Neumed & Ekphonetic Universal Manuscript Encoding Standard


  • Context of Visualization
  • Data Transformation and Formatting
  • The Canonical Visualization Screen
  • Glyph Image Locations

  • I. Context of Visualization
    Description Part Transcription
    WWW End-
    A transcription file typically resides on the Worldwide Web (WWW), but transcriptions can exist also on the end-user's computer. A transcription file basically consists of two Parts.
         a) The Description Part is recorded as XML markup. It describes the source artifact (its location and accession number, liturgical role, dimensions, provenance, etc), and chronicles the transcription (transcriber's name, transcription date, editorial procedures, etc).
         b) The Transcription Part is written as character data in Unicode. It records the chant and chant-text of the source artifact.
    The XML Schema that governs the structure of the Description Part is called NeumesXML. Each NeumesXML file contains a Transcription Part, which is written in the language of chant transcription called NEUMES (Neumed and Ekphonetic Universal Manuscript Encoding Standard).
    Visualization is a graphical rendering of a transcription on the end-user's computer. The software that creates a visualization is entirely separate from the data representation; many different visualization programs may exist. Discussed here is the "canonical" visualization for NeumesXML files, which is the default presentation view.

    Intellectual Property Ownership: The source artifacts are hundreds of years old and, therefore, are in the public domain. Transcriptions, descriptions, and photographic images, however, may be protected by copyright. In such cases, please contact the copyright owner of the material for permission to use.

    II. Data Transformation and Formatting
    The "canonical" visualization provides a standard and fairly fast way for users to look at NeumesXML transcriptions. The process is 'transparent' to end-users: one simply clicks on a NeumesXML file to view it graphically. No software needs to be installed.
    [Note: JavaScript must be enabled in the end-user's browser for the canonical visualization to succeed.]
    The document object model for the canonical visualization has three components:
         1. XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations);
         2. JavaScript; and
         3. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
    The XSL Transformation creates an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) file from a NeumesXML transcription for graphical display in the user's Web browser. The HTML file includes a JavaScript program that controls the browser display. The file also includes CSS formatting guidelines, which are understood by nearly all browsers in-use today.
    All NeumesXML transcriptions include a reference to the canonical XSLT specification, which resides on the NEUMES Project Server. Any other visual transformation for NeumesXML may preempt this, however. Indeed, NeumesXML files can be translated to other data formats as needed by end-users, but some special programming is required.
    Although this document object model is designed to execute entirely in the user's browser, many browsers do not yet support XSLT. Therefore, for the time-being the XSL Transformation is done automatically on the NEUMES Project Server.

    III. The Canonical Visualization Screen
    The top section of the canonical visualization is the NeumesXML block. It shows meta-data about the source artifact (listed under "Source Identity") and about the transcription (listed under "Transcription Chronicle").
      The middle section is the controller block. It shows a "line guide" and "key" to help in reading the visualization, and has various inputs and selectors that enable the user to control the on-screen formatting of the visualization.
      The bottom section is the NEUMES block. It displays the artifact transcription transformed to graphical output in stylized glyphs above the chant text. If it is a pitched source, then the pitch letters are displayed below the chant text. Whether it is a pitched or un-pitched source, the tonal movement is listed in the bottom line.

    IV. Glyph Image Locations
    The canonical visualization is quite flexible about where it obtains the glyph images to be used in the visualization. Transcribers can create their own glyph image sets, end-users can create or test image sets that are on their own computers, or the user can choose between several standard, stylized glyph image sets from the NEUMES Project Server. When the the visualization is being drawn, these options take effect in the following priorities.

       Priority 1   
    If the user enters a path (an Internet URL or a path on her/his hard drive) for a custom glyph IMG set, then this path has priority in locating the glyph images for visualization.

    Example A: [Internet URL]

    Example B: [local path]   file:///C:/projects/images/st_gall/

    [Note: Spaces are not allowed in Internet URL addresses.
    The file protocol uses three slashes after "file:", and it uses right-slashes '/' between directory names.]

       Priority 2   
    If the user does not enter a path for locating the glyph images, and the user selects to view the source in a different notation, then the standard image set for that notational family is used. Standard image sets are located on the NEUMES Project Server. If the user has redrawn the visualization in a different notation, s/he can restore the visualization to its original notation by selecting "Native notation of the source".

    [Note: If the user selects a different notation (other than native notation), then no substitute style glyphs will be used in the visualization.]

       Priority 3   

    If the user has not entered a glyph image path and did not select a different notation (excepting native notation), then the "glyph_path" specified in the NeumesXML transcription document is used. Note that, in this manner, transcribers can create their own image sets to be used by default in the canonical visualization; such image sets can be located on any server on the Internet.

    [The example, above, is part of the source code of a NeumesXML file. It shows that a glyph image path has been specified for this transcription.]

       Priority 4   

    If none of the above options is in-play (and in particular, if the NeumesXML transcription does not specify a "glyph_path"), then the standard glyph image set for this type of notation is used. The standard, stylized glyph image sets are on the NEUMES Project Server.

    [Note that all NeumesXML transcriptions are required to specify a notational family (viz, "notation_x family"). This ensures that the canonical visualization will be able to display the transcription in one of the standard glyph image sets.]

        Copyright © 2004 by Louis W. G. Barton