Motivations and More
Part of Working in Harmony.
You are here
On this page:
- Why do this?
- What scores?
- What Formats?
- How to encode your analysis.
On other pages:
- Click here to use the app
- Index: home page for using the app
- Notes for Analysts: detailed notes on writing harmonic analyses in Roman numerals
- Behind the scenes: more about how the app works
- Work in … progress: feedback, planned improvements, data protection (we don’t keep any personal data)
Why do this?
Encoding analyses in a computer-readable format allows us to work with it in flexible ways. Analyses on paper are fine, but they’re not going any further than that. With an analysis in an encoded format, we can easily edit it, create a duplicate for an alternative reading, convert it into musical notation and provide automated feedback.
The Working in Harmony web app on Four Score and More is currently limited to our lieder corpus.
We aim to offer this service for any encoded scores soon.
In the meantime, you’re welcome to email your analysis to
Mark dot Gotham at uni dash Saarland dot de (replacing the dot, at, dash, and second dot) and I’ll run it for you. If you’re in one of my classes then I’ll get right back to you; if not that’s fine but it’ll take a bit longer …
What Score Format?
The music notation format we use here is the highly interoperable and neatly compact ‘compressed musicxml’ format (extension ‘.mxl’). All major music notation software packages (Finale, MuseScore, Sibelius …) import and export this format. (The ‘Export’ option is usually under the ‘File’ menu or equivalent).
We cannot work with those notation software packages’ own file formats or with PDFs. There are an increasing number of scores available in encoded formats these days, including our ‘Scores of Scores’ collection of 19th century songs which you can download as part of this app, or from MuseScore.com (sign up required) if you prefer.
If you have a particular piece in mind and don’t have access to it in an encoded format, we recommend the ‘PlayScore’ app for converting PDFs. There is a small charge for this software, and there are some modest restrictions on allowed uses, though nothing that should conflict with use for this educational purpose.
The format for the analysis warrants a bit more explanation: that’s provided here.