Music Encoding Initiative

The Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) is an open-source effort to define a system for encoding musical documents in a machine-readable structure. MEI brings together specialists from various music research communities, including technologists, librarians, historians, and theorists in a common effort to define best practices for representing a broad range of musical documents and structures. The results of these discussions are formalized in the MEI schema, a core set of rules for recording physical and intellectual characteristics of music notation documents expressed as an eXtensible Markup Language (XML) schema. It is complemented by the MEI Guidelines, which provide detailed explanations of the components of the MEI model and best practices suggestions.

MEI is hosted by the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz. The Mainz Academy coordinates basic research in musicology through editorial long-term projects. This includes the complete works of from Brahms to Weber. Each of these (currently 15) projects has a duration of at least 15 years, and some (like Haydn, Händel and Gluck) are running since the 1950s. Therefore, the Academy is one of the most prominent institutions in the field of scholarly music editing. Several Academy projects are using MEI already (c.f. projects), and the Academy's interest in MEI is a clear recommendation to use standards like MEI and TEI in such projects.

This website provides a Gentle Introduction to MEI, introductory training material, and information on projects and tools that utilize MEI. The latest MEI news, including information about additional opportunities for learning about MEI, is displayed on this page.

If you want to become an active MEI member, you're invited to read more about the community and then join us on the MEI-L mailing list.


MEC 2017 Call for Proposals Published

The call for proposals for the Music Encoding Conference 2017 is now live! Proposals for papers, posters, panel discussions, and pre-conference workshops are encouraged. As well, we’ve updated the important dates for the conference: 4 November 2016: Deadline for abstract submissions 2 December 2016: Notification of acceptance of submissions 15 May 2017: Pre-conference workshops 16-17 May 2017: Conference […]


Save the date: MEC 2017

Now it is official: The Music Encoding Conference 2017 will take place from May 16th-19th, 2017 at the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR) based at the Université François-Rabelais Tours.