Glossary of Humdrum Terminology

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Either a global or local comment. Any record beginning with an exclamation mark (!). Further information.

Data record
Any record that is not a comment or an interpretation. Must contain the same number of tokens as the number of current spines. Further information.

Data token
A "word" of data found in a data record. A token consists of any sequence of consecutive characters -- with the exception of the tab character (which is used to separate successive tokens). Another exception is the isolated period character which indicates a null token. Further information.

Exclusive interpretation
Any record beginning with one or more asterisks (*), where at least one spine begins with two asterisks.

Global comment
Any record beginning with two exclamation marks (!!).

Either an exclusive or tandem interpretation. Any record beginning with an asterisk (*). Further information.

Local comment
Any record beginning with one and only one exclamation mark (!). Every spine in that record must also begin with an exclamation mark.

Null comment
A comment record containing no commentary; only the appropriate exclamation mark(s) are present.

Null data record
A data record consisting only of null tokens.

Null interpretation
An interpretation for a given spine or spines consisting of just the interpretation signifier (i.e., a single asterisk).

Null token
The period (.) either alone on a single record or separated from other characters by a tab. Appears only in data records. Further information.

Path Indicator
One of five special tandem interpretations *+, *-, *v, *^, and *x, found only in tandem interpretation records. Further information.

A line of text in a Humdrum file that ends with the new-line character.

Reference Record
A type of global comment that is used to store formal bibliographic information, such as composer's name, title of work, opus number, etc. Reference records begin with a three- or four-letter special code used to indicate the type of information present. For example, the code !!!AIN: is used to formally define the instrumentation used in the work. Over 100 reference codes are pre-defined in Humdrum. Further information. Complete listing.

A column-like "path" of information -- including data records, local comments, and interpretations.

Spine path indicator
Same as path indicator.

Tandem interpretation
Any record beginning with a single asterisk (*) where none of the spines begin with two asterisks.

One of five path indicators used to indicate the end of a spine. Indicated by an asterisk followed by a minus sign (*-).

© Copyright 1999 David Huron