]> mono:di 1.1 help

mono:di 1.1

User manual


Mono:di is an MEI-based, music-notation software program developed for Corpus monodicum, an editorial project sponsored by the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz (as part of the Akademienprogramm der Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften), housed at the Institut für Musikforschung, Universität Würzburg. Corpus monodicum (CM) produces scholarly editions of the Latin-texted, medieval monophonic repertories—both sacred and secular—that form the historical foundation of European music, but have thus far been under-represented in musicological scholarship. Mono:di serves as a tool to assist CM's editors in transcribing and editing medieval chant. The program also allows for a digital transmission of the editors' work to the typesetters who help to produce CM's analogue publications.

Neumatic notation

CM's manuscript sources often contain neumatic notation, which—in a manner of speaking—“depicts” the motus cantilenae, the movements of a melody. Rather than rendering melodies exclusively as distinct, individual pitches (as modern notation does), medieval scribes depicted small segments of melodic motion, which indicated the directions the singing voice traveled. Multiple pitch levels were often depicted with one stroke of ink. Medieval notation also contains several types of modified signs (such as the oriscus, strophicus, quilisma, and liquescent, which itself appears in multiple forms) that give information concerning particular nuances of vocal performance. Standard reference works on neumatic notation are listed below.

Transcription equivalents

CM’s editors transfer these segments of melodic motion, as well as the pitch information shown by the manuscript’s staff, into an artificial, scholarly notation. A group of pitches stemming from a single graphic stroke in the original notation is transcribed under a single bracket; pitches that form a group, but are not graphically combined in the original notation, are transcribed without a bracket, with small spaces between. When a syllable of sung text is conveyed with multiple groups of pitches, the groups are transcribed with larger spaces between them. Modified signs, like the oriscus, are rendered with signs that are foreign to contemporary music notation. Rubrics—the non-sung texts appearing in the manuscript sources—are recorded in mono:di's dedicated rubric fields; line and folio changes in the manuscript sources can also be documented.

The line divisions in the editors’ transcriptions are based on the text of each chant; the beginning of a line signals the beginning of a syntactic unit in the Latin text. But in certain genres, these line beginnings also carry additional meanings. In the trope genre, for example, compositional additions (tropes) intertwine with existing chants (primary or base chants). The line breaks in CM’s transcriptions occur not only between syntactic units, but also at the divisions between tropes and base chants. CM’s editors label the beginnings of these lines in order to identify trope and base chant elements.



To create a transcription in mono:di, the chant's text is entered first. This can be done in two ways:

Direct input
Choose Document → New → Create empty document, then select the empty box below the staff to start typing. Spaces and hyphens will create new syllables; the Return key will create a new editorial line. (See Text Level - direct input for a complete listing of keyboard commands). Rubrics and line labels can also be entered as a part of this process. The input field to the left of the staff is used for editorial line labels; the input field above the staff is intended for rubrics.
Importing the text from a Word document
Choose Document → New, then copy the text passage from the Word document and paste it into the text field in the displayed dialogue box. The document formatting required for importing a chant's text is described in detail below.

Pitches (music level)

Pitches, special symbols, line and folio breaks from the source are added after the text.

Click the staff above the sung text to add pitches. A pink "ghost note" will appear. Use the up/down arrow keys to adjust the pitch, and it will turn into a persistent note. You can create additional pitches for the same syllable by using the keys Shift, Space, and Return (as listed in the table of keyboard commands). You can move to the next syllable using the left/right arrow keys or by clicking the staff above a syllable.

Instructions for entering special symbols, accidentals, line and folio breaks are listed below in the music level section.


Editorial annotations (concerning a single element or multiple elements of the transcription, including pitches, sung text, and rubrics) can be added at any point.


Metadata—information concerning the entire chant, including the manuscript source it is transcribed from, the folio on which it begins, the liturgical feast it is associated with—can be recorded in the header fields at any point in the transcription process.


Text level

Direct input

Use these commands when a text syllable is selected.

New syllables
within a word -
beginning a new word space
beginning a new line return
Delete an editorial line break
Place cursor in line label ← delete
Navigating syllables
arrow keys and
next text element tab
previous text element shift+tab

Word import

Importing a text from a Word document into mono:di requires the document to be formatted in specific ways. Sung text, line labels, rubrics, and folio breaks must be organized in three tab-separated columns. Make sure that in the tab-stop bar (found under Format - Tabs) exactly two tab-stops are set: one separating the first column (containing line labels) from the second column (containing rubrics and sung text); one separating the second column from the third (containing folio changes). All columns must be separated by exactly one tab character.

Please observe the following formatting guidelines:

1 Übersichtszeile start folio
25 | Ho-di-e can-tan-dus || est no-bis pu-er || f. 22v
A Pu-er na-tus est | no-bis
| et

Non-sung text

Entering multiple rubrics without intervening music
The rubric field can only contain a single line of text. To enter multiple rubrics, which will appear in multiple lines in the print edition, type the rubrics in one line and separate them using the symbol #.
Line and page break markers in Rubrics
Enter the break marker as single or double "pipe" characters, like "|| PSALMUS" or "| TROPUS". Folio numbers for such break markers can currently not be input and should be supplied to the typesetter in the separate text document.
Non-sung text below a line of music
Rubric-like text (i.e. text that shall be typeset similarly to rubrics) appearing below a line without following music should be input in the rubric field of an empty line following the last line of music.

Entering special characters

Use Windows' Character Map to choose the symbol. Even though the font will be a different one in mono:di and the printout, best choose Arial in the Font dropdown list. Characters can be searched by name if the "Advanced view" check box is selected. For inputting ę (e-caudata), you can search for "ogonek" in the search field.
Use OS X' Character Viewer. Characters can be searched. For inputting ę (e-caudata), you can search for "ogonek" in the search field.

Music level

Use these commands when a pitch or line/folio break is selected. Note that pressing any of the keys in the "New pitches" table while a ghost note is displayed will make the ghost note persistent. shift, space and return will work both on ghost notes and persistent notes. They leave the selected note persistent and create an additional pitch.

New pitches
make ghost note persistent .
under a slur shift
without a slur space
with greater distance return
Adjusting pitch level
arrow keys and
Navigating pitches and

Special symbols and accidentals toggle on and off: press once to indicate; press again to remove.

Special symbols
liquescent L
liquescent ascending A
liquescent descending D
oriscus O
quilisma Q
strophicus ,
flat B
sharp S
natural N
Source line and folio changes
line change after selected pitch i
line change before selected pitch J
folio change after selected pitch ii
folio change before selected pitch JJ


Annotations can be assigned to

Annotations can be classified as one of five types, described below.

Creating, editing, and deleting annotations

Create an annotation for selected element control+K

When creating or editing an annotation, the Comment dialogue box appears. In this dialogue box, a label and a comment text can be entered. Although the label should be very short, the comment field can accommodate long, multiple-line texts. At least one of these two fields should be filled in. Annotations can also be classified as one of five types, each coded with a different color in the transcription. The types appear as a drop-down list in the top field of the Comment dialogue box; they are described below.

The annotation's label is shown in the transcription in a small, colored rectangle, indicating that an annotation exists for this element. The full comment text is shown when the mouse pointer hovers above this rectangle or when the rectangle is clicked. If multiple annotations apply to one element, a gray label containing "+" is displayed. The individual labels are unfolded when hovering the mouse pointer over the gray label.

Annotations can be edited and deleted by clicking on the color-coded labels and interacting with the Comment dialogue box.

Assigning an annotation to a range of elements

Once created, an annotation is associated with a single element (for example, a single pitch). An annotation may also apply, however, to multiple elements, such as a group of pitches or even an entire line of music. To extend the range of elements the annotation applies to, click the "↔" sign that appears when the mouse pointer hovers above an annotation label, then click the last note or element that the annotation should apply to. The transcription will then display the annotation with starting and ending brackets. An annotation can span the music and the text layer when it is assigned to one element in the music layer and one element in the text layer. The brackets can be moved by clicking "↔" and selecting the element the bracket should be moved to.

Annotation types

1. Internal annotation
An editor may use this type of annotation for reminders ("notes to self") or questions for co-editors. These annotations will be removed when the document is published.
2. Annotation for typesetter
These annotations are carried over to the typesetting software and will be presented to the typesetter. Any unusual situations that have consequences for typesetting should be communicated using this type of comment. Typical examples are: This kind of annotation should not be over-used. Like internal annotations, typesetter annotations will be removed before publication.
3. Public annotation
These annotations will be presented to the user of CM's digital edition. Anything that should be publicly documented can be conveyed using this type of annotation. For example, comments for a transcription's apparatus can be recorded in the Comment dialogue box as:
4. Diacritical marking

So-called diacritical markings carry references to the printed edition's Zeichentabelle. To apply a diacritical marking to a group of notes, select one note of that group, create an annotation of the diacritical-marking type and enter the marking in the label field. The multi-line text field should usually be kept empty.

If the diacritical marking only refers to a single pitch, it must be associated with that pitch only. If it refers to all pitches under a slur, anchor the start and end of the diacritical marking annotation to the start and end notes of the slur. If it refers to an entire group, anchor the start and end of the annotation on the start and end notes of the group.

5. Special pitch property
This annotation type was created for two purposes:


Above each transcription, mono:di supplies fields where information concerning the entire chant can be recorded. This information will enable certain search functions for users of CM's digital editions.

Line 1

CM section no. – volume no.
for example, CM II-1

Line 2

source no.
each source in the CM volume will receive a number, based on the order it appears in the volume
source identifier
this is the abbreviation for the manuscript’s shelfmark (Provins, Bibliothèque municipale 12 (24) is recorded here as Pro 12)

Line 3

transcription numbers (order in source: printed transcription number)
This field should include two numbers divided by a colon. The first number indicates the order of the transcription in the source; the second number appears in the print edition as the transcription number (at the beginning of the transcription with a square around it).
As an example, in CM II-1, the first trope complex in a source will have 1:1 in this header field. The base chant sung with this trope complex, appearing immediately after it in the source, will have 2:1P in this header field. On mono:di's management page, the files will be ordered according to the first number in this field. Only the second number will appear in the print edition. The first number serves a function for our typesetters; the second number serves a coordinating function for the volume's readers.
of the chant (trope = trop; offertory = off)
standardized spelling
also abbreviated and standardized according to Corpus troporum (Nativitas = Nat)
start folio
of the chant in the manuscript (22v) without f. or r.

Line 4

the information for this line is recorded from the chant's text edition. If the text edition does not contain the information, the field can be left blank.

text edition incl. volume no
for example, CT I
text’s identifying number
only for text editions like Analecta hymnica, where each text receives its own number
base chant incipit
This field is for CT X and CT IX, which uses a base chant incipit to identify each element. We cite exactly corresponding to CT.
feast, service, base chant genre
as they appear in CT, for example Nat III intr

Line 5

melody catalogue author, melody no., trope complex no.

These fields are for CM’s volumes of ordinary genres, which have catalogues of base chant melodies and trope incipits (such as Schildbach)

Managing files—Management page

When a user moves from a document to the management page, the document is still open and can be accessed by clicking “Document.”

Saving files

Document menu: "Save" and "Save as"

Saving unnamed documents

To save an unnamed document, use either the "Save" or "Save as" menu items.  Enter a name and navigate to the folder the document shall be saved in.  Click the "save document here" button that appears below the folder when the mouse pointer hovers over the folder name.

Saving named documents

To save changes to a named document, simply use the "Save" menu item.

Moving, renaming or saving copies of documents

To save a copy of a document, use the "Save as" menu item.  If you want to save a copy in the same folder, the file name has to be changed, otherwise changing the file name is optional.  In any case, you have to navigate to the folder you want to save the file in and proceed as described above in section "Saving unnamed documents".

Currently, mono:di has no built-in functionality for renaming or moving documents.  To rename a document, open it and use the "Save as" menu item to save it under the desired name.  Afterwards, delete the original document.  To move a document to a different folder, the same procedure has to be used, i.e. a copy has to be saved in the desired folder using "Save as" and the original document has to be deleted.

File names

File names may only contain letters, numbers, "-" and "_" characters. No spaces can be used.

Batch functions

The actions that are offered by the buttons on the right hand side in management view can also be applied simultaneously to multiple documents using the batch functions. Place check marks in front of the names of the documents you want to apply the action to and select the respective action.

The batch function "print" plays a special role. It allows all selected documents to be printed consecutively.

Working without logging in


We strongly recommend that CM's editors log in if possible. This way, saved documents will be accessible on the server, even in the case of a browser or computer failure. Also, editing history is preserved on the server so that in case of an editing emergency (like an accidental deletion of documents or broken delete keys), technical staff will be able to restore an earlier version of the documents.

When working without internet connection, documents are stored in the browser's internal storage. The next time an editor logs in, the revised or newly created documents will be sent to the server.

Regular user accounts can only be given to CM's editors. Users who are not members of the CM staff have access to a demo mode that allows documents to be created, edited, and saved in the browser's internal storage. These documents can also be printed.

Running multiple instances of mono:di

Running multiple instances of mono:di in multiple browser tabs or browser windows is not advised because it bears the risk of losing any work done in all but one window or tab. Mono:di 1.0 is not designed to manage local storage across multiple instances and cannot detect whether multiple mono:di tabs or windows are open. When working with an unstable internet connection or without being logged in, please do not edit more than one document at a time.

(If you are adventurous and can rely on a stable internet connection, you may--at your own risk--work with multiple documents simultaneously, but it is vital to make sure you are logged in. If the connection to the server fails while working with multiple instances of mono:di--you will see a message in that case--you are almost certain to lose some of your work. Therefore make sure to save frequently. This ensures that your work is saved on the server and that you will be informed of a failed server connection as soon as possible. If the server connection fails while you are working with multiple instances, do not continue to work with mono:di on that browser until you can successfully log in again to minimize the data loss.)

Storing files locally for off-line work

Any files created or edited will be sent to the server (if you are logged in) and also saved on your computer. This local storage ensures they are still available for off-line work. To save additional documents for off-line work,

Documents can also be removed from the local storage by clicking the (now yellow) button again. This might be necessary if the browser's storage is full.

Making sure locally stored data is persistent

To make sure that locally stored data is not deleted when the browser is closed, check your browser settings.



Allowing a browser to store more data

Browsers impose restrictions upon how much data may be stored locally. If many chants need to be stored locally (for example, when working without a reliable internet connection), please use Firefox rather than Chrome. By default, Firefox can store more data than Chrome. Firefox also allows the user to relax the limits on local storage by following these steps:

Working from a USB drive

Documents that are locally available (marked with a yellow button on the management page) are placed in a small database on a computer's hard disk that is managed by the browser. If a user creates multiple user profiles on the computer or for the browser, an independent database will be used for each user profile.

If work is saved while online, an editor can log in from any computer and any supported browser to download the saved work from the server. However, it is also possible to place locally stored data on a USB drive by using a portable browser that runs off a USB drive.

Portable browsers are available for Windows and Mac. They only work on one or the other platform, so the local data can only be taken from one Mac to another or from one Windows PC to another. Using a portable browser is only recommended if an editor would like to work on multiple computers with the same operating system and a reliable internet connection will not be available.

Excellent portable browser versions for Windows are supplied by portableapps.com. Portable Mac versions are generally not as well supported. Users of portable browsers are advised, for security reasons, to determine regularly if their browser version is still up to date. If the browser does not auto-update itself, newer versions have to be downloaded manually. However, when downloading and installing new versions manually, the editor cannot be guaranteed that locally stored mono:di documents will be preserved.

The recommended browser for use on a USB drive is Firefox for Windows. It has the most reliable auto-updating mechanism and the amount of mono:di data that can be stored on the USB drive is configurable. This Windows program is even likely to run smoothly when plugged into on a Mac that has Wine installed (e.g. WineBottler).



Chromium / Chrome

Special conventions

Identifying chant element types without line labels

Especially in the trope volumes, the chant element types are identified by the line label. Capital letters signify base chants (or cues thereof), number signify tropes. In the print, this information is needed to decide whether normal or small caps text is to be used for an element.

Sometimes, there is no associated letter or number for a specific base chant or trope. In this case, use the following characters in the line label field that will not be printed, but only used choosing the proper font style:

Chant element type Character in line label field
Antiphon initials/base chant (and cues)


Marking apparatus entries

To mark a stretch of music and/or text as having a corresponding apparatus entry, use a typesetter annotation and put "Lem" in the label field.

Printing at different zoom levels

Unfortunately, changing the zoom level for printout is handled differently by different browsers and operating systems. It is to our knowledge currently only supported by Firefox on Windows and Linux.



Empty syllable can not be deleted

If you have an apparently empty syllable (no pitches, no text, but an empty dotted text box below the staff) that will not automatically disappear, check whether there is a line or folio break marker attached to it.  The folio break will appear left to the empty syllable box.  If that line or folio break marker is deleted, the syllable will disappear automatically.

Melismas broken over lines or pages

Break markers imported from Word documents are associated with the syllable following the break marker.  Music that is input after the break marker will therefore be put inside the following syllable. It is currently not possible to create pitches after the break marker that are associated with the preceding syllable. To achieve the desired result, the break marker has to be input a second time inside the preceding syllable. The originally generated marker has to be deleted.

Error messages

Server error 401

If you are receiving this error, there has not been interaction between your browser and the mono:di server for a longer timespan so that the server terminated the session. Reload the page and log in again.

Server error 500

This error sometimes appears when the server is busy processing documents. No data will be lost, since the document is saved locally. If the page is reloaded, you might see that the document has been saved on the server already. If not, please wait a minute and try again to save on the server.

The local storage in your browser is full

To make space in the local storage, you can delete local documents from your local storage in Management view by clicking the yellow button to the right of a listed document.  If you want to clear your entire local storage, follow these steps:

If you require a large amount of documents to be available for offline work, use Firefox and increase the local storage quota.

Documents can't be opened when clicked

Almost always this is related to a broken state of the locally stored documents. You can undertake the following steps to resolve that problem.

Check what data has been sent to the server safely

Resetting a broken local storage state in Chrome

Resetting a broken local storage state in Firefox


Staffs become solid black rectangles

This problem likely stems from problems with the printer driver. Try to increase the print resolution. If that does not succeed, try creating a PDF with Chrome's built-in PDF print:

Bottom of the page gets cut off

When editing in Chrome, rubrics can sometimes be split between two pages. To adjust, open the "print" dialogue box and select "Custom" in the drop down list next to MARGINS. On the image of the printout, drag the bottom dotted blue line UP to increase the bottom margin and force the rubric onto the following page.


Standard reference works on medieval notation include: