The Ricercar Data Lab score viewer

Authors: Piat, Suzy

Date: Thursday, 7 September 2023, 4:15pm to 5:45pm

Location: Main Campus, L 1 <campus:stage>


The research programme in musicology Ricercar Lab, at the Centre of Renaissance Studies (University of Tours / National Centre for Scientific Research, France), has gathered since its creation a lot of data related to different research projects, stored in several databases and displayed through individual websites. In 2020, a single relational database especially thought for musical data was built, with a dedicated website, using the database management system PostgreSQL and the Python-based Web framework Django. The database focuses on three main entities – musical works, sources and people – and the website allows users to browse the data and to perform search queries. The data is enriched with links to external resources, such as digitisations of the sources, authority files like the VIAF and references to the RISM catalog. The available scores can be downloaded in different file formats, MEI and PDF in particular.

A dedicated interface allows users to browse scores within a particular source or work. Each score can be seen and played according to several options, regarding the score display (orientation, zoom, etc.) or the audio (instrument, tempo, etc.). This interface uses the music notation engraving library Verovio, developed by the RISM Digital Center, to display the score as SVG. A side section allows to view either the MEI code or the critical apparatus encoded in the MEI file. Annotations and variations are displayed according to the measure they belong to, with score excerpts to view variations. Links are made between the score, the MEI code and the annotations to highlight a particular item. Logged-in users are allowed to suggest annotations related to none, one or several items in the score, using a form with fields for content and type. Annotations are then reviewed by the Ricercar Lab team and inserted into the MEI file if validated.

About the author

Suzy Piat studied art history, digital humanities and IT and she specialised in web development, in relation to databases. She works with the research programme in musicology Ricercar Lab, at the Centre of Renaissance Studies (University of Tours, France), and she is in charge of the development of the website dedicated to the Ricercar Lab database.

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