Instructions for Collaborators

These instructions are intended for PEM collaborators with little or no experience in indexing plainchant and polyphonic sources. The instructions were developed collaboratively by Elsa De Luca, Bernadette Nelson and João Pedro d’Alvarenga with the collaboration of Zuelma Chaves and Manuel Pedro Ferreira. De Luca contributed mainly to the instructions for indexing plainchant while Nelson and Alvarenga focused on the polyphonic sources.

The handbook on text palaeography was prepared by Dario Personeni to help PEM collaborators identifying the types of script in the sources to be indexed.


PEM is part of the Cantus Index Network and is connected to other international medieval music databases by means of unique Cantus ID numbers. PEM’s instructions for indexing plainchant are based on the rules originally established by the CANTUS Database (now Cantus Manuscript Database), which was the forerunner of online medieval music databases for plainchant sources. We encourage PEM collaborators working on plainchant to consult the useful online resources available on Cantus Manuscript Database for indexing manuscripts, mainly:   

These resources provide specific information that can greatly facilitate scholars who read a liturgical manuscript for the first time and want to understand its liturgical contents and create a musical index of its chants.

PEM shares the aims of the International Musicological Society’s Study Group Cantus Planus: to encourage international cooperation; to facilitate relations between researchers and musicological projects in all countries; and to promote the free exchange of data in electronic form.