Neumed & Ekphonetic Universal Manuscript Encoding Standard

About the Phase One Initiative
(now completed)

Project Title "Digital Encoding for Medieval Chant Transcription"
Funding Agency The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Dates of Funding October 1, 2001 - March 31, 2003
Principal Investigator Prof. Thomas Forrest Kelly
Chair, Department of Music
Harvard University
Software Engineer Prof. Louis W. G. Barton
St Anne's College, University of Oxford
Advisory Board Prof. John A. Caldwell
 University of Oxford
Dr. Jim Davies
 University of Oxford
Dr. Annalisa Doneda
 Università di Pavia
Prof. Ugo O. Gagliardi
 Harvard University (retired)
Prof. James Grier
 University of Western Ontario
Prof. Andreas Haug
 Universität Erlangen
Dr. Peter G. Jeavons
 University of Oxford
Dr. Bradford Maiani
 Univ. of N. Carolina--Chapel Hill
Prof. Michael D. Smith
 Harvard University
Dr. John Stinson
 La Trobe University (emeritus)
Software Technicians Dr. Jacqueline Elemans
Clare McInerney
Dr. Tillman Weyde
Jens Wissmann
Other Technical Assistance Samuel H. Byland
Robert B. Garvey
Alexander Lüdeke
Vani Murthy
Barry Ng
Dr. Ruth Ripley
Administration at Harvard Mary Gerbi
Karen Rynne
Fernando Viesca
Mission Digital Encoding for Medieval Chant Transcription ("the Project") will produce a viable, long-term solution to an important problem in content access, cultural conservation, and scientific study of medieval chant manuscripts. Specifically, the Project will develop a much-needed software infrastructure that will enable digital transcription of the archaic forms of musical notation that were used in these manuscripts.
Transcriptions created with this software will be interoperable across computer platforms, serve a variety of uses, and have long-term usefulness. Anticipated uses include public access to content, programmable analysis and comparison of chants, easier creation of examples in books and articles, interactive training of students, and so on.
This interdisciplinary project brings together computer scientists and some of the world's leading authorities on medieval music notation. An importance of this project is as a test case for applying modern software-engineering techniques to a qualitative field at a high level of sophistication.
  1. A comprehensive taxonomy of neume forms including all notation genres.
  2. A data representation (including character code points and a context-free grammar) in the Private Use Area of the Unicode™ Standard to accommodate the special requirements of neume notation.
  3. A DTD in XML (called NeumeXML) that is the beta-test 'carrier' for neume character data in file transfer and storage.
  4. Program 'classes' in the Java™ programming language for data-entry of neume character data.
  5. A test suite of sample transcriptions drawn from a variety of neume notational genres.
  6. An informational Project Web site.
  7. Publication of results.

  Copyright © 2003-2004 by Louis W. G. Barton.
  Contains material copyright © 2002-2003 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College,
  and licensed to Louis W. G. Barton.
  Contains software or other intellectual property copyright © 1995-2001 by Louis W. G. Barton.