Principles of orthography and encoding for the TFM are adapted from the principles developed for the Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum. For details, see the TML "Principles of Orthography" and "Table of Codes for Noteshapes and Rests."


A. Text data files produced from printed or manuscript sources will retain as exactly as possible the original spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, including misspellings and typographical errors in the original text. There will be the following exceptions:

B. Various types of available symbols that are readable on any machine (i.e., from alphanumeric codes 32-126) will be used in data files:


All musical symbols that appear within sentences of the text will be entered as codes, unless reproduced as graphics files. Some frequently used symbols are:

Simple musical examples, that is, monophonic excerpts or illustrations without essential explanatory symbols, are encoded according to Barry S. Brook's "The Simplified 'Plaine and Easie Code System' for Notating Music: A Proposal for International Adoption," Fontes Artis Musicae 12 (1965): 156-60. (A description of this system is also available in Barry S. Brook, "The Plaine and Easie Code," in Musicology and the Computer. Musicology 1966-2000: A Practical Progam [Three Symposia], edited by Barry S. Brook [New York: The City University of New York Press, 1970], 53-56.) This useful system of encoding music was designed mainly for indexing purposes and thus pays very little attention to the issue of spaces that may separate the various parameters. In our context of electronic searches, however, spacing is a crucial matter. A search for '4CDEC/CDEC/EF2G (the incipit of "Frère Jacques") would be successful only if the melody had been encoded without any spaces and not as, for example, '4CDEC / CDEC / EF2G. We thus clarify Brook's system to the effect that any spaces and all optional codes will be omitted. If a monophonic example includes text, as is usually the case in vocal excerpts, the text is entered following the codes, separated by a semicolon and a space. Codes and text together appear in brackets and are always preceded by a carriage return (ASCII 13).

Brook's code for cut time (a "C" with a vertical line) does not figure among the basic ASCII character set. This and all other symbols characteristic of mensural notation (relevant in Medieval and Renaissance treatises) will be borrowed from the TML's "Table of Codes of Noteshapes, Rests, Ligatures...," a system of encoding developed by Thomas J. Mathiesen and published in "Transmitting Text and Graphics in Online Databases: The Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum Model," Computing in Musicology 9 (1993-94): 33-48.

Polyphonic or other more complex music examples, charts, figures, graphs, and similar sorts of material that cannot be easily keyed as ASCII text will be scanned, saved in GIF format, and keyed to the original location in the printed or manuscript source.

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