Tag Archives: font

SMuFL 0.9 and Bravura 0.9 released

We are pleased to announce the release of SMuFL 0.9, which marks what we anticipate will be the final milestone on the way to a stable 1.0 release. As such, SMuFL 0.9 may be considered a release candidate for the final 1.0 release.

Since SMuFL 0.85, released in March, more than 200 new glyphs have been added, including four new ranges. A comprehensive review of LilyPond’s Emmentaler font has led to the addition of many new glyphs, and survey of important instrumentation handbooks by Ertuğrul Sevsay (Bärenreiter, 2005) and Karl Peinkofer & Fritz Tannigel (Schott, 1976) have led to the addition of a number of new percussion pictograms. New ranges for Kodàly hand signs, Simplified Music Notation and lyrics also provide a good number of new glyphs. As always, a complete list of the changes and new glyphs is available in the version history.

Our hope is that no further glyphs will be added to SMuFL before version 1.0. The deadline to request new glyphs passed at the end of March, and since then the focus has been on completing the work relating to producing guidelines for SMuFL-compliant fonts intended for use with text applications, and the development of a reference font embodying these guidelines.

A set of guidelines for SMuFL text fonts has been completed and can be found in the Notes for implementers section in the SMuFL 0.9 specification. The Bravura 0.9 distribution now includes Bravura Text, a reference font for text-based applications, in addition to the existing Bravura font, a reference font for scoring applications. The distribution also includes a usage guide for Bravura Text, describing how to insert Unicode characters from the font into applications on Windows and OS X, and providing details of specific features of the font, such as the use of ligatures to allow hundreds of symbols (including noteheads, accidentals, articulations, etc.) to be displayed at multiple vertical positions.

Bravura and Bravura Text are now supplied in Embedded OpenType (EOT) format, in addition to OpenType with PostScript outlines, WOFF and SVG.

There have also been significant developments in the richness of the JSON metadata supplied, both at the level of SMuFL itself and in font-specific metadata. The SMuFL metadata distribution now includes a new ranges.json file, which provides information about the glyph ranges as they appear in the SMuFL specification. The glyphnames.json file has been enhanced to include the human-readable description for each glyph in addition to its canonical camel case name.

The specification for font-specific metadata is significantly enriched, with new structures to help expose the repertoire of optional glyphs (in the range U+F400–U+FFFF) of a SMuFL-compliant font to applications, including descriptions of ligatures, stylistic alternates, and stylistic sets. Font-specific metadata may also include a bounding box for each glyph, which could in time help MakeMusic provide automatic Font Annotation (FAN) files for SMuFL-compliant fonts used in Finale.

Full details of all of the improvements in these metadata files is found in the Notes for implementers section within the SMuFL specification.

SMuFL 0.9 can be downloaded here, and Bravura 0.9 can be downloaded here.

With the release of SMuFL 0.9 there are no remaining known work items standing in the way of a stable 1.0 release. If you believe there is something significant that must be considered before SMuFL reaches version 1.0, please raise the issue with the community as soon as possible via the smufl-discuss mailing list.

Introducing Bravura, the first SMuFL-compliant font

In addition to launching SMuFL at the Music Encoding Conference in Mainz today, Steinberg has also today made available a pre-release version of the first SMuFL-compliant music font, called Bravura.

Bravura is a music font that draws on the heritage of the finest European music engraving of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with a bolder and more substantial look than most other music fonts: thin strokes are slightly thicker than in other fonts, improving the overall “blackness” of the font and its legibility when read at a distance.

Bravura is licensed under the SIL Open Font License (OFL), which means that it is free to download with very few restrictions on its use: it can be bundled with free and commercial software, embedded in documents, and even used as the basis for new fonts. The only restrictions of note are that the font cannot be sold on its own; any derivative font (i.e. any font that uses even a single glyph from Bravura) cannot use the name “Bravura”; and that any derivative font must also be released under the same Open Font License.

You can read more about the design process of Bravura on the Steinberg blog, and you can download the pre-release version of Bravura from this page.