Several TROMPA project members have been involved in the development of the open source Music Encoding and Linked Data (MELD) framework which today is released in its 2.0 version. MELD is a flexible software platform used by several research projects to combine digital representations of music – such as audio and notation – with contextual and interpretive knowledge in the Semantic Web. This technology is fundamental to several of the arms of the TROMPA project and provides a stable infrastructure for future projects relating to music encoding. 

The software produced by TROMPA now allows for a much richer integration of data that is able to be intertwined with a musical score. In addition to being able to link various types of musical data, the new version of the software also integrates interaction with  the Solid platform for social Linked Data to give users a means of contributing annotations and rehearsal recordings aligned with digital music scores. 

When asked about the details of the release, TROMPA team member David M. Weigl (lead MELD developer,  mdw - Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien) noted: “What I finds most exciting about MELD 2.0 is that users retain full control over their data. They'll be able to share or publish their contributions if they choose to, or keep them completely private. Because Solid is decentralised, they can choose to store their data with any Solid provider, or even host it on their own. This allows the stuff they generate to have a social life, while fully respecting user privacy.”

You can see the new version of the framework in action via several new MELD apps, including work from two use cases of TROMPA. The first is the Music Scholars’ Score Annotator which allows a community of users to mark up and interact directly with a digital musical score. The second is the Companion for Long-term Analyses of Rehearsal Attempts (CLARA), a Web-based app that allows performers to compare and analyze their own performances of musical works within the larger context of other publicly available performances. 

Changes behind the scenes in MELD 2.0 make it easier to develop apps alongside MELD-clients-core, which has been brought up to date with current libraries and practice. A major piece of additional functionality is the ability to use Solid pods as privacy-respecting, distributed, stores of MELD annotations.

This release also brings additional functionality, interactions, and visualisations through several new MELD apps. Beside TROMPA’s new applications for music scholars and performers, Oxford’s Unlocking Musicology project has worked with the New York Philharmonic Archives on ‘Listening through Time’, and new touch screen-centric visualisations in the ‘Lohengrin TimeMachine’, a digital companion to a musicological study of leitmotifs in Wagner’s opera.

Many existing MELD apps have also been updated; other developers using the framework will want to refresh their apps to maintain compatibility. 

Further information about the framework is available on the new MELD website.