Statement of Topic

Submitted by

Baron Schwartz

Computer Science



Section 1 (9:15 AM)

June 13, 2002

$Revision: 1.4 $ $Date: 2002/06/23 20:40:19 $


TCC Advisor: Peter Norton

Technical Advisor: Worthy Martin

On my honor as a University student, on this assignment I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid as defined by the Honor Guidelines for Papers in TCC Courses.

Signed: _________________________________

1. Technical Advisor

Professor Worthy Martin <> has agreed to be my technical advisor. I will be working closely with Library Staff member Perry Roland <>, who is creating an Extensible Markup Language (XML) representation of written music.

2. Problem

How is it possible to create an XML representation of written music that could become the standard representation worldwide, is extensible, can be used with known and as-yet unknown technologies, and allows extremely precise control over presentation?

3. Working Title

An Extensible Style Language for Music XML

4. Importance

The state of the art in representing music electronically is highly disorganized. Many ways exist to represent music, but they are all intended for specific purposes. Many proprietary formats exclusively display and print music in standard staff notation, but nothing does it all while being an open standard and allowing for future expansion.

The importance of an open, extensible standard representation of music in electronic format could be tremendous. Musicians, composers, printers, and performers all over the world could use musical documents for very different purposes. Graphical editing interfaces, for example, could be created for composers. They could use them to create works that could go straight to press and appear exactly as desired on the page, while being playable exactly as desired by a MIDI player.

5. Methods

I believe that this is best accomplished through the use of style attributes added to the document's structure. The advantage of this approach is that the style language could be extended without changing the format of the underlying file. I propose to research other attempts at electronic formats, examine the feasibility of a style language, and design a style language that can demonstrate the feasibility of the approach for a limited subset of presentations.