MUSIC ENCODING INITIATIVE
A new initiative developed at the UVa libraries is at the forefront of digital humanities research, and places the University in the global conversation around new forms of scholarly communication. The Music Encoding Initiative (MEI), conceived and developed by Perry Roland, is an open-source effort to define a system for encoding musical documents in a machine-readable structure. The results of these discussions are formalized in the MEI schema, a set of rules for recording physical and intellectual characteristics of music notation documents expressed in XML, and complemented by the MEI Guidelines, a detailed set of explanations regarding the MEI model, and a series of best practices suggestions. The MEI is currently in use by some of the world’s leading authorities on scholarly music research, including its hosting organization, The Mainz Academy, which coordinates basic research in musicology through editorial long-term projects, including the complete works of composers from Brahms to Weber. Each of the Academy’s 15 projects last at least 15 years, with some dating back to the 1950’s, and several of these projects are already using the MEI technology, providing an internationally-recognized stamp of approval for the initiative.