[MEI-L] Encoding ligature and coloration brackets

Roland, Perry (pdr4h) pdr4h at eservices.virginia.edu
Wed Jun 19 16:50:44 CEST 2013

Hi, Micah,

The generic grouping element in MEI is <annot>.  The name may be a bit of a misnomer, but the presumption is that if you're creating a group of some sort, then you want to say something about it.

There are several approaches one can take to your question about brackets:

1) Use the @startid, @endid, and @plist attributes to identify the targets of the annotation (the affected notes, that is) and the @type attribute to classify the two kinds of annotation (ligature and coloration in the original source) and then draw the appropriate brackets in the rendering phase.

2) "Draw" the brackets needed using <line>, using @type to classify the lines.  Because the brackets will consist of multiple <line> elements, however, using @type isn't optimal.  The more round-about, but better option is to use <annot> to group and classify the <line> elements.

3) Use <symbolDef> to define the brackets you need, then use <symbol> to place the brackets relative to the notes.  This part of the MEI schema has not been exercised much, so I anticipate you'll find it to be inadequate regarding the placement of the symbol with respect to different sets of notes.  What's lacking is a way to "parameterize" <symbol> and <symbolDef>; in other words, the ability to use the same symbol definition in different contexts. However, I'm not discouraging you from this path -- in fact, it would be very helpful if you tried this out and reported on how well it worked.  That would provide an opportunity to improve MEI.

Hope this helps,



Perry Roland
Music Library

University of Virginia
P. O. Box 400175
Charlottesville, VA 22904
434-982-2702 (w)
pdr4h (at) virginia (dot) edu
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