[MEI-L] ...brackets in orchestral scores: Finale shapes, etc.

Eleanor Selfridge-Field esfield at stanford.edu
Tue Dec 17 02:15:33 CET 2013

Thinking about Perry's latest view prompts me to ask a question that may
be redundant.  In our typesetting we assume a relationship between these
much discussed staff groups and the implications for barring throughout a
score.  Some vertical lines in staff groups are continuous from top to
bottom of a system, but some (especially for things like obbligato
instruments or a chorus in a mainly orchestral work) may not be.  Do these
various nesting schemes have any "generative" implications for how to
coding continues?  

Barring systems vary somewhat by publisher and national tradition.  Some
publishers do not continue what I'll call "measure bars" (running unbroken
from top to bottom of a system) across all systems, but the ways in which
they are broken up is somewhat variable and may depend also on the complex
of instruments/voices in force.

Then there are Mensurstriche (editions of Renaissance music), where the
barlines never cross a clef but instead run from the bottom line of one
clef to the top line of one underneath.  This is not usually detectable
from the presentation of the initial staff group.

I realize that all these points fall outside the emphasis on source
description, but they are real and frequent issues in getting from most
encoding systems to something useable.  On the other hand, anyone using
MEI to make a new edition may be guided by publishers' requirements
irrespective of the source coding.



Eleanor Selfridge-Field
Consulting Professor, Music (and, by courtesy, Symbolic Systems)
Braun Music Center #129
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-3076, USA
http://www.stanford.edu/~esfield/  +1/ 650 725-9242

-----Original Message-----
From: mei-l [mailto:mei-l-bounces at lists.uni-paderborn.de] On Behalf Of
Roland, Perry (pdr4h)
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2013 7:09 AM
To: Music Encoding Initiative
Subject: Re: [MEI-L] ...brackets in orchestral scores: Finale shapes, etc.

Thinking about Laurent's original question a little more, I've come to
realize that my original thinking on staff grouping was, well, misguided.

I now think that instead of reserving @symbol="line" for the left-hand,
staff-connecting line, another attribute should be added to <staffGrp> (or
even on <scoreDef>) to capture the presence of this line.  This eliminates
the need for nested <staffGrp> elements as well as the need to change any
existing software.

This new attribute (I'm still casting about for a name) should take a
value of true or false depending on the presence/absence of the connecting
line.  Of course, this attribute can only make sense when it's on the
outermost <staffGrp>.  This is a good argument for pushing it up a level
to <scoreDef>.  Doing that eliminates the need for schematron rules or
reliance on convention to enforce good practice.

The existing @symbol attribute with a value of "line" can be used (as in
MusicXML) to describe the presence of a wide line used as the grouping
symbol.  Of course, the Guidelines will need to be changed to reflect
these changes.

I'm aware that changes like this, that is, keeping the same markup but
changing its meaning, are dangerous.  But sometimes it's the simplest, and
indeed the best, solution.



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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