Essen Associative Code (EsAC) and the database of European Folksong

Ewa Dahlig, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw (PL)

[ Presentation (low resolution) | Presentation (high resolution) ]

Essen Associative Code (EsAC) was developed for one-part music, especially for European folksong databases. The code itself was inspired by the Chinese notation JIANPU and consists of cyphers (meaning pitches related to the declared tonic of the mode) and underlines and dots (standing for rhythmic durations). In addition to the code, several programs have been written for PC to analyse, listen, transpose and represent melodies.

Conversions are possible into TEX, PCX, MIDI and other formats. The project started in Germany; since 1994 the main EsAC-encoding centre is in Poland where a few thousand tunes have been encoded. Recently the number of items has reached 20.000 songs and instrumental melodies, mostly from Germany, Poland and China, with minor collections from other (mostly European) countries.

The presentation will show the structure of the database as well as examples of programmes working with EsAC.