2018 Board Election Candidates

Candidates for the MEI Elections are invited to send along a brief CV and Candidate Statement. These are provided below, ordered alphabetically by surname.

Benjamin W. Bohl


Born 1983 Benjamin finished his studies in musicology in 2008 with his M.A. thesis on “Combinatorics as method of composition. Studies on Francesco Saverio Geminiani’s ›Guida Armonica o Dizionario Armonico‹“, including a digital edition of the treatise. His affiliation to MEI started with his work at the Edirom project at Detmold in 2009 and has continued ever since in several other research context. Today Benjamin is working as editor with the Bernd Alois Zimmermann-Gesamtausgabe. The insights gained as editor help him identifying community and user needs for his tool development, e.g. the oXygen-MEI-addon.


From the beginning of my professional career MEI has been a central aspect of my day-to-day work. Seeing it implemented as backbone of the Edirom software was only the beginning of a worthwhile engagement with both the format, and the emerging community. I was fascinated by the fact that working with MEI meant working with music professionals from all around the world. Seeing all the effort done to bring together such things as critical edition, historical notation, or music analysis in a single format on the sole basis of shared interest was the spirit that fuelled my commitment to MEI.

As Board member I would love to care preserving and spreading this spirit by:

  1. Seeing our By-laws implemented as helpful framework for an evolving community.
  2. Promoting open communication standards to foster high rate community involvement.
  3. Helping people getting involved with MEI, by supporting low level entry facilities and documentation, especially for those not coming from a technical background.

Although these general issues might not promote new features in MEI’s encoding guidelines, I see them as central aspect of MEI’s success. Nevertheless I welcome technical advance and developments in the cosmos of MEI and would love to help anybody to get the most from and for the community by complying with the above aspects.

Elsa De Luca


I am an early music palaeographer with a broad interest in musical manuscripts (notation, liturgy, and materiality). I hold a PhD in Historical Musicology (Università del Salento, 2011) and a Piano Diploma (2002). I currently hold the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CESEM (NOVA University of Lisbon), where I am pursuing research into early Iberian notation. As part of this role, I am Development Coordinator of the Portuguese Early Music Database and I am co-director of the new book series MUSAM, published by Brepols. This appointment follows two previous postdoctoral fellowships at CESEM (05/2011-04/2013) and at the University of Bristol (05/2013-08/2016).

As a palaeographer of Old Hispanic chant, I have contributed significant knowledge to the field, through my breakthrough discoveries on cryptography and notation. These discoveries have advanced scholarship and led to publications in major journals (Early Music History and Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies). In the digital humanities my most important contribution has been the co-founding of Cantus Index, a research tool that integrates 11 international chant databases and permits searches for the chants for the mass and office by text or melody. I have collaborated in many research projects in Italy, France, Portugal, the UK and Canada.


I am honoured to be nominated as a candidate in the elections for the MEI Board. I was first introduced to MEI by my colleagues in the SIMSSA/CANTUS ULTIMUS projects at McGill University and felt immediately enthusiastic about its goals and ambitions. I presented a paper on Old Hispanic notation at the MEI Conference in Montreal (2016) and I have actively contributed to the development of the MEI Neume Module (Version 4.0). I would very much welcome the opportunity to contribute further to the vision and mission of MEI with my expertise as a music palaeographer with considerable experience with musical databases (https://sites.google.com/fcsh.unl.pt/elsadeluca/publications#h.p_sC0zG9ee-Sy9). The study of different styles of early neumatic notations has equipped me with a deep understanding of the methodological challenge of converting music into a machine-readable format that simultaneously allows musical analysis and accurate information retrieval. I have, therefore, gained the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute successfully to the development of MEI and, more specifically, to revitalize the discussion on the MEI Neume Module and its interoperability across the various styles of early notations. In addition, I look forward to promoting new MEI-related activities (seminars, sessions at conferences, workshops, etc.).

Karen Desmond

CV and Statement

Karen Desmond is an assistant professor at Brandeis University. She held a visiting assistant professorship at Harvard University (Spring 2018), and will be a visiting fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge, in the Spring of 2019. She has taught and/or held postdoctoral fellowships at University College Cork, the University of Cologne and McGill University. Her monograph Music and the moderni, 1300-1350: The ars nova in Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2018) challenges prevailing accounts of the ars nova. Awards include an NEH Research Fellowship, an SSHRC Banting Fellowship, and a Provost’s Innovation Grant from Brandeis University. She has begun work on her second monograph, tentatively titled Torso: Understanding the polyphony of late medieval England from its fragmentary remains. Other completed projects include her translation of Lambert’s Ars musica, edited by Christian Meyer (Ashgate, 2015), The Montpellier Codex: The Final Fascicle, a collection of essays co-edited with Catherine Bradley (The Boydell Press, 2018). Desmond’s article ‘Texts in Play’ (Musica disciplina 2013) analyses a previously unedited comprehensive treatise on the ars nova possibly written by Philippe de Vitry: her online edition of this treatise is available at https://arsmusicae.org/. Desmond’s website of late medieval motets digitally encoded in mensural notation is available at https://measuringpolyphony.org/. Desmond has served on the Program Committee of the Music Encoding Conference, and was the Program Committee Chair for the 2018 Annual Music Encoding Conference (College Park, MD). She has recently been appointed chair of the American Musicological Society’s Board Committee on Technology for a three-year term.

Ichiro Fujinaga


Ichiro Fujinaga is an Associate Professor at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. He has degrees in Mathematics (B.Sc, University of Alberta), Music/Percussion (B.Mus, University of Alberta), Music Theory (MA, McGill University), and Music Technology (PhD, McGill University). In 2003-4, he was the Acting Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT). In 2016–17, he was the Associate Dean (Research), Department of Music Research. Before returning to McGill in 2002, he was a faculty member of the Computer Music Department at the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University.

He is the Principal Investigator of the Single Interface for Music Score Searching and Analysis (SIMSSA) project. Along with Andrew Hankinson, we were co-chairs of the Music Encoding Conference in Montreal (2016).

Research interests include optical music recognition, music theory, machine learning, music perception, digital signal processing, genetic algorithms, and music information acquisition, preservation, and retrieval.


I am pleased to be nominated to continue serving on the MEI Board. As I said in my opening of our paper (with Andrew Hankinson and Perry Roland) in 2011 entitled “MEI as a Document Encoding Framework” at the ISMIR conference in Miami: “I’m in love with MEI!” She is like my niece and I would like to continue supporting, promoting, and encouraging her as she grows up. I was first introduced to MEI in Baltimore at the ISMIR conference in 2003 and became an instant fan.

I am particularly interested in neume notations and I participated in the development of the new version (4.0) of the MEI Neume Module. I also maintain the MEI Neumes Interest Group mailing list.

Klaus Rettinghaus


I have degrees in physics (diploma) and musicology (PhD). I’ve been singing for most of my life, and much of that time has been spent in choirs, several times I sung and acted on stage, and even conducted here and there. Sometimes I find coding quite relaxing.

Since 2011 I’m working at the Leipzig Bach Archive and there I’m involved in the development of Bach digital. Therefore I fell in love with metadata and authority control. I’m member of the MEI Technical team and the Metadata and Cataloging Interest Group.


I feel honoured to have been nominated as member of the MEI Board. It is a privilege to serve the community and a pleasure to work with so many great people.

For more than five years now I am strongly interested in MEI. I introduced it in Leipzig and try to encourage and help others using it. I am particularly interested in music engraving in combination with MEI. So I invented MEILER (https://github.com/rettinghaus/MEILER) and take part in the development of Verovio (https://www.verovio.org/).

Being a board member, I hope to be able to put even more love and time into MEI.