[ Analytical |
Musical Information (Mus 253/CS 275A)
Analytical Music Notation Systems
Music Animation Machine
Pianoroll-based notations of music and other types of graphical
visualzations of music by Stephen Malinowski.
Two-dimensional visualizations of the key regions in a piece of
Each pixel represents
an independent computational musical key analysis.
The horizontal axis represent time from start to finish in the
composition. The vertical axis represents duration of the music
being analyzed going from one beat regions at the bottom of the picture
to the entire piece at the top of the picture. Chords at the bottom
of the picture gradually combine into larger and larger key regions
towards the top of the picture.
- Schenkerian Analysis
- A reductive notation of regular graphical music notation used to
display an analysis of the structure of a composition. Developed by
the Austrian music theorist Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935).
Compositional Music Notation Systems
www.tuneblocks.com/downloadimp.jsp (Improptu program)
- Symbolic notation system in the Impromptu program developed by Jean
Bamberger at MIT. Blocks are assigned musical motives, and compositions
can be created by lining up the blocks. Analogous to Byzantine chant notation
Motivic compositional software tool developed by Mary Farbood and Egon Pasztor at MIT.
Performance Music Notation Systems
- Klavar Notation (Klavarscribo)
(Klavar Music Foundation of Great Britain)
(brief description of klavar notation)
(KlavarScript notation software)
Designed to be easier to read than traditional graphic notation and
functions as a keyboard tablature.
Music is written on a staff which runs vertically. Staff lines represent
black keys while spaces represent white keys. Sharps and flats are
not notated since the staff spaces/lines represents individual keys on
the keyboard. The klavarscribo notation was developed in 1931 by
- Shape-Note Notation (Fasola)
Shape-note notation was designed to make it easier for
singers to read written music by encoding the scale degree function
via the shape of the note. There are both four- and seven-shape
notation systems. The first popular shape-note system is found
in The Easy Instructor by William Little and William Smith (1801).
Tonic Sol-Fa Notation
Text-based notation system which can be written on a standard
typewriter developed by John Curwen in the middle of the 19th century
in England. Similar in functionality to Shape-note notation but without staff lines.
Music Notation Project
Overview of proposed notation reforms, typically accomplished by
replacing diatonic meaning of the staff with a chromatic interpretation
(see Klavarscribo above).
Byzantine Chant Notation (Psalmodia)
- Byzantine chant notation was developed in the Eastern Holy Roman Empire
centered in Constantinople (now Istanbul) as a menomic for music in the period from 950 to 1200. This earlier system
developed into a staffless notation system developed after 1100 which indicates
the first note of the music, then describes the melodic intervals and rhythms with a
sequence of symbols.
- Gregorian Chant Notation (Plainchant)
lphrc.org/Chant/index.html (list of neumes)
Gregorian chant notation was developed in the Western Holy Roman
Empire centered in Rome as a menomic for music in the period from 900
to 1200. This earlier system developed into a staff notation system
after 1100 which indicates the pitch of a note, and later the duration of
a note. Modern western music notation used in classical music developed
out of Gregorian chant notation.
- Modern Western Music Notation
(music glossary with examples)
- Graphical music notation used in western classical music which developed from the notation
of Gregorian Chant and has basically remained the same since
the middle of the seventeenth century.
- Koto Music Notation
koto.sapp.org (westernized examples)
The koto is a Japanese instrument which sounds similar to a harp.
Music is notated by indicating the string number to play rather
than by pitch, since strings are given many different tunings.
Music in the Yamada school is written from left to right; while
music from the Ikuta school is notated vertically from top to bottom.
- Guitar/Lute Tablature
sologuitarist.net/tablature.htm (historical survey)
www.wholenote.com/tab/tab-notation.asp (ASCII Tab tutorial)
www.olga.net (rock guitar tab database)
- Tablature notation is a graphical notation of the strings which
indicates where to place fingers rather than notes. There are many
variations of tablature; on the right is an example of 16th-century
Spanish vihuela tablature.
Digital Encoding Formats for Music Notation
- ABC Musical Notation Language
staff.science.uva.nl/~walstra/ABCArchive (ABC Archive of Early Music)
(example encodings of music from 1782)
- A text-based digital notation designed for encoding folksong melodies
by Chris Walshaw.
- Common Music Notation
- A LISP-based music encoding system designed by William Schottstaedt for
generating graphic music notation.
- Guido Music Notation
www.noteserver.org (Guido Music Notation to graphics)
- Guido Music Notation is a text-based system created
by Holger Hoos which is useful for typing short musical examples
- Kern notation from the Humdrum Toolkit
- A text-based music notation developed by David Huron. Musical
scores are encoded score-wise which means that all notes played at the
same time are grouped together. Most other data formats are part-wise,
where a complete part is encoded before the next part in a score.
- A text-based encoding format which was designed as an improvement
on other TeX-based music systems. Designed by computer scientists for
- Music Encoding Initiative (MEI)
- MEI is an XML-based music notation system created by Perry
- MusicXML is an XML-based music notation system created by Michael
Good which is designed for transfering musical data between programs.
It is the most popular XML-based music data format for use with
commercial music programs such as Finale and SharpEye.
Online Databases of Printable Scores (generated from virtual music data)
- Contains about 500 compositions of classical music which are
typeset in the Lilypond data format. Music is available in PDF format as
well as the original Lilypond data, MIDI files, and PostScript.
Good searching functionality for bibliographic information. Most compositions
are provided with a graphic incipit of the first line for easy identification.
- Werner Icking Music Archive
A collection of about a thousand compositions of classical music. Most
music is from the Baroque era, and most music is for keyboard.
Music is organized by composer and there is no
index searching available.
- Choral Public-Domain Library
A collection of 9,000 musical scores of choral works. Music is provided
in PDF format and usually includes the virtual datafile used to create
the graphic notation. Some music from 3rd party sites is also indexed.
- Web Library of Seventeenth-Century Music
sscm-sscm.org (Society of 17th-Cent. Music homepage)
A database of high-quality editions of music from the 17th century
published by the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music. Currently
six publications online.
- Brazilian Sacred Music from the 18th through 20th centuries
www.mmmariana.com.br/ini_edicao/edicao_main2.htm (list of genres)
www.mmmariana.com.br/cd9_paginas/partituras_main.htm (funeral music)
The first stage of a project to digitize a collection of nearly two
thousand pieces by Brazilian and foreign composers ranging from the 17th to
the 20th centuries which are housed in the Museum of Music, in the
Archiepiscopal Palace of Mariana, Minas Gerais.
- MuseData Printable Scores
- Music for about 50 works of Bach, Handel, Mozart and Vivaldi.
Works are browsable by composer, but no search feature. Both scorse and
printed parts are available for some orchestral works.
Online Databases of Virtual Scores
- A collection of music encoded specifically in the Humdrum Toolkit
for Music Research's **kern data format. The database of music
includes almost 5 million notes. Data translations to MIDI and other
virtual music formats are available. Music is searchable by bibliographic
information and also browsable by collection.
A collection of 4,000 movements of classical music in the
MuseData data format. Music is browsable by composer and searchable
by bibliographic information. Many works also have MIDI translations.
olga.net (another guitar tab site)
Mxtabs is known for having guitar tablature scores to heavy metal songs.
The site's database contains 148,963 tabs from pretty much all sub-genres
of rock from the last few decades. Compared to some of the other popular
tabulature sites on the web, the search capabilities of Mxtabs.net are
minimal. You can search only by song name or band name (and not album
title, sub-genre, year, etc.). However, the interface is very easy to
use, and it has a good clickable ontology (similar to Yahoo.com) that
allows you to browse by popular bands. It also links to popular tabs
from the main page, which is convenient. This site is geared toward
beginning-to-intermediate musicians who like popular, mainstream music.
- Classical Music Archives
- A collection of 32,000 MIDI files of music by classical music composers.
Also includes mp3 recordings of classical music. Non-subscribers can
download 5 MIDI files per day. Subscribers ($25/year) can download
1,000 MIDI files per day. Music is browsable by time period and composer
and basic searching by keyword.
- Project Gutenberg Sheet Music Subproject
- Printable and virtual scores usually edited in Finale or Sibelius.
Virtual scores usually available in MusicXML and MIDI formats.
Currently 31 finished works, mostly of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Haydn.
Online Databases of Scanned Musical Scores
- Music for the Nation (Library of Congress)
62,000 scanned sheet-music compositions from 1820-1885 from copyright
deposits at the Library of Congress. Music can be browsed or searched
for bibliographic information. Music is scanned in grayscale and
higher resolution TIFF files are available in 600 DPI two-tone.
- Levy Collection of Sheet Music
- A collection of 30,000 scanned sheet-music compositions at Johns
Hopkins university published before 1923. Scans are in grayscale and
no high-resolution images are available online. Music can be browsed
by archive box, or searched by bibliographic data.
- Historic American Sheet Music
An online library of
American sheet music published between 1850 and 1920 hosted at Duke
University. The database consists of 3,042 works including covers and
illustrations. The music is available as 72/150 DPI Color
JPEG files. The browsing and searching features of the database are
particularly good; you can browse by decade (which also includes
timelines of major world events), subject content, illustrations
included with the music, advertisements in the music, or by title page
thumbnails. You can also search the database in 27 different fields
of bibliographic information; however, there is no advanced search
feature for searching multiple fields.
- Early Chopin Editions
- A collection of over 400 first and early printed editions of music
by Frédéric Chopin which is maintained at the University
of Chicago. Music can be searched by title, genre, opus, place of publication,
publisher, dedicatee, subject, plate numbers, and general keyword.
No search by musical theme. All music is available as scanned color JPEG files
in low and high resolutions with no accompanying symbolic data represented
in the score.
- Sheet Music Archive
- A collection of about 1,000 classical compositions primarily for
piano from the classical and romantic periods. Scanned music available
as twotone PDF files scanned at 300 DPI. Two pieces can be downloaded
Searching Musical Data
- Contains a database of 100,000 themes and short incipits. Data
can be searched by melodic sequence. Results are displayed in graphical
- Music searching with an audio interface.
midiio.sapp.org (subset library)
A set of C++ classes and example programs for creating interactive
- MIDI Note Number to Chromatic Spelling
www.titanmusic.com/papers/public/us-ps13-patent.pdf (US Patent Application 20040216586)
Musical Data Programming
- Finale Plug-In Developement
www.finalemusic.com/finale/plugin-devkit.asp (Finale Plug-In Development Kit)
www.finalemusic.com/forum/?f=11 (Finale Plug-In Development Forum)
Software resources for creating built-in plug-ins for the Finale music notation
- Humdrum Toolkit for Music Research
kern.humdrum.org (virtual scores for use with the Humdrum Toolkit)
A set of command-line programs for processing and analyzing music in
the Humdrum file format.
- Melisma Music Analyzer
www.link.cs.cmu.edu/melody-generator/ (Melisma Stochastic Melody Generator)
- A set of programs in the C language for harmony analysis written by
Daniel Sleator and David Temperley.
- Centerpoint XML
- An easy-to-use XML file parser written in C++.
- C++ library and example programs for processing musical information primarily
in the Humdrum, MIDI and SCORE data formats.
- Engineering Approaches to Music Perception and Cognition
- Taught at the University of Southern California by Elaine Chew.
- Music Information Retrieval, Preservation and Aquisition
- Taught at McGill University by Ichiro Fujinaga.
- Computer Applications in Music Research
- Taught at Ohio State University by David Huron.
Revised: 26 Jan 2005