MuseData Example: rhythmic levels

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Rhythms in MuseData are encoded in two components: (1) the tick duration of the rhythm, which is an integer multiple of a small time unit. Usually the smallest time unit is the smallest rhythmic value within the score; however, the tick size cannot exceed three digits (999), so in the following example which displays the entire gamut of MuseData rhythms switched the size of tick values halfway through the data. The size of a quarter note in ticks is specified in a musical attributes record which start with $ in the first column of a line, with the ticks per quarter note preceeded by the string "Q:". In the following example, the duration ticks per quarter is initially set to 1 to represent very large rhythms, and then it is switched to 64 to represent very small rhythms.

(2) The second component of rhythm is the shape of notehead. This is given independently from the tick duration, and is found in column 17 of a note record. The notehead shape is a single letter as listed underneath the notes in the following example. Further notehead shapes may be indicated with print suggestions (lines following the note record, and starting with "P".

More information can be found in the official MuseData specification. The following graphical notation example was printed from the MuseData source code found below using muse2ps.


@muse2psv1==z21jT^Rhythmic Levels in MuseData^
Header Record 1
Header Record 2
Header Record 3
01/25/2011  C. Sapp
WK#:1 MV#:1
Header Record 6
Header Record 7
Header Record 8

Header Record 10
Group memberships: score
score: part 1 of 1
$  Q:1   T:4/4   C:4
E4    32      1 M                          M|maxima
E4    16      1 L                          L|long
E4     8      1 B                          B|breve
E4     8      1 b                          b|breve2
E4     4      1 w                          w|whole 
E4     2      1 h                          h|half
$  Q:64 
E4    64      1 q                          q|4th
E4    32      1 e                          e|8th
E4    16      1 s                          s|16
E4     8      1 t                          t|32
E4     4      1 x                          x|64
E4     2      1 y                          y|128
E4     1      1 z                          z|256