Standard Music Description Language (SMDL)

5 Basic Concepts

5.1 The Four Basic Domains

A single document expressed in Standard Music Description Language represents a single musical w ork in terms of four basic domains:

logical domain
The logical domain is the basic musical content-the essence from which all performances and editions of the work are derived, including virtual time values, nominal pitches, etc. The logical domain is describable as "the composer's intentions with respect to pitches, rhythms, harmonies, dynamics, tempi, articulations, accents, etc., " and it is the primary focus of SMDL. It can also be described as "the abstract information common to both the gestural and visual domains. " The logical domain consists of any number of cantus elements.

gestural domain
The gestural domain is comprised of any number of performances, each of which may specify how and when components of the logical domain is rendered in a specific performance, including all the means where by the performer actually "expresses" (acoustically instantiates) the music (intonation, agogic and dynamic stress, etc.). The gestural domain is perhaps most succinctly described as "the information added by performers, " or "how the music actually sounds during particular performances. " The gestural domain consists of any number of perform elements. Each performance may optionally indicate some or all of the detailed correspondences between itself and some cantus, including, for example, the exact mapping from the virtual timings represented in the cantus to the real timings used in the performance.

visual domain
The visual domain is comprised of any number of scores, each of which some how specifies exactly how components of the logical domain is rendered visually in some particular printable (and/or displayable) edition, including such graphical details as symbology, symbol sets, fonts, page layout, beaming conventions and exceptions, etc. The visual domain is perhaps most succinctly described as "the information added by human editors, engravers, and typesetters, "or" how the music actually looks in some particular edition. " The visual domain consists of any number of score elements. Each score may indicate some or all of the detailed correspondences between itself and the logical domain.

analytical domain
The analytical domain is comprised of any number of theoretical analyses and/or commentaries, each of which somehow specifies opinions, exegeses, etc. about any or all of the information in the other three domains. The analytical domain consists of any number of analysis elements.

The four domains are structured in such a way as to provide the constructs needed to represent music. The structure of each domain is discussed in detail in the following clauses.

The distinctions between the four domains may not serve all philosophies regarding the expression of misical ideas, but they make sense in light of the uses to which this International Standard will ordinarily be put. In any case, the distinctions between the logical, gestural, and visual domains are a natural outcome of the way music is performed and notated; they have long been implicit in the art of music. Music itself has probably existed since the appear ance of homo sapiens, and, indeed, it may even be a defining characteristic of humanity. Music written thousands of years ago still exists, although exactly how to perform the older notations is a matterof scholarly controversy . The Western music notation that is commonly used today has been under continuous development for the last thousand years , and there is general agreement about how to perform it. The SMDL concept of the logical domain can be regarded as an answer to the question, "What are the abstractions common to both scores and performances?"

Existing music representations may be converted to SMDL. The process of creating an SMDL document instance is normally a matterof generating a logical domain from a score or a performance, and (optionally) of generating a visual or gestural domain which represents all the correspondences between that score or performance and the logical domain.

The original score or performance remains unchanged by this procedure; the addressing power of the HyTime location addressing model makes it possible to address any object or phenomenon within any information expressed in any notation, including any notation used for storage of gestural information, such as MIDI files ordigital audio recordings, and any notation used for page description or graphics, such as SPDL or CGM.

If multiple performances and/or multiple scores specify the correspondences between themselves and a single cantus, direct comparisons between any and all of them are straightforward.

5.2 Mixing Music and Multimedia

This International Standard provides two different techniques for the inclusion of multimedia material in musical works. In one, the multimedia events can be intermixed with the musical events such that they become, in effect, musical notes. Alternatively, they can be assembled in a parallel structure sothat they can be accessed separately from the misic. This flexibility allows for the selection of a technique or combination of techniques which closely matches the material to be represented.

NOTE 9 For example, in the case of a slide (diapositive) show with musical accompaniment, slide-change events can be combined with the music (the note events) just as though they were notes. Alternatively, in the case of a light control sequence for theater, it may be more natural to create an light control event sequence which refers to music events that may be syntactically else where (i.e., that may appearin other schedules or even other documents).

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