Capturing Early Notations in MEI: The Case of Old Hispanic Neumes

Elsa De Luca, Jennifer Bain, Inga Behrendt, Ichirp Fujinaga, Kate Helsen, Alessandra Ignesti, Debra Lacoste, Sarah Ann Long

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This paper describes the challenges involved in designing a computer encoding system for early plainchant notation (both with and without staff lines) and, in particular, Old Hispanic neume notation. We have been working on a new version of the Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) schema for neume notations since 2012. Our goal and that of MEI is to digitally represent as accurately as possible the notation in musical sources, especially its semantics wherever possible, so that the encoded files can be used for various musical research purposes, such as creating critical editions and data mining. Of the early plainchant notations, Old Hispanic neume notation is the least understood. We will present some of our solutions to resolve the specific issues surrounding Old Hispanic notation while maintaining compatibility with the encoding of other styles of plainchant notation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-249
Number of pages21
JournalMusiktheorie : Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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