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Historical Performance in Music Guide

This guide assists historical performance musicians with locating sources, including repertoire, early manuscripts, and facsimiles

Manuscripts and facsimile portals

Remember, many scores that are within collected editions of the library-- Call numbers beginning with M2--contain early music, some in facsimile. 

To locate such scores, use the advanced search in IUCAT, and enter "M2", selecting "call number" from the dropdown menu, and entering "facsimile" in a keyword box.

DIAMM (Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music)

A portal and for the study of medieval manuscripts. Lists collections and individual sources of medieval polyphonic music dating up to 1550 (plus copious information and research about them). 

Répertoire des manuscrits médiévaux notés

Includes actively maintained lists of digitized medieval music manuscripts grouped by repertoire and location (starts mid-page). Part of the network Musicologie médiéval: Resources for medieval musicology and liturgy. Production of Grégofacsimil, created and administered by Dominique Gatté

Codices Electronici Sangallenses (CESG) = Digital Abbey Library of St. Gallen

Creates a digital, virtual library of the medieval codices (currently numbering 600 and growing) in the Abbey Library (Stiftsbibliothek) of St. Gallen, Switzerland, 19 of which contain musical notation.

e-codices: Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland

A continuously updated and expanding virtual library accessing all medieval and a selection of modern manuscripts held by 70 Swiss libraries. As of 30 May 2017, there are 1,749 manuscripts online, 78 of which contain musical notation.

Early Music Online

Digitized collection from holdings at the British Library of over 320 volumes of 16th-century anthologies of printed music (mainly partbooks of vocal polyphony), representing ca. 10,000 musical compositions, published in Italy, Germany, France, and England. Maintained by Royal Holloway, University of London and the British Library.

RISM: online (coverage is 1600-1800) and in print in the library (music library reference section, ML113)

Search RISM to see the music manuscripts that survive all around the world. Series B volumes are particularly useful. 

RISM Series B

RISM series B documents sources by topic. The volumes in series B are published by G. Henle of Munich. Series B includes (an English translation of the title appears in parentheses where necessary):

  • B/I and B/II: Recueils imprimés XVIe–XVIIIe siècles (2 Volumes). (Printed Anthologies from the 16th to the 18th Centuries; the portion of B/I covering the years 1500-1550 and 1600-1610 is available in the online catalog.)[7]
  • B/III: The Theory of Music from the Carolingian Era up to c. 1500. Descriptive Catalogue of Manuscripts (6 volumes)
  • B/IV: Handschriften mit mehrstimmiger Musik des 11. bis 16. Jahrhunderts (5 volumes, 1 supplementary volume). (Manuscripts with Polyphonic Music from the 11th to 16th Century)
  • B/V: Tropen- und Sequenzenhandschriften. (Manuscripts of Tropes and Sequences)
  • B/VI: Écrits imprimés concernant la musique (2 volumes). (Printed Writings about Music)
  • B/VII: Handschriftlich überlieferte Lauten- und Gitarrentabulaturen des 15. bis 18. Jahrhunderts. (Manuscripts of Lute and Guitar Tablature from 15th to 18th Century)
  • B/VIII: Das Deutsche Kirchenlied (2 volumes, Kassel: Bärenreiter). (German Hymns)
  • B/IX: Hebrew Sources (2 volumes)
  • B/X: The Theory of Music in Arabic Writings c. 900–1900 (2 volumes)
  • B/XI: Ancient Greek Music Theory. A Catalogue Raisonné of Manuscripts.
  • B/XII: Manuscrits persans concernant la musique. (Persian Manuscripts about Music)
  • B/XIII: Hymnologica Slavica. Hymnologica Bohemica, Slavica (HBS), Polonica (HP), Sorabica (HS). Notendrucke des 16. bis 18. Jahrhunderts (Printed music of the 16th to the 18th centuries in Bohemia, Slovakia, Poland, and Sorbia)
  • B/XIV: Les manuscrits du processionnal (2 volumes). (Manuscripts about the Processional)
  • B/XV: Mehrstimmige Messen in Quellen aus Spanien, Portugal und Lateinamerika, ca. 1490–1630. (Polyphonic Masses in Sources from SpainPortugal and Latin America, from around 1490–1630)
  • B/XVI: Catalogue raisonné of the Balinese Palm-Leaf Manuscripts with Music Notation
  • B/XVII: Die Triosonate: Catalogue Raisonné der gedruckten Quellen ("The Trio Sonata: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Printed Sources")