ISiS scores

ISiS score files are simple text files with configfile syntax as described in the documentation of python’s config parser module.

Configuration file syntax

A configuration file consists of sections, each led by a section header marked by means of square brackets, followed by key/value entries separated by a specific string (either = or : may be used). By default, section names are case sensitive but keys are not. Leading and trailing whitespaces are removed from keys and values. Values can also span multiple lines, as long as they are indented deeper than the first line of the value. Empty lines that contain white spaces will be treated as continuation lines of the same sequence of values. Configuration files may include comments, prefixed by specific characters (# or ;). Comments may appear on their own on an otherwise empty line, possibly indented.

With respect to section and key names it is important to understand that when reading a config file, the parser will only consider known headers and keys, all unknown headers and keys will be silently ignored.

Score example

There are two obligatory sections that have to be present in a score: the [lyrics] section specifying the lyrics to be sung in terms XSAMPA phonemes, and the [score] section, that contains the melody description.

We will describe the keys that make up the two sections by means of looking into the default score file that is delivered with ISiS and will be used whenever no score has been specified on the command line.

The default score

# use one or the other, disable
xsampa: # _ c'est une chan-son
        _ s E t y n S a~ s o~
        # qui nous re - sem - ble
        k i n u R @ s a~ b l @ _
        # toi tu m'ai - mait
        t w a t y m E m E
        # et je t'ai - mait
        e Z @ t E m E _

midiNotes: # _ c'est une chan-son
           0,  64, 66, 67, 72,
           # qui nous re-sem-ble
           62, 64, 66, 71, 71, 0,
           # toi tu m'ai - mait
           60, 62, 64, 69,
           # et je t'ai - mait
           59, 61, 63, 67, 0

# transposition in midi notes
globalTransposition: 0

rhythm: # _ c'est une chan - son
        2, 1.54583333, 1.525, 1.525, 7.25833333,
        # qui nous re - sem - ble
        1.68541667, 1.31666667, 1.42291667, 2.98958333, 4.575,
        # toi tu m'ai - mait
        1.5, 1.88333333, 1.525, 1.525, 7.33958333,
        # et je t'ai - mait
        1.8125, 1.52708333, 1.35416667, 6.07083333, 2

defaultSentenceLoudness: 0.5

tempo: 213

Lyrics section

The lyrics section contains a single required key termed xsampa that contains as value the song lyrics in form of a sequence of phonemes expressed in the phonetic alphabet XSAMPA. The specification of the lyrics in form of normal text is not supported due to the many possible pronunciation variants that are possible for a given text.

The ISiS system requires the presence of a phoneme to be sung in the singing database. The list of phonemes that are available in the existing singing databases are sufficient to synthesize all French words, they are the following

Phoneme class phonemes
vowels a, e, E, 2, 9, @, i, o, O, u, y, o~, a~, e~, 9~
semi vowels w, j, H
voiced fricatives v, z, Z
unvoiced fricatives f, s, S
voiced plosives b, d, g
unvoiced plosives p, t, k
nasals m, n, N
other R, l

Find more explanations about the translation of text into XSAMPA on the xsampa example page

Score section

The score section needs to intends to provide the information about the melody to be sung. There exist two means to specify the melody. The first one consists of explicitly writing the note information into the score section by means of specifying midiNotes, tempo, and rhythm, as well as an optional loud_accents key.

In the near future other score specifications methods will be added that will allow reading the score from midi or MusicXML files.

Explicit notation

The explicit notation of the melody uses the following terms:

midiNotes: the midiNotes value specifies the melody to be sung in terms of midi notes. The conversion between midi note number and frequency in Hz is given by

Note_hz = 440.0 * 2.0**((midiNote - 69)/ 12)

Accordingly, midi note number 69 represents the note A4 with fundamental frequency of 440Hz, and increasing the note frequency by 1 increases the fundamental frequency by one half tone. Note, that in an extension of the normal midi notation ISiS note numbers are not constrained to be integers. This means that quarter note intervals can be represented easily by means of using 0.5 steps, that means the quarter tone above A4 would be denoted as midi note 69.5.

tempo : the tempo value defines the BPM, that is in form of the number of quarter notes per minute. The length of a single quart note in seconds is then

nl_s = 60 / tempo

rhythm: the rhythm value determines the length of all the notes in the melody section. The note length is specified in quarter notes, which means that noting a one here will produce a note of the length of a quarter note.

loud_accents: the loud_accents value can be used to control the dynamic of individual notes. In cse no loudness accents are specified the note loudness will be obtained from the singer database, where all singers have sung with approximately constant loudness. The same result will be obtained if for each note an loudness accent value of 1 is provided. In case you would like to increase or decrease the loudness of individual notes, you can specify arbitrary positive value as loudness accents, that are interpreted as factors to be applied to perceived loudness, such that specifying a loudness accent of 2 for an individual note will render the note approximately twice as loud.

Reading the score from a midi file

Attention: this functionality is not yet finalized and still requires implementation and testing

Reading the score from a MusicXML file

Attention: this functionality is not yet finalized and requires implementation and testing