Mensural music notation can be encoded in Humdrum using the
Also see the kern2mens filter to convert
**mens pitch derives its pitch representation from
**kern. The letters a–g
represent diatonic pitches, with duplicating of letters and change of case controlling
Accidentals are also similar to
The treatment of accidentals in
**mens data is subtly different than in
**kern data. In
**mens data, accidentals are treated as visual signs by default,
**kern data, they are treated as performance accidentals that may or
may not be printed accidentals.
Compare to an analogous encoding in
**kern data, where the second note
is also a C-natural, but modern conventions for displaying chromatic
states of notes forces an automatic natural on the note. And the last
note has a suppressed sharp since the previous notes set the chromatic
state for that diatonic pitch to a sharp.
Editorial accidentals are used to clarify the performance accidentals to be applied to the music. There are four levels of editorial accidentals, which are indicated by adding the following characters after an accidental:
||The accidental is strongly implied by the music notation. This typically means that the accidental is derived from the key signature.|
||The accidental is weakly implied by the music notation. This is typically used to indicate the cancellation of a visual accidental. Roughly equivalent to a cautionary accidental.|
||A performance accidental. The accidental is not directly implied by the music notation, but would be inferred by a performer, such as to create a leading tone before a cadence note.|
||A editorial intervention due to a suspected scribal error. There is a suspected missing visual accidental on the note which is missing.|
Here is a typical use of the
y qualifier to indicate that a B pitch
in the music is flat event hough the note does not have a flat in front
of it since the flat is from the key signature:
Such an accidental can be displayed as an editorial accidental above the note
*acclev:y somewhere before the note. This means that the editorial
accidental level starts at
y (and also includes
as well). By default, only the
YY level of accidentals will be displayed
as editorial accidentals. To also suppress this level of accidental being
displayed as editorial, use
Mensuration key signatures only affect the pitches of a particular
diatonic pitch, unlike modern keys signatures that apply to the diatonic
pitch class. An example use of the
yy qualifier is to caution
that a pitch should be natural when the key signature has a flat in another
To view this cautionary accidental, either
*acclev:yy must be used.
Y level for accidentals is used to indicate an unwritten accidental that a
performer would be expected to sing based on performance practice, such as creating
a leading tone before a cadence:
By default, these accidentals will be hidden in the rendering to graphical notation.
*acclev:Y to display these accidentals as editorial ones, or use either of the
more generous levels
*acclev:y which will also show performance
accidentals as visible editorial ones.
Note stems are similar to those in
/ means stem up and
\ means stem down:
Automatic stem directions
In general, up-stems are more common in mensural music, so the
can be used to set the stems in the music to a fixed direction.
*stem:/ will force
stems up on all subsequence notes, while
*stem:\ will force them down. To allow
automatic stem directions again, use
Note rhythms are represented by letters:
|X||maxima (octuple whole note)|
|L||longa (quadruple whole note)|
|S||Breve (double whole note)||s||semi-breve (whole note)|
|M||Minima (half note)||m||semi-minim (quarter note)|
|U||Fusa (eighth note)||u||semi-fusa (sixteenth note)|
Dots representing either augmentation dots or dots of division are encoded
as the character
:. This dot does not directly affect the duration of
notes, instead use
p to perfect notes. In the future this dot character could
be used to automatically determine if notes are perfect or imperfect,
based on the prevailing mensuration and surrounding notes.
Mensural signs are indicated by the pattern
X is the
description of the mensuration sign given in the table below. Common
*met(O) for circle mensuration, and
Cut-C mensuration. Here is a table of some of the possible mensurations:
|Mensuration||Graphical representation||Mensuration||Graphical representation|
Try out the above mensuration signs in this example:
Ligatures are indicated with square brackets for recta ligatures, and angle brackets for obliqua ligatures.
[Need to prevent < and > for oblique ligatures from being interpreted as HTML brackets].
Barlines behave the same as in
**kern data. Currently barlines are required
in the data in order to break lines of music across multiple systems. Add a dash
-) to the barline to make it invisible. Barlines should be placed
at breve boundaries.
Colored notes are marked indicated by adding
~ to each note that is colored.
Example in white notation:
Example in black notation:
p appended to the basic rhythmic value means that the note/rest
is perfected. In modern notation this is equivalent to adding an augmentation
dot after a note, such as a dotted half note. The letter
an imperfect rhythm. In modern notation all notes are imperfect unless there
is an augmentation dot after it to make it perfect.
i rhythmic qualifiers are not required unless you are creating
a polyphonic score. In that case the exact duration of the notes are required
to align the parts.
To be implemented/described
- White Mensural Manual Encoding: from Humdrum to MEI by David Rizo, Nieves Pascual and Craig Sapp, 2019.