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Edition Definitions


Editions: Musical scores are published in a variety of editions.  Below are a few examples:


  • "A term used in studying and editing musical sources to signify the earliest version of the text of any composition, musical or otherwise, a version that is usually no longer extant; it is also used to signify a modern edition of earlier music which purports to present the original text, without editorial addition or emendation." (Oxford Music Online, Boorman (2001))


  • "Name given to a genre of book publishing based on photo-mechanical printing techniques that attempts to recreate the appearance of an original handwritten manuscript or printed edition." ( Oxford Music Online, Immel (2001))

Collected works or Monumental editions

  • Found in the "M2-M3" call number range, these multi-volume works contain complete works of composers or works collected by geographic region or time period.  Typically these volumes are produced by musicological research organizations and provide rich historical information and context.


Composer catalogs and thematic catalogues: For researchers, these catalogs are valuable tools

Composer catalog

  • List of composer's works

Thematic catalogue

  • "A thematic catalogue is an index to a group of musical compositions that incorporates citations of their opening notes (incipits), or principal melodic features (themes), or both." (Oxford Music Online, Brooks (2001))

Online Thematic Catalogs (A-C)

University Libraries

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