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Created by: carola
Last modified: 2000/04/07 13:32:45
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MuTaTeD! - Music Tagging Type Definition

A project to provide a meta-standard for music mark-up by integrating two existing music standards

1. Context:

Synchronizing time-based media over wide-area networks is an area of emerging standards within the framework of, for example, MPEG4, MPEG7 and SMIL. For the music-oriented end-user who is engaging not only with synchronizing different sounds, texts and videos, but also with complex, structured, time-based musical content, there is no platform-independent , generic and established standard to underpin such work. For instance, there have been many requests for moving markers in displayed music-notation, for automatic page-turning, searching and querying into musical content and across music databases, and other, still more interactive user-operations of WAN- and time-based structures.

An application with the combined implementation of two standards, SMDL and NIFF, would support the represention of music as a time-structured entity in its own Gestalt as it is conceived and yet provide a standard for high-quality display via the NIFF format. of The publication of the SMDL standard draft in 1995 was recognized in NIFF specification of the same year when it proposed this very combination for applications, but there have so far, to our knowledge, been no steps taken towards achieving this goal.

SMDL could be seen as the xml for music. The Standard Music Description Language (SMDL) is defined in ISO/IEC Draft International Standard 10743 as "an architecture for the representation of music information, either alone, or in conjunction with text, graphics, or other information needed for publishing or business purposes."

NIFF is a file format designed to allow the interchange of music notation data among music-notation programs. Its design is the result of collaboration between commercial music-software developers, music publishers, and experienced music-software users.

It can support a wide range of uses: full music publishing systems, simpler music display systems, logical definition languages like DARMS, and music scanning programs. (Even sequencers can be writers of NIFF files, since the most rudimentary NIFF file has little more notation information than a MIDI file.)

2. Project objectives:

  • Proof of concept for the integration of two existing music representation standards: SMDL and NIFF.
    • to develop a SMDL DTD,
    • to link general structures of music to NIFF elements for display
  • to develop a web-application as a demonstrator
  • to provide appropriate dissemination instruments

The project will be located within the framework and infrastructure of the PADS and the Department of Music at the University of Glasgow.

3. Associated Institutions and Departments

The Department of Music, University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow,(http://www.gla.ac.uk/General/) founded in 1451, is the second oldest university in Scotland and the fourth oldest in Britain. The magnificent Main Building of the University, designed in the Gothic style by Sir George Gilbert Scott, is one of the city's best known landmarks. The University has been on this site since 1871 when it moved from the city centre. More than 15,000 full-time students and 3,000 part-time students study in over 100 academic departments in the eight faculties of: Arts; Divinity; Engineering; Law & Financial Studies; Medicine; Science; Social Sciences; and Veterinary Medicine. All the faculties are based on the main campus, apart from the Vet School which is located at the green-field site of Garscube, four miles away.

Especially in the area of music and the performing arts, past and present research projects have produced solutions for using the information technologies in music education. Areas of research are:

  • establishing real-time, interactive music networks
  • using high-performance networks (ATM) for serving music devising viewers for time-based media
  • employing object-oriented database technologies for storing and delivering time-based media
  • researching into and employing standards for digital resource libraries

The Department of Music has had a leading role in projects such as NetMuse, PADS MIniMS and SMaTBaM!; and has been involved in a number of national and international projects, such as MusicWeb, Revelation and CIRCUS.

The Performing Arts Data Service, Glasgow

The Performing Arts Data Service (PADS), funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and based at the University of Glasgow, aims to support research and teaching in UK Higher Education by collecting and promoting the use of digital data relating to the performing arts: music, film, broadcast arts, theatre and dance. The PADS is one of 5 service providers of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) which provides a single gateway for arts and humanities scholars wishing to search for datasets across various discipline areas. Data is indexed with Dublin Core metadata, interoperates with other databases within the AHDS and beyond, and is available via the Web.

4. Web references:

Carola Boehm                  http://www.pads.ahds.ac.uk/carola
Department of Music           Tel: +44 (0) 141 330 4903
University of Glasgow         Fax: +44 (0) 141 330 3518
14 University Gardens
Glasgow G128QH                email: carola@music.gla.ac.uk