Searching the Database

Pitched Melodic Data

Melodic data is entered into the database and searchable using Volpiano font, in which keystrokes are equated with notes on a staff, staff lines, clefs, and bar lines. For searching the musical data in this database, use the diagram below:

Volpiano decoder

Staff lines are created with hyphens ("-"), and each syllable of a differentia (and its "saeculorum" and "amen") are separated by one hyphen. The clef and bar lines at the end of each differentia transcription are separated from the notes by two hyphens. Thus, an entry of 1--h-h-hg-gf-g-h--4, is the following in Volpiano:

Example of differentia

Clefs and bar lines are not included for "saeculorum" and "amen" fields. The "saeculorum" and "amen" entries for the above differentia are as follows: "h-h-hg-gf" and "gf-gh".


Non-pitch specific melodic data

Non-pitch specific melodic data, i.e., the syllabic contours of the differentia, are entered using the following conventions regarding direction of movement within each syllable, adopted from Emma Hornby and Rebecca Maloy (see “Melodic Dialects in Old Hispanic Chant,” Plainsong and Medieval Music 25, no. 1 (2016): 37-72):

n - neutral
u - up
d - down

The first note within each syllable is assigned a "neutral" value, as, within unheightened notations, the relationship of this note to previous syllables is not defined. Subsequent notes within each syllable are expressed as either "up" or "down" from the preceding note.