[MEI-L] Instrument settings and tunings

Axel Teich Geertinger atge at kb.dk
Wed Oct 21 14:12:10 CEST 2015

Hi Richard

Oh yes, now I remember! I am sorry! I was actually there to see your presentation, but the question had not occurred to me at that point :-)

Could you post a few examples here on the list for illustration and further discussion? I see in your customisation that you can also have an <instrName> element inside <instrDesc>. Do you have an example showing your use of <instrName> along with other content in <instrDesc>?

What values do you give the @family attribute in <instrName>? Is there a danger of doubling or conflicting information given in @code on <instrVoice>?

Best wishes,

-----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
Fra: mei-l [mailto:mei-l-bounces+atge=kb.dk at lists.uni-paderborn.de] På vegne af Richard Lewis
Sendt: 21. oktober 2015 12:29
Til: Music Encoding Initiative
Emne: Re: [MEI-L] Instrument settings and tunings

Dear Axel,

We did some work on the problem of encoding instrument configurations earlier this year. We actually came up with a customisation which is published on github:
<https://github.com/TransformingMusicology/mei-tmus>, specifically, <https://github.com/TransformingMusicology/mei-tmus/blob/master/schemata/instruments.odd>.

We took the approach of extending <instrVoice> to include <instrDesc> and <instrConfig> elements. The <instrDesc> allows a more structured description of an instrument, while <instrConfig> is intended for instrument-specific set up. In our specific case we then provided a further customisation for lute tablature which extended <instrConfig> to allow elements for describing the tunings of the courses.

Our intention was that this generic provision could be extended for exactly the kinds of things you describe: organ registrations, electronic instruments.

We didn't make any provision for your second requirement, however, that of changes of instrument configuration during the course of a piece.

We presented this at MEC 2015 but since then we haven't really revised it. I think it's still quite experimental and really could do with some more testing and criticism.


On Wed, 21 Oct 2015 09:01:53 +0100,
Axel Teich Geertinger wrote:
> Dear list
> I have a couple of questions related to the recent discussion about 
> the model for describing instrumentations in <perfMedium>. Sometimes I 
> need to add more detailed information to an instrument's name, such as 
> transposition or tuning. I simply write this information into 
> <instrVoice>, like
> <instrVoice>Clarinet (A)</instrVoice>
> <instrVoice>Timpani (C, G)</instrVoice>
> Of course I can add more complex information too: the settings for a 
> prepared piano or electronic instruments; scordatura; or even organ 
> registrations (if they remain the same throughout the piece).
> My first question is: Is it acceptable to have a rather detailed text 
> within <instrVoice> (or <perfRes>, if we decide to rename it), or 
> should we have some other place for a detailed description of 
> settings/tunings/transpositions?
> My other question is: how would this kind of information be encoded in 
> the score? I know about the transposition attributes on <staffDef>, of 
> course; the timpani case is trivial too. But I wouldn't know how to 
> encode things like organ registrations, scordatura, electronic 
> instruments settings within <music>. Plain text? Or are there some 
> special element for instrument settings?
> I could also put it this way: Are these settings simply to be regarded 
> as playing techniques like pizzicato or col legno (which I don't know 
> how to encode either, however...)?
> Best,
> Axel
Richard Lewis
j: ironchicken at jabber.earth.li
@: lewisrichard

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