Transcription is hard. Complicated or unfamiliar music makes it harder. In his book on music editing, James Grier reminds us that the edited or transcribed musical text is “not so much a tool, leading to higher ends, as an active, critical participant in those ends, fostering further critical study and the ultimate goal, one hopes, of all types of musical endeavour, the animation of the music in performance.”1 These are high stakes, especially when the pieces at hand are motets from the end of the medieval era, written in mensural notation. The website Measuring Polyphony uses the most recent technology in digital transcription to “animate” upward of sixty of these motets as found...
Review: Measuring Polyphony: Digital Encodings of Late Medieval Music
KATE HELSEN is Assistant Professor in the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Her research currently involves developing and using digital tools and computer analytics in medieval musicology, whether it be OMR (Optical Music Recognition) for medieval notations or n-gram analysis of thousands of melodies in her Melodic Construction and Evolution in Late Medieval Saints Offices project.
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Kate Helsen; Review: Measuring Polyphony: Digital Encodings of Late Medieval Music. Journal of the American Musicological Society 1 December 2019; 72 (3): 912–920. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jams.2019.72.3.912
Download citation file: