[MEI-L] slur and @curvedir

Axel Teich Geertinger atge at kb.dk
Mon Feb 2 09:29:16 CET 2015

Hi all

Just out of curiosity: None of the solutions I have seen (@bulge, @bezier, or @curvedir=”above below”) do indicate explicitly where the slur changes position from above the notes to below – that is, where the slur intersects the melodic line, so to speak. I guess that the use of @bezier will give the desired result in most situations, but as the actual rendering of the slur must be dependent to some degree on other factors such as the note spacing or system breaks, I wonder how we can be sure that it will always cross the melodic line at the desired place. With @bulge or @curvedir (with extended values as suggested by Zoltan) this must be even more uncertain, right? In principle, a rendering algorithm may draw the slur in Benni’s example above the first three groups of notes and below only the last group when using @bulge or @curvedir. How do we avoid that?

One more question about @bulge, again just out of curiosity: Should it be defined that a sequence of values for @bulge must an alternating sequence of positive and negative values, either in the guidelines or the schema? Or would a sequence like the one in the guidelines example (@bulge=”2 1”) make any sense in any situation?


Fra: mei-l [mailto:mei-l-bounces at lists.uni-paderborn.de] På vegne af Komíves Zoltán
Sendt: 2. februar 2015 07:08
Til: Music Encoding Initiative
Emne: Re: [MEI-L] slur and @curvedir

Hi Perry,

I think extending the data type of @curvedir attribute could be justified simply base on the argument of classification: @curvdir provides a classification mechanism, but this classification is rather incomplete, the current values of @curvedir do not cover all the cases that are out there (see Benni's example: nor "above" neither "below" is appropriate, and the omission of the attribute surely cannot imply what we want to convey, that is the curve goes also above and below). This has nothing to do with rendering, since in order to render a slur or phrase mark, the actual curve needs to be calculated anyway, even when "above" or "below" is applied.

Out of Benni's suggestions I quite like "above-below" / "below-above". (Note that his question concerns @curvedir not @place.) In fact, it occurs to me, we could even allow an alternating sequence of the values "below" and "above". Benni's example would be encoded as <slur curvedir="above below"/>. This, beside conveying the fact that the curve goes first below, then above, could also be applied to curves with multiple inflection points. I have no literary example for this at hand, but wouldn't be surprised if there was some in existence.


2015-02-01 17:04 GMT+00:00 Roland, Perry D. (pdr4h) <pdr4h at eservices.virginia.edu<mailto:pdr4h at eservices.virginia.edu>>:

Laurent is correct, the values in the example should be -2 and 1.

The place attribute is for describing the placement of an entity in general terms.  For phrase marks and slurs, it also generically describes the curvature of the mark, and therefore functions as short hand for a more detailed description given by the bulge or bezier attributes. It would be possible to add a value to @place for slurs/phrases with multiple inflection points, such as "mixed" or perhaps "complex", but this would only fulfill a classification purpose -- it wouldn't provide any information regarding how to draw the slur/phrase.  So, one would still need to use @bulge or @bezier for rendering.

Another complicating factor is that @place is used by a number of elements other than slur and phrase.  Adding "mixed" directly to @place would introduce the possibility of nonsense in the case of, say, <accid> or <breath>.  Of course, a specialized form of @place for slur/phrase is a possibility, but would need careful handling.


Perry Roland
Music Library
University of Virginia
P. O. Box 400175
Charlottesville, VA 22904
434-982-2702<tel:434-982-2702> (w)
pdr4h (at) virginia (dot) edu
From: mei-l [mei-l-bounces at lists.uni-paderborn.de<mailto:mei-l-bounces at lists.uni-paderborn.de>] on behalf of Laurent Pugin [laurent at music.mcgill.ca<mailto:laurent at music.mcgill.ca>]
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2015 8:27 AM
To: Music Encoding Initiative
Subject: Re: [MEI-L] slur and @curvedir
Hi Benni,

Have you looked at @bulge? There is an example in the guidelines: http://music-encoding.org/documentation/guidelines2013/userSymbols#index.xml-body.1_div.23_div.3_div.4

I would have expected the values to be -2 1 for the given example, so I am not sure I understand it correctly.


On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 2:13 PM, Benjamin Wolff Bohl <bohl at edirom.de<mailto:bohl at edirom.de>> wrote:

Dear MEI-L,
Freschütz has a question concerning encoding mixed direction slurs.

[bildschirmfoto 2015-01-30 um 14 05 39]<https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/2430401/5976008/319371e8-a889-11e4-9a4c-7fe5cc246dfe.png>
In case the picture doesn't come through, please see: https://github.com/Freischuetz-Digital/proofMEIdata/issues/25

This slur may not be properly encoded in MEI using @curvedir that only allows 'above' or 'below' as values. Nevertheless, using @bezier<https://github.com/bezier> is much more verbose than needed…

Maybe a value like 'mixed' / 'above-below' / 'below-above' / 'changing' / 'alternating' would be applicable? Of course the schema would have to be modified to allow this. Are there any comparable values in other parts of the schema?

This is no "special", rather quite often in printed music from the 19th century.

All the best,

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