RSA - Digital Edition of Music-Theoretical Writings: The Case of the Syntagma Musicum vol. 3 (1619) by Michael Praetorius

Renaissance Society of America
03/27/2015 - 10:45 to 12:15
Hegelplatz, Dorotheenstrasse 24/1, First Floor, 1.101, Berlin.

Digital editions have grown considerably in importance and application in the last two decades. This also applies to the electronic edition of music-theoretical writings, which have been part of this process from the early 90s. This paper examines the potential and challenges of the digital edition as applied to theoretical writings in music, as based on one of the most important theoretical sources of the late Renaissance and early Baroque – the Syntagma Musicum by Michael Praetorius. In doing so, I discuss the specific application of encoding standards (TEI, MEI, MusicXML) to the source with its numerous musical examples, hierarchical tables, and musical signs. Additionally, I show how methods of digital humanities have been exploited through co-occurrence networks and indexes in order to investigate intertextual relations and musical terminology. The paper concludes with a general conclusion on aims and methods of digital edition applied to musical writings.

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