Software Puts Together A Playable Score From Historical Music Manuscripts

Choose your own adventure in early music.

Just as books come in different editions, so do historical pieces of music. Different manuscripts from the time the music was written may have slight variations… and their composers aren’t around anymore to say which they prefer.

That’s why musician-engineer Zoltan Komives made meiView, an experimental piece of software that lets musicians compare manuscript variations side by side and choose which ones they like. The software then automatically puts together a playable score with all the chosen variants. Now, in spite of years of childhood piano lessons, I don’t really have the judgment to make these kinds of calls (It’s not your fault, Ms. Judy; I just never practiced. I’m very sorry). But I know some people do.

You can check out meiView applied to a piece of 15th century choral music here, and read about how Komives made the software.