Computers and the Humanities

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 111–120 | Cite as

On the accuracy of musical data, with examples from Gregorian chant and German folksong

  • Nigel Nettheim


Attention is drawn to the need for controlling (during encoding) and checking (after encoding) the quality or accuracy of musical data. Some large databases of melodies are now becoming available, and methods of control and checking are presented which are specially suited to these. Two applications are discussed in detail: to Gregorian Chant and to German folksong. An effective method in tonal and modal music is found to be the investigation of melodic progressions which remain unusual even after amalgamation by transposition to a central register.

Key Words

Musical database quality control melodic progression Gregorian Chant German folksong 


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  1. Bryden, John R., and David G. Hughes.An Index of Gregorian Chant. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1969. Vol I: Alphabetical Index; Vol II: Thematic Index.Google Scholar
  2. Randel, Don, ed.The New Harvard Dictionary of Music. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986.Google Scholar
  3. Selfridge-Field, Eleanor. “Reflections on Technology and Musicology.”Acta Musicologica 62, 2–3 (1990), 302–14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nigel Nettheim
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Liberal and General StudiesUniversity of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia

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