Skip to content

MEI 4.0.0

Choose a tag to compare
@ahankinson ahankinson released this 01 Nov 14:45

MEI 4.0.0 Release Notes

This document lists the most important changes from MEI 3.0.0 to MEI 4.0.0.

Element changes

The new release introduces a large number of new elements. In addition, a very small number of elements have been removed or renamed. The following section will give an overview over these changes.

Neume Module Revision

The Neume Module has been completely redesigned for MEI 4.0.0. The following elements have been added:

  • <episema>;
  • <hispanTick> (hispanic tick);
  • <liquescent>;
  • <nc> (neume component);
  • <ncGrp> (neume component group);
  • <neume>;
  • <oriscus>;
  • <quilisma>;
  • <signifLet> (significantive letter); and
  • <strophicus>

while the old <ineume> and <uneume> elemnts have been removed.

Genetic Markup

MEI now allows tracking of the order of revisions (like <add> and <del>) in a <genDesc> (genetic description) element, which may contain <genState> (genetic states).

In addition, the new <metaMark> element allows encoding of non-notational "additions" to the music, such as letters clarifying an illegible text, symbols stating the reading order of complex manuscripts (like Vi=de marks), etc.

Source Description

MEI 4.0.0 greatly facilitates the description of source material. Most of the new elements are modeled after respective elements in TEI, but some are specific to MEI. The new elements are:

  • <accMat> (accompanying material);
  • <addDesc>;
  • <binding>;
  • <bindingDesc>;
  • <catchwords>;
  • <collation>;
  • <colophon>;
  • <decoDesc>;
  • <decoNote>;
  • <epigraph>;
  • <explicit>;
  • <foliation>;
  • <heraldry>;
  • <imprimatur>;
  • <layout>;
  • <layoutDesc>;
  • <locus>;
  • <locusGrp>;
  • <rubric>;
  • <scriptDesc>;
  • <scriptNote>;
  • <seal>;
  • <sealDesc>;
  • <secFolio> (second folio);
  • <signatures>;
  • <stamp>;
  • <support>;
  • <supportDesc>;
  • <typeDesc>; and
  • <typeNote>.

While all these elements are contained in the new MEI.msDesc module, other new elements, such as <acquisition> and <dedication>, are provided in the more generic MEI.header module.

Most of the new elements are primarily descriptive. However, MEI 4.0.0 also contains ways to describe the physical setup of a source in a more processable way. This utilizes the new elements <foliaDesc>, <bifolium>, <folium>, <patch> and <cutout>.

FRBR Adjustments

The FRBR implementation of MEI has been lightly revised in v 4.0.0. This includes the renaming of <componentGrp> to <componentList> and <workDesc> to <workList> for consistency, but also the introduction of a new <manifestationList> and <manifestation> element. With these new elements we avoid the confusion between sources of the file and sources of the work in the FRBR sense.

Other Changes

Some elements have been added for convenience. This includes <contributor>, <dedicatee> and <speaker>.
For proper encoding of drama insertions in musical scores, <sp> (speech) and <stageDir> have been added.

The new elements <refrain> and <volta> offer new ways to encode specific types of lyrics. The <lyrics> element was dropped; instead, the <lg> (line group) element is recommended.

It is now possible to more clearly indicate the way MEI is used in a given instance or project utilizing the new elements <attUsage>, <domainsDecl>, <namespace>, <tagsDecl>, and <tagUsage>. Classification
mechanisms have been updated with the new elements <category>, <catRel>, <classDecls> (was: <classCode>), and <taxonomy>.

Ossia handling has been clarified with the new elements <oLayer> and <oStaff>; in earlier versions of MEI, an ossia staff or layer had to be identified by the absence of an @n attribute.

Other new elements dealing with music are <ambitus>, <ambNote>, <attacca>, <bracketSpan>, <graceGrp>, <lv>, and <mNum> (measure number). New elements related to bibliographies are , and. Finally , , (column break),, (dimension),, (inline quotes, as opposed toelement for block-level quotes),, and ` have been added.

Other important Changes

A signficant change to MEI is the removal of the @subtype attribute. Since the combination of @type and @subtype allowed only two levels of type classification, it has been decided that @type should allow multiple NMTOKEN values. This allows as many levels of typing as necessary.

In MEI 4.0.0, a larger number of attributes has become available on all elements. This list now includes @class, @follows, @next, @precedes, @prev, @resp, and @type.

Besides this, there is a large number of structural changes to MEI, which brings new class memberships to elements, but don't result in a different model for those elements. These changes help to achieve consistency in the MEI sources themselves, but should affect neither users nor developers. In some cases, attribute names and models have been (slightly) modified. These changes can be traced in the full release description, available at.