TEI/MEI Technical Specifications

The text of The Beggar’s Opera is encoded in the Text Encoding Initiative-eXtensive Markup Language (i. e., TEI-XML, or TEI for short).  The music is encoded in the Music Encoding Initative-eXtensive Markup Language (MEI-XML, or MEI for short).  These languages are the standard for electronic scholarly editions because they allow for detailed descriptions of all the elements of text and music, from the lineation of verse to stage directions to the gender and occupation of characters to geographical markers, as we have done in this edition.

The guidelines for TEI can be found here, and the guidelines for MEI here.  The raw code for our text and the music can be found on our GitHub repository.  The current draft is bo.xml, which includes the updated TEI and MEI.  The separate MEI coding can be found in MEI 3.0.0.  

Another key document for a digital edition is an ODD (One Document Does it all), which specifies the various modules, classes, and elements from the larger universe of TEI and MEI that are used and excluded.  In doing so, the ODD offers a model for others seeking to engage in similar work.  The current draft of our ODD can be found in our Github Repository in the folder “Schemas.”

The base modification of TEI we used is TEI-Lite and, for MEI, MEI-Common Music Notation (CMN).  We have built upon the work of Raffaelle Viglianti, who also served as a consultant on this project and has done pioneering work in addressing the complexities involved in combining music and text in a digital environment.  We also draw on the TEI for Drama module authored by Syd Bauman and Sebastian Rahtz.

We welcome questions, comments, and suggestions on our coding decisions.