Created: 2011-07-15 21:26
Updated: 2019-01-09 10:49


Build Status

LibMEI is a C++ library for reading and writing MEI files

It is developed by the Distributed Digital Music Archives and Libraries Lab at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, Montréal, Canada


LibMEI is released under the MIT license.

Compilation & Usage

We provide an XCode project for OSX and a cmake script for Linux.

To build on Linux, simply

mkdir build; cd build
cmake ..
sudo make install

To use libmei, include

#include <mei/mei.h>

We provide two sample applications to demonstrate use. util/readmei.cpp is a trivial example of reading and writing MEI, and making a change to the document structure. util/mxmltomei contains a tool to convert between MusicXML and MEI. This tool is still in active development.

More detailed information about compilation and use is available at the libmei wiki:


LibMEI ships with Python bindings using the Boost-Python framework. More information about installing and using these bindings can be found in Installing the Python bindings


One of the most useful features of the MEI specification is the ability to generate custom schemas (in RelaxNG, DTD or W3C Schema) containing only the music notation features that you require. For example, there is no need to validate documents written in mensural notation against the Common Music Notation features of MEI. Also, MEI allows you to define new customizations for musical features that may not be covered under the core specification. These are features inherited from the TEI project, and you can read more about them on the ODD Overview Page or in our paper about MEI and LibMEI.

LibMEI ships with tools that allow you to easily work with these customizations to limit or expand the functionality. In the tools directory we include a Python script, that will generate custom code for you in either C++ or Python. (Other languages may be added as well, if requested).

You can read more about customization and custom compiliation on our wiki pages.


We welcome bug reports, feature requests, and patches to the libmei project page:

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