CMME version .90 (December 2008)
Software and programming environments:
For an introduction to the goals and structure of the system, look here.
The Database section of this website provides access not only to all music scores entered into the CMME corpus, but also to a network of contextual meta-data concerning music sources, compositions, and composers. Navigating this data collection is a straightforward matter of following links to view detailed information about individual items. The four links at the top of each database page (Editorial Projects, Composers, Sources, and Compositions) lead to complete indices, allowing quick entry into the data from multiple starting points.
Editorial Projects: All music editions currently in the CMME collection can be reached by browsing individual project pages. The main page for each project contains a listing of musical scores in the project, primary musical sources utilized, and further introductory materials (see Fig. 1).
Figure 1: Main project page for A Choirbook for Henry VIII
and his Sisters
To find further information on any of the sources, composers, or pieces listed in the introductory tables, simply click on their names. Musical scores are located within the pages for individual Compositions.
Composers: The composers index pages display every composer currently listed in the database. Pages of individual composers offer an overview of all their compositions in the database and their sources (see Fig. 2).
Figure 2: Composer page for Benedictus de
Sources: The sources index pages display every manuscript or printed music book whose contents are listed in the database. Individual pages contain a complete listing of music pieces contained in each source, along with their locations and composer attributions (more information about multiple attributions of compositions can be found within the pages for individual Compositions). Where available, musical incipits of all voices of every composition in a source are given below the summary content list (see Fig. 3).
Figure 3: Source page for LonBLR 11 E.xi
Compositions: The compositions index pages display every musical work listed in the database. Information on attributions and sources, as well as the musical scores themselves, appear within the pages of individual compositions. Under the heading "Edition", if the piece has been edited and added to the CMME collection, there are two links (see Fig. 4a): "View score" opens a new window with the Java-based CMME score-viewing software, and "XML score data" provides a direct link to the raw music file in the CMME-XML format. If a piece has been edited, its full text(s), translation, and a commentary by the editor appear further down on the composition page (see Fig. 4b). The editor's commentary does not include the typical "critical apparatus" of the traditional printed edition, because this item has been absorbed into the dynamic functionality of the score-viewer itself, in which the user can choose to see apparatus elements applied directly to the score (e.g., ligature information, original text placement, exact positioning of accidentals).
Figure 4: Composition page for Beati omnes qui timent
dominum (two views)
The Java software employed on the CMME website serves to present musical scores in a user-configurable manner. Whereas a printed music edition or computer-engraved score typically offers a single view of a composition - one style of cleffing, barring, or presentation of accidentals, for instance - the CMME viewer software allows the reader to control these aspects of the edition, to suit different needs (e.g., study of notational features or concert performance). Unlike other readily-available software systems, furthermore, the CMME is designed specifically to handle early polyphony and its dissemination in critical scholarly editions.
When a score window opens, the music of a single composition is presented in one viewing style. To navigate the score, use the horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the score area. The left side of the scrolling score always displays the current clef and mensuration of each voice. Letters to the left of the staves are abbreviations for voice names (e.g., [S] for [Superius], T for Tenor). Measure numbers (appearing below the scroll bar and every five measures above the top staff) correspond to breves of the original notation.
Altering the view
The View->Barline style submenu offers a selection of barline styles for scoring: small ticks around each staff (default), no barlines, modern barlines (on the staff), or Mensurstrichen (barlines between staves).
View->Texting presents options for multiple forms of text display. Modern Text displays text by the standards of modern choral scores, with words broken into syllables and each syllable associated with a specific note. Original Text presents a version much closer to what stands in the sources, with the text divided mostly by phrases and often positioned loosely, requiring the performer to make decisions on the fly about which syllables should match which notes. Although CMME scores endeavour to divide original text into phrases and position them according to what stands in each source, there is always a considerable amount of ambiguity as particularities of spacing and text-/music-size relations are lost in the transcription.
To toggle between the original clef configuration, as given in the source of a work, and a modern clef configuration (using only G, F, and octave-G clefs), use the View->Modern clefs option.
When View->Display all newline clefs is selected, the end of every staff in the source is displayed as a dashed line on the score; in this configuration, all custodes at line endings are displayed, as well as clefs at the start of all staves (even when these do not contradict the previous clefs).
The display of brackets above the staves connecting notes which form ligatures in the original notation can be turned on and off with the option View->Display ligature brackets. The gray letter 'R' or 'O' above a ligated note indicates whether that note and the next one are connected in a recta or obliqua ligature form.
View->View parts window will open a new window in which each voice appears separately, unscored and in original notation.
Pitch system and accidentals
The option View->Pitch system->Display editorial accidentals toggles the display of modern accidentals (positioned above the staves) necessary for translating early pitch notation to a modern version, as suggested by the work's editor. Accidentals in parentheses represent the editor's optional suggestions.
When a score first opens, the version which is shown is an editorial redaction bearing the name of the scholarly editor, representing a "good" version of the music based upon the available sources. To change the score display from one variant version to another, for instance to see a version of the score containing readings from only a single source, choose Versions->Display variant marking options, which will open the "Variant display options" panel:
The top section, "Display version", allows selection of a single version for display. The bottom section, "Mark on score", offers numerous options for indicating directly on the score where variant readings are to be found. In addition to marking either all or none of the variants noted by the editor, different combinations of variant types can be chosen, for example, only ligature and coloration variations. On the score, magenta marker lines indicate variations of pitch or rhythm (typically considered the most significant variants), whereas green lines show other types of variation.
Right-clicking with the mouse on any passage with variant readings will bring up a small pop-up window showing all of the readings at that location, and which versions they appear in.
A configurable list of variants can be opened in a separate window with Versions->New critical notes list. The bottom section contains a table of variants organized by measure/voice and represented graphically with music notation. Controls at the top of this window allow the user to select and de-select variant types for listing, as well as versions and voices. Multiple notes windows can be opened simultaneously to allow different organizations of the critical apparatus.
Reference: toolbar and score area
Reference: keyboard shortcuts
* When I click on "View Score" from the Database, a
new window opens with a message saying my browser doesn't have Java
* When I click on "View Score" from the Database, a
new window opens and the Java system loads, but instead of the CMME Viewer it
only displays a gray box or an error message.
* Other problems:
A reference sheet for reading mensural notation (Ted Dumitrescu, current version: May 2004). This is a brief guide listing most of the basic notational features encountered in 15th-16th century mensural notation and their interpretation. It is not a complete beginner's manual, and is intended chiefly as a reference aid for those who have had some exposure to the basic concepts of the notation.