Music encoding as an interpretation process: Are there any traditions?


Event type: Seminar



Encoding music can serve a wide range of purposes and dozens of music codes have been developed. Since music codes are meant to be machine-readable, their structure and content has been traditionally driven directly by the type of application or the algorithms for which they are designed. When used on music notation documents, the encoding process acts as an interpretation activity than can adopt various forms and focus on many different areas. In this paper, we will look at a number of encoding practices, and in particular at the Music Encoding Initiative (MEI). One particularity of MEI is that it is a general encoding framework meant to be application agnostic, and this feature raises questions such as the impact it has on the development of computer tools and its relationship with other encoding traditions. To illustrate the discussion, we will look specifically at durations in Renaissance music notation, a notoriously complex system that is particularly challenging to represent appropriately in the digital domain.



In the recent years, the main research field of Laurent Pugin has been optical music recognition for early music, in connection with fields such as Renaissance music philology, music printing history, music digitization and machine learning applied to music.

Upon completion of his Ph.D. at Geneva University, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at McGill University, Canada, from 2006 to 2008. He was then he was a Visiting Research Fellow at Stanford University, USA, and Faculty Lecturer in Music Technology at McGill University. His research has been conducted in conjunction with the development of an open source project, Aruspix, for which he is the lead developer, and connected to an edition project of the secular works of Luca Marenzio.

Since 2009, Laurent Pugin is Co-Director of the RISM Swiss Office in Bern, and secretary of the Board of Directors of the RISM since 2013. He is also a Co-PI for the Single Interface for Music Score Searching and Analysis (SIMSSA) seven year research project based at McGill University.

Since 2014, Laurent Pugin is a board member of the Music Encoding Initiative and co-chair of its technical team.


This seminar is open to all and will start at 2.00pm in the Oxford e-Research Centre Access Grid Room (room 277 - access available via 7 Keble Road).

Coffee and Mince pies will be made available.


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