Bouris NG, Georgaki A, Chaldaeakes AG. ENCODING BYZANTINE MUSIC NOTATION (ca. 1600-1814). 2018.


This paper discusses a new method for encoding Byzantine
Music Neumatic Notation (especially the one developed
during the ‘transitory’ period 1670-1814). The Notation of
this period is characterized by difficulties and peculiarities.
The difficult access to Byzantine manuscripts and their deteriorated
condition, complicate reading. In addition, our incomplete
knowledge of the interpretation of signs impedes
the comprehension of the musical text leading in results that
are often in dispute. The fact that sign unions are complex
enough together with their presence in various places in
a composition make electronic transcriptions the ultimate
challenge. Moreover, there does not exist a framework for
data encoding and analysis. This work presents a proposal
for the development of such a model for the old Byzantine
Neumatic Notation in Python. The implementation of this
project is still at an initial stage, and focuses, mostly, on the
efficient digitization of old manuscripts. The system, even
though fully functional, has certain limitations. Some signs
are missing, and the musical text is created using microphotographies.
Future developments of the program will focus
on resolving these deficiencies and adding more features to
the system.