[MEI-L] graceful beams

Roland, Perry (pdr4h) pdr4h at eservices.virginia.edu
Fri Apr 12 17:03:03 CEST 2013

Hi JoMaja,

When you say "results in the rendition you see in the black&white sample", what's being used to produce the output?

Grace notes are never connected to beams containing non-grace notes.  Even though the grace notes are encoded inside the beam element, they are not logically part of the beamed group.  Therefore, the software should ignore interspersed grace notes when drawing beams.

Beams containing only grace notes, as you say, are a different matter.  Obviously, in this case they should be connected.

By the way, in your example output, the notes are misaligned.  The first non-grace note in the top staff should vertically align with the first non-grace note in the bottom staff.



Perry Roland
Music Library

University of Virginia
P. O. Box 400175
Charlottesville, VA 22904
434-982-2702 (w)
pdr4h (at) virginia (dot) edu
From: mei-l-bounces at lists.uni-paderborn.de [mei-l-bounces at lists.uni-paderborn.de] on behalf of Maja Hartwig [maja.hartwig at gmx.de]
Sent: Friday, April 12, 2013 5:02 AM
To: Music Encoding Initiative
Subject: [MEI-L] graceful beams

Dear MEIers,

while working on a revised version of the MusicXML to MEI stylesheets, we noticed a situation that is not absolutely clear in MEI, or that could be improved by better documentation. We have an MusicXML file that has beamed chords with a leading grace note each. Those grace notes are not part of the beam (look at colored sample). While the old converter produces a single <beam> element which holds all chords, but also the grace notes (beginning with the second). This results in the rendition you see in the black&white sample.


Of course MEI allows to avoid the beam element and use a beamSpan, which connects all chords to a beam from an external point, leaving out the grace notes. However, this markup seems slightly more complicated.


<beamSpan members="chord1 chord2 chord3"/>

(everything above is pseudo code, MEI is not working exactly like this)

While we could simply stick with the beamSpan solution, I wonder if there is such thing as a grace note being member of a regular beam at all? Of course grace notes may be beamed, but only amongst their kind, correct? If this would be the case, we could simply define in the guidelines that grace notes do not attach to a beam drawn by a parent beam element. However, this solution would mean that there wouldn't be a way to attach it to that beam unless we come up with a new solution for that issue. What do you think? Have you ever seen a grace note attached to a regular beam? Do you expect that there is one out there? Don?


(having captured Maja's machine…)

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