Welcome to MEI 1st!

MEI 1st is a set of tutorials that will help you to learn about different aspects of the encoding scheme of the Music Encoding Initiative (MEI). It acts as a guideline from the first steps into MEI through more advanced aspects of music encoding.

A number of the tutorials are divided into different chapters, ordered according to increasing complexity. Best results will be obtained if this order is followed through the course of the tutorials.

Each tutorial begins with an overview of the pertinent features of MEI and concludes with a test of the principles acquired in that section. Please use the navigation menu on the left side to open the tutorial of your choice.

The official documentation of MEI, known as the MEI Guidelines, is organized by thematic chapters covering:

  • the MEI Header,
  • the encoding of Common Music Notation,
  • Neume notation,
  • lyrics,
  • facsmiles
  • etc.

It contains numerous examples, along with a detailed tag library describing all technical details of the schema. The intention of MEI 1st is to add a more pragmatic introduction to that resource. Here you will learn how to use the functionality described in the Guidelines, following some very common examples, and will be able to verify your progress through the tests.

After completing MEI 1st, you should be able to approach the Guidelines with confidence. The MEI Technical Team would be delighted to get any feedback you might wish to send regarding the usefulness of these tutorials, suggestions for improvement or requests for additional content. We’re also interested in how you are using or might envision incorporating MEI into your work. Join the MEI open community of scholars by contacting We look forward to your contributions!