Logic Pro X Score Editor – Export using MusicXML

a screenshot of the score editor in logic pro x

Logic Pro X has added MusicXML export for moving projects from the Score Editor to other notation programs. While not perfect, it works appreciably better than the previous alternative, a Standard MIDI File (.mid).

Score Editor – Export using MusicXML

Export the File

The MusicXML feature requires that you have the Score Editor open. It exports whatever is visible (WYSIWYG). So if you are at the instrument level, it will export only that instrument part. If you are at the score level, it export the score. With the editor open and showing what you want to export, go up to Logic’s File Menu > Export > Score as MusicXML.

Menu path for MusicXML Export

You can confirm the file name and save location before you actually export the file. The file will have a .xml extension. Then you can open it in the notation program of your choice that supports MusicXML and continue to work on the piece.

How Well Does it Work?

Below is the original Logic Score Editor part with various forms of notation and text. Beneath that is the part brought into another notation program using the MusicXML file.

Original from Logic

MusicXML in Sibelius

You can see from the images that the chord symbols, D.C., Dal Segno, Coda, tremolo and trill symbols are all lost. Text is not all in the right place. But what does work are the dynamic signs, slurs, note articulations (except the accent on bar 4, beat 1) and note heads. The success of this can vary a bit, but overall it’s good. Clearly there would be work to do to format and clean up, but it is much better than using a .mid file.

The Problems With Standard MIDI Files

Below is the same part exported from Logic Pro X as a .mid file. As you can see, this .mid file would require a lot more work, and part of that is based on the original file in Logic Pro X.

mid in Sibelius

1) It was two regions on the same track. Using .mid they show up on two tracks, not merged together like the MusicXML file. (MusicXML also starts all regions at bar one and inserts rests for areas not containing notes.)


2) .mid files export notes as their true length. MusicXML conforms notes to the Score Editor’s display quantization. Logic displays the notes in bar 3 as eighth notes, but in fact they are 16th notes in actual length, as displayed in the .mid file. The Display Quantization settings (set to show 1/8th notes) as well as Interpretation can affect the visual display in Logic. The below images show the Score Editor Region Inspector, notes in the Score Editor displayed as 1/8th notes, and the actual note lengths (16th notes) in the Piano Roll Editor.

Display Quatization

1:8th notes in Logic

PRE shot


The addition of MusicXML export is a big plus for those who need to move projects to a different notation program. While it is possible to get better results using a .mid file than I show in this article (merge regions and Fix displayed Note Position and Durations command are two tricks), it doesn’t do as complete of a job as using MusicXML.

If you haven’t been using it, try it and see how much better it works than using a .mid file.

If you’d like to learn more about Logic Pro X’s Score Editor, please check out my three volume series entitled “Logic Pro X Score Editor Explained” at Groove3.com!

Doug Zangar

Doug Zangar

A Logic Pro user since the late 80’s with its predecessor Notator, Doug has become an expert in Logic Pro and MainStage. He has been an Apple certified trainer since Logic 6, created and leads the Seattle Logic User Group, and has authored numerous video tutorial series on Logic Pro and MainStage as well as other DAWs and plug-ins.

Based in Seattle, he runs Apple certified trainings, teaches Logic Pro for the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program Masters in Music degree and tutors individual users. His use of Logic Pro includes writing for film, commercials, web sites and working with singer/songwriters.
Doug Zangar

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