NEumed Unicode™ Manuscript Encoding Standard

NEUMES Project

Second Meeting of the Project Advisory Board
Department of Music, Harvard University
January 24-26, 2003



Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for agreeing to participate in the second meeting of the NEUMES Advisory board. Louis Barton and I look forward to welcoming you to Harvard, and to welcoming new colleagues to the group. We are grateful for your willingness to contribute your time and expertise to this Project.

We are in the process of applying for further funding from the Mellon Foundation, and we hope that our meeting will help to assure that the NEUMES project continues to meet its goal. Our discussions I hope, will center on how best to orient the next stage of our work towards visible and useful results, so as to engage the wider scholarly community in our Project.
  • What exactly is this Project for?
  • What do scholars want to be able to do?
  • How can we make it possible for them to do so?

    In the next stage, I think we need to develop useful input and output systems, and devise means of melodic comparison so as to make our Project indispensable to certain kinds of research in medieval music. I hope that each of us will bring ideas, examples, problems, and will begin to think about how one might conceive rules for describing melodic similarities.

    I look forward to our discussions, from which we all expect to learn much; and I look forward equally to greeting old and new friends, and to our more informal, but no less fruitful, interactions.

    Best wishes,

    Tom Kelly

  • List of Participants

  • Prof. Louis Barton
    Software Engineering Programme, external
    University of Oxford, U.K.
  • Prof. John Caldwell
    Faculty of Music
    University of Oxford, U.K.
  • Dr. Jim Davies
    Computing Laboratory
    University of Oxford, U.K.
  • Dr. Annalisa Doneda
    Facoltà di Musicologia,
    University of Pavia, Italy
  • Prof. Jim Grier
    Faculty of Music
    University of Western Ontario, Canada
  • Prof. Andreas Haug
    Institut für Musikwissenschaft
    Universität Erlangen, Germany
  • Prof. Tom Kelly, meeting moderator
    Chair, Department of Music
    Harvard University, U.S.A.
  • Dr. John Stinson
    Scholar Emeritus
    La Trobe University, Australia

    Not attending due to conflicting commitments:
    • Prof. Ugo Gagliardi (Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, retired),
    • Dr. Pete Jeavons (Computing Laboratory, University of Oxford)
    • Dr. Brad Maiani (Technology Services, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
    • Dr. Ruth Ripley (Department of Statistics, University of Oxford)
    • Prof. Mike Smith (Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University)

  • Meeting Schedule

    Friday, January 24

    Check-in at the Sheraton Commander Hotel
    (Barton and Doneda at Irving House)
    8:00 Dinner
    SANDRINE'S restaurant
    (see map, at the circled, red star)

    Saturday, January 25

    Breakfast ad libitum
    9:15 Meeting
    Harvard Department of Music, Classroom 3
    (coffee, tea, and pastries will be available)
    • Welcome and Introductions (Kelly)
    • Progress report (Barton)

      1. Orientation: recapitulation of the Project overview as presented at the WEB Delivering of Music conference (Darmstadt, 2002).
      2. Delays: brief account of difficulties that put us behind schedule.
      3. Architecture: update on the NEUMES data representation and the NeumesXML language -- use of '&' and ';' instead of "[...]" to denote NEUMES characters; the NeumesXML.PEN and DTD files; negative results from our study of compatibility with the Digital Scriptorium DTD.
      4. Transcriptions: presentation of transcriptions done by Jacqueline Elemans.
      5. Virtual Library: major progress with our "distributed database" concept; platform-independent "first-class objects" on the Web; hyperlinking to CANTUS, source images, sound files; compatibility with search engines.
      6. High-Level Software: platform-independent beta visualization in HTML for checking transcriptions, and progress with our Java data-entry Applet.
    • Discussion (Kelly)
      • What is it that scholars want, and what can we give them?
      • What are near-term possibilities for output?
      • Is it feasible to automatically translate Stinson's transcriptions to NEUMES?
    12:00 Lunch
    Catered in the Department of Music
    1:00 Meeting
    Harvard Department of Music, Classroom 3
    • Where are we really on taxonomy, neume-forms, etc? (Kelly)

    • Presentation of data-representation problems, and discussion (Barton)
      • NEUMES codes: What do we mean by "pen movement"?
        ° At the first meeting I asked: Is what we mean by "pen movement" actually tonal movement or tonal direction? Tom said no.
        ° If we mean literally "pen movement," won't this cause us problems for melodic search and comparison? Pen movement is the only required "slot" in the data about a neume. Where we omit the (optional) glyph-form and pitch data, is it still possible to compare melodies?
        ° Perhaps it is only with fully diastematic notation that one can always derive melody from pen movement.
        ° We use &EQ; (equal) pen movement in both the context of approximate intervals and definite intervals: does &up_little;&EQ; relate two adjacent tones as strongly as &up_m3;&EQ; ?
        ° On parchments where insertions were made (or insufficient space was left by the text copyist for the neumes), what is the significance of pen movement where the baseline of writing is oblique or curved?

      • NEUMES codes: Ink color
        ¶ preliminary specifications called for eight colors: black; blue; brown; purple; red; white; yellow; and no color (incised only)
        ¶ is this list okay, otherwise how should we handle the situation?

      • NEUMES codes: Pitches
        ¶ pitched notation with no clef sign -- use solfège tones? (We have not way to indicate that is is unknown whether a B is flat or natural.)
        ¶ how should we encode letter pitches marked in sources
        ¶ special case: low B-flat, indicated by "B" in some manuscripts
        ¶ are there other special cases to consider?
        ¶ whether to leave NEUMES code space for quarter tones and, if so, what to call them (their mnemonics)

      • NEUMES codes: Neumatic Glyphs
      • ¶ Can bipunctum be transcribed as <neume>&Punctum;&Punctum;</neume>, or is there a reason we must say, <neume>&Bipunctum;</neume> ? (We din't make a Bipunctum Neume Form at Meeting #1.)
        ¶ Stropha: In Meeting #1 we made an Astract Neume Form for 'Apostropha'. For the tristropha, we can transcribe it variously as

        or as,
        The first would display as three 'commas'. A sophisticated visualization program might (knowing the notational species) display the second as a stylized tristropha glyph.
        Are there any problems about this encoding strategy?
        ¶ To what extent do we want to give names to neume forms with multiple following puncta?
        ¶ Can we reconcile our Abstract Neume Forms list with the Oxford Chant Group's taxonomy?

      • NEUMES codes: Transcription problems from Jacqueline Elemans
        1. ligatures in the text
          Examples: "terræ" in gradual Viderunt, "cæli" in offertory Tui sunt caeli
          Einsiedeln YriexSarum
          Possible solution: use the Unicode character æ ("Latin small ligature AE," Unicode value = 00E6)

        2. neumatic groupings
          Example of basic group: gradual verse Dextera, syllable "me", from note 7
          Einsiedeln Yriex  Sarum
          Example of long group: gradual verse Dextera, syllable "Do"(mini fecit), from note 30
          Einsiedeln YriexSarum

        3. liquescents
          Example: gradual Dextera, syllable "vir"(tutem)
          Einsiedeln YriexSarum

        4. pen movement in conflict with pitch interval
          (this also shows a difference in grouping)
          Example: gradual Dextera, syllable "Do"(mini fecit), from note17
          Einsiedeln Yrieix Sarum

      • NeumesXML
      • ¶ help with encoding of differentia
        ¶ list of liturgical occasions: should we adopt or modify the codes used by CANTUS?
        ¶ how much information do we need to record about the obliquity of neumes written diagonally (either for lack of space or as an insertion).

    • Organizing sample transcriptions (Kelly)

    5:00 Break

    7:00 Pre-dinner get together
    All are welcome to the home of Tom Kelly
    Dinner to follow at a reputable Chinese restaurant

    (NB: You might like to know that Strawinsky's Rake will be performed in a concert this night. Please contact Tom in advance if you wish him to get a ticket for you.)

    Sunday, January 26

    Breakfast ad libitum
    9:15 Meeting
    Harvard Department of Music, Classroom 3
    (coffee, tea, and pastries will be available)

    • Round-table discussion (Kelly)
      • Phase Two procedures
      • In principle is it feasible to state rules about NEUMES data (albeit not necessarily to cover every case, and given that rules may conflict in particular cases) for such notions as: "a note that has some importance in the melodic structure"; "a cadential syllable"; "the accented syllable of a redundant cadence"; "mediant cadence"; and so on? [Cardine]
      • How can we develop means of melodic comparison?
      • What should front end look like?

    • Closing remarks (Kelly)
    12:30 Lunch
    For those who can stay; location to be decided.

    Expense Reports

    Please Note

    Obtain receipts for your ground transportation.

    Submit original receipts (including air fare receipts) with your expense report (these reports will be distributed at the meeting).

    Harvard's policy is that it must reimburse expenses within 60 days of the date incurred, and so please don't delay submitting your expense report.

    On-Line Resources

    Relevant information are to be found at the project website

    Directions and Map

  • Contact person at the Department of Music
    Mary Gerbi
    On-duty Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 5:00.
    Ph: (Area Code 617) 495-2791.
  • Sheraton Commander Hotel
    16 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA
    Ph: (Area Code 617) 547-4800
  • Irving House
    24 Irving Street, Cambridge, MA
    Ph: (Area Code 617) 547-4600
  • Sandrine's
    8 Holyoke Street, Cambridge, MA
    Ph: (Area Code 617) 497-5300

  • Directions from Boston's Logan Airport to Harvard

    ¶ By taxi: 30-40 minutes (costs about $30).

    - OR -

    ¶ By subway (the "T"): 35-50 minutes (costs $1 for subway token).
    1. Take the free airport shuttle bus to the AIRPORT subway station (Blue Line).

    2. Take the Blue Line inbound four stops to GOVERNMENT CENTER.

    3. At Government Center station change to the Green Line. Go westbound one stop to PARK STREET.

    4. At Park Street station, change to the Red Line, outbound toward ALEWIFE. Travel outbound four stops to HARVARD SQUARE station. At Harvard station, the exit marked "Harvard Square" is closest to your destination.

    5. Proceed on-foot to your hotel (5-10 minute walk, see map).

  • Getting around Harvard

    Everything is within walking distance. Please see map

  • Directions from Harvard to the Airport

    ¶ By taxi: Cabs queue at the Sheraton Commander Hotel and at Harvard Square.
    Note: Taxi is best if you are short of time.

    - OR -

    ¶ By subway: Allow one hour to get to your terminal.
    1. At the Harvard Square "T" station, take any inbound train four stops to PARK STREET.

    2. At Park Street station, change to the Green Line. Go eastbound one stop to GOVERNMENT CENTER.

    3. At Government Center station, change to the Blue Line. Go outbound four stops to AIRPORT.

    4. At Airport station, take the free shuttle bus to your departure terminal (ask the driver).

  • Errata: Please contact Jacqueline Elemans as soon as possible about changes to this site.

        Copyright © 2003 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
        Contains software or other intellectual property licensed from Louis W. G. Barton,
        copyright © 1995-2001 by Louis W. G. Barton.