Header Level 3

Although you created quite an extensive header in level 2, we can step on and enhance your encoding a little bit more. Level 3 will deal with more special features of the MEI header. You will learn how to transcribe a title page and the table of contents of a source, how to encode non-bibliographic aspects of a text within the work description, how to link a facsimile or information on the performance of a work.

Please take the file you created in level 1 and 2 as a basis for your further encodings.

1) Contents of a source

It is often useful to give information about works contained in a source. The reprint of the “Liederalbum” contains 29 songs. Each of these songs could be encoded with a separate <work> element within the work description.


As a first exercise, please search an appropriate element within the source description where you could encode such information. Explore the given child elements and try to encode all the information on the page with the table of contents and including the headline.

2) titlePage element of the source description

Within the source description you can encode further details on the source of your electronic transcription. In addition to information on the provenance of a certain source, you could also add special information like inscriptions or a hand list to the physical description. You can also encode detailed information on the title page within the physical description. In the case of the reprint you could encode information on even two title pages, the title page of the reprint and the included original title page of the first print.


Please add a <titlePage> element to the physical description of the source, explore the allowed child elements and encode the information given in the scans above.

3) Encoding of key, tempo and meter elements within the work description

Now let’s have a detailed look at the work description. In the work description, multiple <work> elements could be encoded. At the moment we just need one and you already encoded the title of it in the previous tutorial. This <work> element contains non-bibliographic information on the song “Der Abendstern”.

Information about key, tempo and meter could be encoded here. Using the <key> element you can describe the key, the <tempo> element is used to encode information about the tempo indication, and the <meter> element captures information on the time signature.

Add the three elements to the work description of your MEI file and fill them.

4) Performance medium of the work description

The next element you should pay attention to is <perfMedium>. The performance medium indicates the number and character of the performing forces used in a musical composition.

Please add a <perfMedium> element to the work description and encode the instrumental parts of the song “Der Abendstern”.

5) Encoding of incipit information - I

Within a single <work> element you can encode information on the incipit of a musical composition. The beginning of a piece of music is often used for identification purposes, especially when the piece has only a generic title, such as „Sonata no. 3”. They appear in catalogs of music and in tables of contents of printed music that include multiple works. The following elements are provided for the inclusion of incipits: <incip>, <incipCode>, <incipText>, <score> and <graphic>. The elements <incipCode> and <incipText> are available for the inclusion of coded incipits and textual incipits, respectively. The <incipText> element should contain only the initial performed text of the work, while <incipCode> may contain both words and music, depending on the capabilities of the scheme used to encode it. When both music and text are provided in <incipCode>, it may be helpful to repeat the text in <incipText> in order to provide easier access to only the text, for example, for indexing of the text without having to extract it from the coded incipit.

Both <incipCode> and <incipText> allow reference to an external file location via the target attribute and specification of the internet media type of external file via the mimetype attribute.

Begin with the incipit text. Enter an <incip> element to your work description and encode the opening words of the song.

6) Encoding of incipit information - II

Now encode the complete incipit of the song "Der Abendstern". Use the <score> element as a starting point. The encoding doesn't differ from music being encoded within the <music> element. If you don't know how to encode music yet, please have a look at the tutorials on the music first.