The following instructions are for general users. If you are an advanced user and have installed other Python packages before, or want to use an EGG, SVN, PIP, or setuptools, you should read Installing Music21 with SVN, setuptools, and PIP.
Python is a simple but powerful programming language that music21 is written in and in which you will write your own programs that use music21.
Windows users should download and install Python version 2.7 and not 3.0, 3.3, etc. (If you have 2.6 already, that will work fine).
To get Python 2.7 for Windows, go to http://www.python.org/download/ and click on the “Windows installer” link. It is probably the first link. Save the file to your desktop and then click on it there.
To test to see if Python has been installed properly, go to the start menu and run (either by clicking “Run” in older Windows or by typing in the search box) a program called IDLE. Once it’s started, type 2+2. If your system then displays 4 python is working properly and we can start thinking about installing music21.
If you have already installed Python on your computer, launch IDLE (a Python interpreter and code editor) by clicking the start menu and clicking Run (on Windows XP or older) and typing in “IDLE” or (on Windows Vista and newer) typing in “IDLE” in the Search Programs list.
The first lines of text displayed will include a version number. Make sure it begins with 2.6.0 or higher, but not 3.0 or 3.1, etc.
If your version is too old, download a newer version as above.
Download the most-recent music21 package from the following URL:
Windows users should download the .exe file to their desktops and then click on it.
Windows installation is easy. After downloading the music21.exe installer, click on it on your desktop, then follow and accept the prompts for default install options. This installer simply copies files into the Python site-packages directory. If the installer quits without further notice the installation has been successful.
To test to see if music21 has been installed properly, go to the start menu and run (either by clicking “Run” in older Windows or by typing in the search box) IDLE. Type “import music21”. If your system waits for a few seconds and then displays “>>>” you’ve installed everything properly. (If the system cannot find music21 then you may have more than one version of Python on your system. Try uninstalling all of them along with music21 and then restarting from scratch).
After a successful installation, you may proceed to Quick Start: Getting Started with music21 to begin using music21.
You may need to install additional software to take advantage of some features of music21. For information on additional software you may need, see Extending Music21 with Additional Software.
You may want to configure your Environment to support opening MusicXML files in Finale or adjusting other settings. To do so, see Configuring Environment Settings.