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About This Project

‘Measuring Polyphony’ presents, for the first time, digitisations of polyphonic compositions written during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in mensural notation, linked directly, in most cases, to high-resolution images of the original manuscript sources. It offers new possibilities for mediating the scholarly and public experience of this richly evocative music within its original context. The project began at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, and now continues at Brandeis University. It leverages the potential of the rich digital image repositories of music manuscripts and the community-based standards for encoding music notation of the Music Encoding Initiative (MEI). ‘Measuring Polyphony’ has three goals:

  1. makes transcriptions and audio freely available online to performers, scholars, and the general public, presented alongside images of the original music manuscripts;
  2. encodes the medieval notation in a standardised machine-readable format so that the music data can potentially be be searched or analysed using current tools, and through this interoperability make the data available to other websites and applications; and
  3. makes the processes and tools for digitally encoding mensural polyphony in mensural notation freely available so that other stakeholders can easily and rapidly enlarge the dataset.

For more information about this project, the encoding process, and to view the transcriptions online, please visit our website:


The content of this project itself is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Any further use of this project's music transcriptions must be attributed correctly to the project and the project's editor according to the terms of this license.

The underlying source code used to format and display that content is licensed under the MIT license.


A project to encode and analyse late medieval music



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