The history of Mozart

Here is a brief history of Mozart's development.


Late 1980's:

Mozart was conceived as a "musical typewriter" - a program which would take much of the work out of writing down music by knowing about the syntax of written music and doing as much as possible automatically.


It was becoming clear that the initial idea required a computer with the sort of power which was less readily available then than now. The project got bogged down and languished for a while.

Early 1990's:

It wasn't until the advent of Windows 3, and in particular Windows 3.1 with the possibility of TrueType music printing, that the Mozart project really took off.

November 1994:

Mozart 1 is released. It proved more popular than its author dared imagine.


Windows 95 was looming large on the horizon. This meant two things for Mozart: First there was now the prospect of 32bit processing - which meant that a true 32bit (Windows 95) version of Mozart would be able to do its computations much faster. It would therefore scroll faster and be generally more responsive. But second, Mozart's late 1980s origins were beginning to be a drawback: it would not be easy to add all the new and useful features which Windows 95 users in particular would now expect. It was "bite the bullet" time. A completely new version of Mozart would be needed and it would have to be rewritten from top to bottom.

July 1996:

Mozart 2 is released for Windows 95. It has a few more musical features and one or two "mod cons" like an Undo Command, Print Preview, and floating, dockable Tool Bars.

"Dual installation:" The release policy is to send out a dual installation version which will automatically install Mozart 1 on machines running Windows 3.1 and Mozart 2 on machines running Windows 95. In that way, anyone going over to Windows 95 after having bought Mozart can just rerun the Mozart installation to start using Mozart 2.0 immediately.


Mozart has been clocking up a fair mileage with more and more users. Many are feeding back useful suggestions for improvements and enhancements. These are always welcome. A complicated system of prioritising new developments has now been adopted. First: what do the users want? The more a new feature is wanted, the higher its fundamental priority. Second: how easy is it to implement? Improvements which are easily implemented can be brought up the priority list.

October 1997:

Mozart 3 is released with new music features and new user interface features. The dual installation policy continues with Mozart 1 and Mozart 3 now being included in the package.

March 1999:  

Mozart 4 is released with the much requested chord capability, allowing for example double stopping, divisi, more than one part on a stave, and detailed piano scores.  This release is a major rewrite and Mozart has progressed well beyond its original roots.   Mozart 4 requires Windows 95, 98, or NT.

This version took longer to produce than we had hoped.  Partly this was due to Mozart's growing popularity and our growing daily (e-) mailbag, distracting us somewhat from technical development.  For this release, therefore, we have gone into partnership with publishers The Thompson Partnership (UK and France) and World Wide Software Publishing (USA) who will be responsible for marketing and support, allowing us at Mozart Music Software to concentrate on technical development. We still look forward, though, to hearing suggestions for new features, either through the publishers or directly, and hope to be able to implement them more quickly with this arrangement in place.

September 2000:

Mozart 5 is released with many new features to speed up music entry: templates, automatic right justification, MIDI keyboard awareness.  Scores with transposing instruments shown at their written pitch are now supported.   MIDI files can be imported.       Mozart 5 requires Windows 95, 98, NT4, 2000, or ME.

October 2001:

Mozart 6 is released with, among other new features, improved support for percussion, rhythm guitar, and lyrics entry. (Improvement in the speed of entry of lyrics has been the most frequent request over the last year or so and we hope that the new, largely automated, method pleases everyone.)    Mozart 6 requires Windows 95, 98, NT4, 2000, ME, or XP.

One problem we have had over the years is that some printer drivers (Hewlett Packard in particular) have had a propensity for turning some symbols (apparently at random) into, for want of a better word, blobs.  HP have usually issued updated drivers before too long which cure this problem, but then when they bring out a new printer, the new drivers have the same bug and the cycle starts again.   We recognise that HP make excellent hardware, and so this time we have put a lot of work into Mozart's printing code which now works completely differently.  The new method is much more akin to that used by text printing programs.  If you had no problems before, then you should notice no difference; if you encountered the infamous blobs, then all should now be well.

June 2002:

The Mozart Viewer is released. This is a free program which will view, print, and play Mozart (.mz) files. If you have Mozart you can now send your compositions to friends who can use the free Mozart Viewer to view and print them.

April 2003: Mozart 7 is released with guitar chord shapes, NIFF file import in order to work with scanners, improved support for the grand staff, more clefs, and assorted other improvements.  Mozart 7 requires Windows 98, ME, 2000, or XP.  (It may work on 95 and NT4 depending on your installation: if the evaluation copy works then so will the full version.) 
October 2004: Mozart 2005 is released with more flexible stave spacing and the ability to hide staves on systems.  Tablature for guitar and other plucked string instruments is introduced, as well as numerous other features.
October 2006: MarineSoft takes over from the Thompson Partnership as Mozart's publisher.
November 2006: Mozart 9 is released in which instrumentation plays a much more central role.
November 2009: Mozart 10 is released with more modern-looking windows and full support for Unicode text.  Mozart 10 has Windows XP as its base platform.   Mozart Music Software takes publishing and sales in-house, with Margaret now full time chief administrator in this department.
October 2010: The Mozart Jazz Font is released for Mozart 10, as an optional extra.
September 2011: Mozart 11 is released with tabbed MDI windows and MusicXML import.   The Mozart Jazz Font is now bundled with Mozart 11.
November 2014: Mozart 12 is released with import and export of both MusicXML and abc formats.   This is a month of anniversaries:
  • 20 years since Mozart 1 was made available;
  • 5 years since Mozart Music Software took over publishing and e-sales.
April 2016: Mozart 13 is released with a fashionable Ribbon Bar interface.   This will form the basis for further development, replacing the now old-fashioned system of menus and toolbars which had become completely unwieldy.
April 2018: Mozart 14 is released with higher resolution for placement of symbols, automatic default note spacing, and other improvements.   At first use it feels similar to Mozart 13, but improved rendering makes it even easier to create professional quality scores and parts.
November 2020: Mozart 15 is released with assorted improvements (26 years after the release of Mozart 1).
September 2022: Mozart 16 is released with more improvements, including the abilities to include vector illustrations and save audio files.



= Mozart pages copyright © 1995-2023 David Webber. =

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