the CPL will be clearly indicated as such.

The current plan is for most of the initial prototype work to be done in Java, using the Eclipse tooling framework. Eclipse is open-source, cross-platform, (Windows 9x,2K,XP; Linux/Unix; Mac OS X) and very powerful. Jim Wright has been using it since 2001 for his “day gig“ (the Stellation project). It quickly became clear that Eclipse could be a great platform for music tools (with the right real-time music engine, of course). Those who believe Java is hopeless for “real“ applications are requested to take another look: Java has evolved considerably over the past few years.