About KotoViewer

KotoViewer is a program that displays music scores in koto notation (Ikuta School) or shamisen (sangen) notation. Although most of the conversion is done automatically, users can control the process through a procedure called score annotation, by adding conversion indications (e.g., for instrument tuning) into the input files.

KotoViewer reads Western-music notation scores in MusicXML format, for instance created by MuseScore. An example of such a score, Sakura Sakura, is shown below as displayed in MuseScore and KotoViewer, both for koto and sangen. Another screenshot shows the first page of the piece called Haru no umi (Spring Sea). The Pitch Analysis Dialog, which assists users for koto tuning decisions, is also presented.

Sakura Sakura (Western notation score)
Sakura Sakura (koto score)
Sakura Sakura (sangen score)
Haru no umi (koto score)
Pitch Analysis Dialog


    • Supports notation for 13-string and 17-string koto and shamisen (sangen)
    • Allows specifying the initial instrument tuning and mid-way tuning changes
    • Provides a pitch analysis dialog that facilitates instrument tuning choices
    • Displays various Western music notations: dynamics, arpeggio, grace notes, glissando, etc.
    • Supports input in compressed and uncompressed MusicXML formats
    • Facilitates score display through a MuseScore plugin
    • Allows configuring the language of the user interface in English or Japanese
    • Includes a detailed User Guide in English and a Quick Reference Guide in Japanese
    • 日本語版の「簡易参照ガイド」が含まれています

What's new in v0.4

    • Added support for displaying repeat symbols for notes and measures that are repeated
    • Improved the handling of fonts, so that font installation is not required anymore
    • Added support for MuseScore 3 both for the program and the MuseScore plugin
    • Added a 250% zoom level to make possible a more detailed inspection of the score
    • Fixed an issue with MuseScore plugin generation failing because of a missing template
    • Various minor bug fixes and improvements


MuseScore plugin

MuseScore is a free music composition and notation software, which can be used not only to input music notation, but also to import other file formats such as MIDI or even PDF. To make it easier to use KotoViewer from MuseScore, I created a MuseScore plugin so that the currently opened score in MuseScore can be displayed in KotoViewer without any other actions required from the user. For more information, check out the plugin page on the MuseScore website.