[MEI-L] Encoding ligature and coloration brackets

Micah Walter mwalter at haverford.edu
Tue Jun 18 23:31:30 CEST 2013

Hello, folks,

I’m working on the Du Chemin project <http://tinyurl.com/duchemin> with Richard Freedman at Haverford College. For those who don’t know about the project, it involves making modern editions of some 391 Renaissance chansons, which we will be encoding in MEI. Based on database searches, excerpts from these songs will be dynamically displayed in a web browser.

Although we are encoding the modern edition of the piece, as opposed to the original mensural notation, we are attempting to make our scholarly editions (and hence our encodings) as transparent as possible to the original notation. As a result, our engraved editions make use of two bracket symbols, at least one of which is fairly common in the transcription of mensural music. [Follow the links for example images.]
A solid bracket <http://tinyurl.com/solidbracket> indicates notes that were joined by a ligature in the source
A broken bracket <http://tinyurl.com/brokenbracket> indicates notes that were colored in the source; that is, their mensural values are indicated in part by their coloration
I haven’t found any place in the Guidelines that describes what kind of elements might be used for these, whether specific or generic. A spanning element similar to <slur> is probably what is needed; is there a generic “grouping” element?

Note that the Guidelines say that “[t]he <ligature> element should *not* be used for brackets in modern notation that indicate notes that were part of a ligature in the original source” <http://music-encoding.org/archive/tagLibrary/ligature>, and I assume that the @coloration attribute should similarly not be misused.

Does anyone have any ideas about encoding these symbols?

Micah Walter
Haverford College
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