[MEI-L] Jazz Chords in MEI ?

Roland, Perry D (pdr4h) pdr4h at virginia.edu
Thu Nov 28 18:57:18 CET 2019

Hi Etienne,

Actually, chords of all kinds are already supported in MEI.  MEI takes a different, and I believe, better approach than MusicXML in that it separates the labeling of a chord from its sounded rendition.

What this means is that you can use whatever label you like, "A7#9" for example, in the <harm> element.  Formatting information can be captured here if, for instance, you want the "7#9" portion of the label to be superscripted.

The sound that corresponds to the label is defined within the <chordDef> element.  By defining the sound apart from label, variations in the label, "A7#9" vs. "A7(#9)", can be captured independently from the sounding information.  Also, the sounding info doesn't have to be repeated each time the chord is used -- it can be referred to when needed.  Of course, this also makes it possible to have multiple voicings for the same label; that is, the label "Cmaj7" can be linked to different sounding renditions.  

<chordDef> elements are collected within a <chordTable>.  A chord table can be defined for each score; that is, inside <scoreDef>.  Alternatively, it may be encoded in an external file and included within a <scoreDef> using xInclude.

The linkage between <harm> and <chordDef> is achieved using the chordref attribute.  For example --

<harm chordref="#myFvChord">A7(♭13)</harm>

points to --

<chordDef xml:id="myFvChord">
  <chordMember pname="a" oct="3"/>
  <chordMember pname="g" oct="4"/>
  <chordMember pname="c" accid.ges="s" oct="5"/>
  <chordMember pname="f" oct="5"/>

for sounding info.  Fretboard diagrams can be created using the (optional) @tab.* attributes -- 

<chordDef xml:id="myFvChord">
  <chordMember pname="a" oct="3" tab.string="6" tab.fret="5" />
  <chordMember pname="g" oct="4" tab.string="4" tab.fret="5"/>
  <chordMember pname="c" accid.ges="s" oct="5" tab.string="3" tab.fret="6"/>
  <chordMember pname="f" oct="5" tab.string="2" tab.fret="6"/>

The documentation doesn't mention "jazz chords" directly, but https://music-encoding.org/guidelines/v4/content/analysisharm.html#harmonyDetails covers the use of <harm>, <chordTable>, and <chordDef> generally.  It also goes into more detail on how to use the @inth attribute to define chords using intervals instead of explicit pitch names and how to encode fingering info for a fretboard diagram.

Hope this helps,


-----Original Message-----
From: mei-l <mei-l-bounces+pdr4h=virginia.edu at lists.uni-paderborn.de> On Behalf Of Klaus Rettinghaus
Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2019 6:14 AM
To: Music Encoding Initiative <mei-l at lists.uni-paderborn.de>
Subject: Re: [MEI-L] Jazz Chords in MEI ?

Dear Etienne,

I don't know of any plans so far. If you have a cunning plan how this could be implemented in MEI please go ahead.
At least you should open a new issue on
https://github.com/music-encoding/music-encoding explaining why this is needed in MEI.


Am Mo., 18. Nov. 2019 um 22:35 Uhr schrieb Etienne Fréjaville
<efreja at wanadoo.fr>:
> Dear community,
> Do you know if MEI has the plan to introduce Jazz Chords as they exist in MusicXML ? (element harmony and sons : root, kind, bass, degree).
> See 
> https://usermanuals.musicxml.com/MusicXML/Content/CT-MusicXML-harmony.
> htm
> The only information I found about a harmony element is :
> https://music-encoding.org/guidelines/v4/content/analysisharm.html#har
> mony
> but it doesn't cover Jazz Chords.
> Thanks!
> _______________________________________________
> mei-l mailing list
> mei-l at lists.uni-paderborn.de
> https://lists.uni-paderborn.de/mailman/listinfo/mei-l

mei-l mailing list
mei-l at lists.uni-paderborn.de

More information about the mei-l mailing list