INTERNET-DRAFT                                         A. Van Kerckhoven
Document: draft-avk-bib-music-rec-02.txt               Fibonacci
March 30, 2000
Expires September 30, 2000

                    Music Records Markup Language (MuReML)

1. Status of this memo

    This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
    all provisions of Section 10 of RFC 2026.

    Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
    Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
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Copyright Notice

    Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.

2. Abstract

    Many music libraries, music centers, authors societies, music
    publishers, music shops, broadcasting companies and public need to
    share bibliographic musical records. No standard format exists and
    exchanging musical records involves an important pre- and/or
    post-processing of these data.

    Searching, sorting and cataloging music bibliographical records does
    not currently follow any standard. The researcher needs, in each
    library and each music information center, to use different
    procedure. In some cases, it is just impossible to obtain the
    targeted result.

    This document defines the requirements for a standard musical
    bibliographic format.

3. Introduction

    Many music libraries, music centers, authors societies, music
    publishers, music shops broadcasting companies and public need to
    share bibliographic musical records. No standard format exists and
    exchanging musical records involves an important pre- and/or
    post-processing of these data.

    Searching, sorting and cataloging music bibliographical records does
    not currently follow any standard. The researcher needs, in each
    library and each music information center, to use different
    procedure. In some cases, it is just impossible to obtain the
    targeted result.

    The following format may be the base of a standard for musical
    bibliographic records.

    It designed as an XML application, as defined by W3C in
    REC-xml-19980210 accessible at

    It features all properties of XML metalanguage : a structural
    extensibility, validity controls, independence of data and
    formatting, and it allows heterogeneity of data sources and targets.
    XML will likely be supported by the main web browsers in a short

    This format fits the goals and recommendations of RFC-2413 (Dublin
    Core Metadata for Resource Discovery) :

        - Simplicity of creation and maintenance
        - Commonly understood semantics
        - Conformance to existing and emerging standards
        - International scope and applicability
        - Extensibility
        - Interoperability among collections and indexing systems

    Organizations may automate to any degree (or not at all) both the
    creation of these records (about their own publications) and the
    handling of the records received from other organizations.

    This format is designed to be simple, for people and for machines,
    to be easy to read ("human readable") and create without any special

    The focus of this format has been into many aspects of digital
    libraries including searching and accessing techniques that do not
    necessarily use bibliographic records (for example, natural language
    processing, automatic and full-text indexing).  However, the
    continued use of bibliographic records is expected to remain an
    important part of the library system environment of the future and
    its use is an important link between the servers of records and the
    clients on site, on line or using a distributed media.

    The use of this format is free and encouraged.  There are no
    limitation on its use.

4. Formal Syntax

    The following syntax specification uses the Extensible Markup
    Language (XML) 1.0.

  4.1. Character set

    The characters set used is defined by ISO-10646 (coding characters
    on 32 bits) and permits the use of symbols and non latin alphabets.
    It is preferable, but not mandatory to explicitly declare it.

      <?xml version=1.0" encoding='ISO-10646' ?>

    All entities defined by ISO-10646 are permitted but "&" and "<".
    They can be used, as any other entity, on pointing the referring
    ISO-10646 code or the pre-defined XML entities with the standard XML
    syntax :

      &#38; or &amp; for "&"
      $#60; or &lt;  for "<"

  4.2. Languages

    XML's support for multiple human languages, using the "xml:lang"
    attribute, handles cases where the same character set is employed by
    multiple human languages. In consequence, MuReML is a multi-language
    format. It gives the possibility to labellize the chosen language
    for each field, and the default language of the record. XML syntax
    applied to ISO-639 (for language) and optionally to ISO-3166 (for
    regional linguistic particularities) may be used.

      <media_title xml:lang='en-GB'>My Foot!</media_title>
      <media_title xml:lang='fr'>Mon &#x0152;il!</media_title>

  4.3. Specific formattings

    Data of each field may refer to any adequate ISO norm for its
    representation. According to XML specification, this norm will be
    declared in the opening tag.

     <broadcasting_country code="ISO-3166">F</broadcasting_country>
     <world_creation_date format="ISO-8601">1999-10-02T20:30:00Z

  4.4. Cases

    Data are case-sensitive.

  4.5. White space and End-of-line handling

    The Music Records Markup Language, as a subset of XML, has the same
    white space handling and end-of-line handling as specified in
    Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 (W3C Recommendation

  4.6. Grammar

    XML has been chosen because it is a flexible, self-describing,
    structured data format that supports rich schema definitions, and
    because of its support for multiple character sets.  XML's self-
    describing nature allows any property's value to be extended by
    adding new elements.

    This format is a "tagged" format with self-explaining alphabetic
    tags. It should be possible to prepare and to read bibliographic
    records using any text editor, without any special programs.

    It is very easy to adapt any database for reading and writing this
    format. Converters may be developed to transform such data from this
    format to plain text or HTML for example.

    As an XML application, the lay-out and the design of the formatted
    data may be freely cosen by normalized style sheet mechanism like
    Cascading Style Sheet (CSS1, CSS2) or Extensible Stylesheet Language

    Since linear records are unable to efficiently manage the relation
    between the different kinds of information involved in music records
    management, the relational aspect of cataloguing must be maintained.

    Each element has a descriptive name intended to convey a common
    semantic understanding.

    Each packet of data considered in this format contains all
    significant information regarding a specific aspect of a record.
    This involves that several linked tables with several fields are
    necessary. Some fields are mandatory to insure integrity of the
    records and consistency of the links.

    Each packet starts with an indentifier (eventually random). This
    identifier is to check the relative identity of each packet and to
    make it traceable. A community of users may use it to identify its
    own packets.

  4.7. The tables

    The various tables must follow the format described below. This
    diagram constitutes the minimum requirement of the format. It can be
    extended with other tables for particular uses. To fit the needs of
    musical records management (for example : highest hierarchy of
    tables, unnecessary differentiation of the various contributors...),
    this structure lightly diverges from the recommendations of the
    Dublin Core Metadata Element Set.

    Some tables as one-to-many relationship with others. It involves
    that some tables may be repeated as needed, for example for works
    with several rights-holders (composer, author, arranger, publisher,
    sub-publisher...) or for media with including several versions.
    Tables are also optional. They may appear in any order inside a
    particular packet.

     Records relative to the supports of the versions.

     Records relative to the occurrence of a particular version in a
      particular format.

     Records relative to the rapport between a particular version
     and a rights-holder.

     Records relative to the rights-holders of the works
     (composers, librettist, arranger, publisher, sub-publisher...).

     Records relative to the instrumental versions of the works.

     Records relative to the original works.

  4.8. The fields

    The various fields should follow the format described below. These
    diagrams constitute the minimum requirement of the format. They can
    be extended with other fields for particular uses. These
    complementary fields names (or tags) have to be built in accordance
    of XML requirements.

    These fields are repeatable. A missing mandatory field invalidates
    the packet.

    Each field tag name begins with the parent table name, followed
    by an underscore. For example : <work_title>Monochrone</work_title>

    [M] means Mandatory; a record without it is invalid.

    [O] means Optional (here to illustrate the extensibility of MuReML)

    [L:FIELD] designs the table targeted by a link. Just the fields are
    parts of this format. Links will be optionally used in the database
    systems to optimize the data management and the consultation of the

       [M] id

       [M] id
       [M] title
       [M] type
       [O] producer
       [O] localization
       [O] keywords
       [O] notes

       [M] id
       [M] id_version  [l:version]
       [M] id_media    [l:media]
       [O] keywords
       [O] notes

       [M] id
       [M] id_work     [l:work]
       [M] specificity
       [O] opus
       [O] start_composition_date
       [O] start_composition_place
       [O] end_composition_date
       [O] end_composition_place
       [O] keywords
       [O] notes

       [M] id
       [M] title
       [O] original language title
       [O] US-english title
       [O] start_composition_date
       [O] start_composition_place
       [O] end_composition_date
       [O] end_composition_place
       [O] duration
       [O] citations
       [O] keywords
       [O] notes

       [M] id
       [M] id_rights-holder  [l:rights-holder]
       [M] id_version        [l:version]
       [M] status
       [O] keywords
       [O] notes

       [M] id
       [M] name
       [O] type
       [O] contact
       [O] keywords
       [O] notes

  4.9. Meta Format and DTD

    MuReML is an open format. Communities of users may enlarge it to
    their own needs. The minimal elements needed in a DTD to fit the
    MuReML specifications are :

       <!ELEMENT packet (packet_id, media*, occurrence*, version*,
                 work*, rapport*, rights-holder*) >
       <!ELEMENT packet_id (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT media (media_id, media_title, media_type) >
       <!ELEMENT media_id (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT media_title (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT media_type (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT occurrence (occurrence_id, occurrence_id_media,
                 occurrence_id_version) >
       <!ELEMENT occurrence_id (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT occurrence_id_media (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT occurrence_id_version (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT version (version_id, version_id_work,
                 version_specificity) >
       <!ELEMENT version_id (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT version_id_work (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT version_specificity (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT work (work_id, work_title) >
       <!ELEMENT work_id (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT work_title (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT rapport (rapport_id, rapport_id_rights-holder,
                 rapport_id_version) >
       <!ELEMENT rapport_id (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT rapport_id_rights-holder (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT rapport_id_version (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT rights-holder (rights-holder_id, rights-holder_name) >
       <!ELEMENT rights-holder_id (#PCDATA) >
       <!ELEMENT rights-holder_name (#PCDATA) >

5. Example

    ---------------------- Begin of Example -------------------

    <?xml version='1.0' encoding='ISO-10646' standalone='no' ?>

    <packet xml:lang='en-GB'>

          <media_title>Two works for four hands</media_title>
          <media_type>music sheet</media_type>
          <media_producer>Big Deal Publishing</media_producer>
          <media_notes>Produced by the publisher</media_notes>



          <version_specificity>piano four-hand</version_specificity>
          <version_notes>ordered by the publisher and dedicated
           to AmF</version_notes>

          <version_specificity>piano four-hand</version_specificity>
          <version_notes>ordered by the publisher</version_notes>

          <work_title xml:lang='it'>La bella Postina</work_title>
          <work_start_composition_date format="ISO-8601">1999-02-05
          <work_keywords>modules, rehearsals, repetitive, composer's

          <work_start_composition_date format="ISO-8601">1999-01-15
          <work_end_composition_date format="ISO-8601">1999-01-30

          <rapport_status>original publisher</rapport_status>



          <rights-holder_name>Big Deal Publishing</rights-holder_name>
          <rights-holder_contact>Alain Van Kerckhoven
          <rights-holder_keywords>post-modernism, classical, Devreese,
           Lachert, Lysight, Mendes, Pelecis</rights-holder_keywords>
          <rights-holder_notes>Founded in 1989</rights-holder_notes>

          <rights-holder_name>Lachert, Piotr</rights-holder_name>
          <rights-holder_contact>Lachert, Piotr</rights-holder_contact>
          <rights-holder_keywords>post-modernism, computer music,
           letters music</rights-holder_keywords>

          <rights-holder_name>Lysight, Michel</rights-holder_name>
          <rights-holder_contact>Lysight, Michel</rights-holder_contact>
          <rights-holder_keywords>post-modernism, repetitive music,


    ------------------------- End of Example -------------------

    Indentations and line-breaks are for convenient visualization.

    This example illustrates a music sheet (MEDIA BS542187935) titled
    "Two works for four hands". It includes one version (PF2H0001 and
    PF2H0002) of two different works : "La bella Postina" (00000001) and
    "Jazz" (00000002). The first one is published and has two
    rights-holders : the publisher Alain Van Kerckhoven (BE_ED001) and
    the composer Piotr Lachert (BE_CP001). The second one is unpublished
    and has been reproduced with a simple agreement of the composer, who
    has the all rights : Michel Lysight (BE_CP002).

    For reference, the above example contains 3,405 characters.

6. Mandatory fields description

    Any value (random, sequential or inductive) marking the beginning
    and the end of each packet, in order to avoid merging of packets
    in case of a media default.

    Identifies the media record and is used in management of these

    Main title of the media. If necessary, sub-titles or translations of
    the title have to fill other fields.

    Type of support : music sheet, CD, CD-ROM, DVD... Formats of the
    information can be described in other fields (encoding, file type,
    standard, compression...).

    Identifies the occurrence of a version in a media.

    Points to a specific version.

    Points to a specific media.

    Identifies the version record and is used in management of these

    Points to a specific work.

    Main information making this version different from the other
    versions of the same work. It will often contain formation data :
    clarinet and piano, flute and piano etc.

    Identifies the work record and is used in management of these

    Main title of the media. If necessary, sub-titles or translations
    of the title have to fill other fields.

    Identifies the rapport between a rights-holder and a version.

    Points to a specific rights-holder

    Points to a specific rights-holder.

    Describes the status of the rights-holder regarding the pointed
    version. A composer may be an arranger, and a publisher may be
    a librettist.

    Identifies a rights-holder record and is used in management of these

    Name of the rights-holder (person of company). This includes
    composers, publishers, sub-publishers, librettists, transcribers,
    illustrators, arrangers, orchestrators etc.

7. Security Considerations

    The Music Records Markup Language, as a subset of XML, has the same
    security considerations as specified in [RFC-2376].

8. Acknowledgments

    This document has benefited greatly from the luminous suggestion by
    Mark Needlaman to move my first format proposition
    (draft-avk-bib-music-rec-01.txt) into a XML application.

    Thanks to John Stracke for introducing the Dublin Core to me.

    Thanks to Steve Coya and to IESG for critics of the first release of
    this memo.

    Thanks to the "lazy bits" of Brussels. You know who you are.

    Thanks to Mireille.

9. References

    [1] Alvestrand, H., "Tags for the identification of languages", RFC
        1766, UNINETT, March 1995.

    [2] Berners-Lee, T., and D. Connolly, "HyperText Markup Language
        Specification - 2.0", RFC 1866, MIT/LCS, November 1995.

    [3] W3C XML Working Group (WG), "Extensible Markup Language (XML)
        1.0", W3C Recommendation, February 1998.

    [4] Weibel, S., Kunze, J., Lagoze, C., Wolf, M., "Dublin Core
         Metadata Element Set" <>

    [5] Weibel, S., Kunze, J., Lagoze, C., Wolf, M., "Dublin Core
        Metadata for Resource Discovery" RFC-2413

    [6] Date and Time Formats (based on ISO 8601), W3C Technical Note,

    [7] Ohta, M., "Character Sets ISO-10646 and ISO-10646-J-1", RFC
        1815, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Juy 1995.

    [8] ISO-639, "Code for the representation of names of languages.",
        International Standards Organization, 1988

    [9] ISO-3166, "Codes for the Representation of Names of Countries",
        International Standards Organization, May 1981.

10. Author's Address

     Alain Van Kerckhoven
     avenue Broustin 110
     B-1083 Brussels

     Phone: +32 2 420.21.21
     Fax  : +32 2 420.05.05

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