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Finding Music Scores

Guide to finding music scores at the Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Collection, located at the Southbank Library.

Louise Hanson-Dyer Collection

  • Donated to the University of Melbourne in 2005.
  • Has been catalogued and an index compiled.

Comprises

  • manuscript sources dating from the fifteenth century (collected by Louise Hanson-Dyer, an Australian philanthropist and patron of music)
  • the highly-reputable Editions de l'Oiseau-Lyre (the University of Melbourne continues to publish works).

Finding manuscripts and source material

 

RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales)

Use RISM to identify and locate music primary sources, including manuscripts or printed music, works on music theory, and libretti stored in libraries, archives, monasteries, schools and private collections. These institutions can often be approached for reproductions.

Each RISM source description contains :

  • Composer Information
  • Musical incipits
  • Bibliographic Citations (primarily musical thematic catalogues)
  • Library Directory (names and addresses of holding music libraries)

The 3 RISM print series are at: UniM Southbank REF 016.78 RISM

Series A: prints and manuscripts containing works by one composer only
Series B: prints and manuscripts containing works by more than one author, and theoretical treatises
Series C: brief descriptions of all libraries throughout the world which contain music.

RISM Online-OPAC - International Inventory of Musical Sources. 
Search using "advanced search" option.  Can limit to geographical area. Search help


Other print options 

  • Some Collected Editions series publish facsimile editions of manuscript scores or early editions.

Other online print options


Finding primary sources

Manuscripts and early printed editions (published before 1801) are primary sources invaluable to the music scholar and student. Identifying and locating these materials can be a complex process. For an overview of the richness of these materials, consult the following introductory articles:

Sources, Manuscript (from Oxford Music)

A review of the character and repertory of the main classes of manuscript in use before 1600, arranged by subject matter and also chronologically. The text is interspersed with descriptions of the major individual sources.The text is divided into the following sections (each contains a bibliography):

  • i. Introduction
  • ii. Western plainchant
  • iii. Secular monophony
  • iv. Organum and discant
  • v. Early motet
  • vi. English polyphony, 1270-1400
  • vii. French polyphony, 1300-1420
  • viii. Italian polyphony, c1325-c1420
  • ix. Renaissance polyphony. All sections include bibliographies.

Sources of instrumental ensemble music to 1630

A review of the principal sources up to 1630 of music for two or more instruments (excluding two or more keyboards, lutes and other chordal instruments) to play together without the voice. The text is interspersed with descriptions of the major individual sources. After a general introduction, the list is organised geographically in six parts: Italy, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, British Isles.

Sources of keyboard music to 1660

A review of sources of keyboard music up to about 1660. The text is interspersed with descriptions of the major individual sources. After a general introduction, the article is organised geographically into five parts: Italy, France, Germany, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, The Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.

Sources of lute music

A review of the manuscript and printed sources of music for the lute. The text is interspersed with descriptions of the major individual sources. After a general introduction, the article is organised geographically in eight parts: Italian sources to c1680, Central European sources to c1650, French sources, 1529-99, Vihuela sources, 1536-76, The Low Countries, c1545-1626, English lute music, French sources, 1600-99, Central European sources after c1650.

PRIMMUS

The item-level index to the music manuscript collections of primary source microfilm held at the Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Collection.