[MEI-L] Header data for Corpus monodicum

TW zupftom at googlemail.com
Mon Jan 7 16:54:55 CET 2013

Dear MEI community,

finally, after a longer preparation period, at the end of last year
Corpus monodicum and notengrafik berlin took the last hurdles to
officially partner in developing mono:di, an MEI based editor software
for creating transcriptions of neumatic notation. Corpus monodicum is
a scholarly edition of the historically significant, sacred and
secular monophonic repertories of the European Middle Ages with Latin
texts, headed by Prof. Dr. Andreas Haug and produced by the University
of Würzburg and the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur
Mainz. notengrafik berlin is a music typesetting firm with
longstanding experience working with major publishers and a special
focus on unusual notation.

Corpus monodicum’s publications will include both a series of printed
volumes as well as a digital edition. mono:di's primary motivation is
to serve both publication channels from a common data basis, giving
editors an efficient interface that is tailored to the kind of music
they are dealing with.

The encoding we chose for the body of the music was based on the work
done by the TüBingen project and the SIMSSA sub-project Encoding the
Liber usualis. Prof. Dr. Stefan Morent already took the initiative and
set the course for starting a dialogue about unifying the approaches
for encoding neumatic notation using MEI.

I'd like to ask you for some advice concerning the encoding of header
data. I am not familiar enough with this area of MEI to decide how to
classify the different aspects of header data that we need to store
for a chant. Each chant will be stored in a single file and needs its
own set of header data.

* section (edition is divided into sections; section the chant belongs
to is recorded as roman numeral)
* volume (number of the printed volume the chant belongs to)
* genre
* source:
  - location (country, city, institution)
  - shelfmark
* incipit (textual)
* number in the edition (for internal use)
* number in textual edition (there is a text-only edition that has
differing numbers)
* catalog number (number that was established by other publications)
* feast (of the liturgical year, e.g. Christmas, i.e. "nativitate", short "nat")
* service (Office hour or Mass, roman numeral for Mass)
* base chant genre
* element number

While I can identify the right spot for a few items, like <incipText>
for the textual incipit, I'm not sure how to encode the more exotic
ones like "feast" and "service". I'm also not clear about how the FRBR
approach has an impact on some of the items.

My questions are:
- Is it advisable to stick to "old" MEI when encoding information
about the source, or shall I go forward and adopt the FRBR way?
- How can we sensibly record all those different numbers and genre titles?
- Would it be useful--or is there any interest--to standardize how to
record header data specific to liturgical music, considering the
tremendous amount of sacred music in existence?

We are grateful for any help
Thomas Weber

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