[MEI-L] Combining MEI ornament elements

Raffaele Viglianti raffaeleviglianti at gmail.com
Mon Jul 13 01:17:40 CEST 2015

Dear list,

I was wondering if it is possible to combine two ornaments in MEi to
describe one ornament on the page.

(Please forgive any possible misunderstandings because of my limited
knowledge of ornamentation outside of common symbols and little more.)

For example how could I encode the type of mordent that in SMuFL is called
"mordent with release"?

The MEI encoding would definitely depend on context. Factors that will
determine the encoding are: what kind of score is it in; who is the
composer; which geographical place is the composer writing in; time/era of
composition; and many more.

Either way, none of the MEI elements <mordent>, <trill>, and <turn> will be
able to represent it adequately on its own. It will need to be a
combination of those elements.

Based solely on my training as a pianist, I would guess that this ornament
should be treated as a trill plus a turn. If it were on a c note, I would
resolve it as d-c-d-c d-c-b-c.
I might be wrong about the exact resolution, but bear with me for the sake
of discussing combining MEI ornaments.

So I could encode this "mordent with release" with:

<trill />
<turn form="norm"/>

I could then connect them together with @prev and @next

<trill xml:id="trill_1" next="#turn_1" />
<turn xml:id="turn_1" form="norm" prev="#turn_1"/>

That could be enough for what MEI is concerned. Do you agree? Is there a
better way of encoding this?

Finally, what if I wanted to map this to a specific rendition? eg to a
SMuFL code, or my own SVG drawing? -- if I understand correctly, this is
what the user defined symbol module is for (for some elements) [1].

However, there is currently no way of using the user defined symbol module
for mapping one ornament element to a symbol. Though there is good reason
to believe this is in the process of being adjusted for the 2015 release
[2] [3]. This will likely be done with @altsym, and/or other dedicated

But even with that upgrade in mind, how would I map my "combined" elements
with one symbol? The only solution I could think of is a bit redundant,

<trill xml:id="trill_1" next="#turn_1" altsym="#combinedSymbol" />
<turn xml:id="turn_1" form="norm" prev="#turn_1" altsym="#combinedSymbol"/>
(this is invalid in MEI 2014, but possibly valid in 2015)


[1] http://music-encoding.org/documentation/2.1.1/userSymbols/
[2] https://github.com/music-encoding/music-encoding/issues/232
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