History of Music, 1480-1800

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Overview

From the Houghton Library, the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library and the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library at Harvard University

History of Music is a retrospective collection consisting of 1,628 titles of music and books on music printed before 1801, gathered from the Houghton Library, the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library and the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library at Harvard University.

The collection offers nearly 1,000 items of printed music (1500-1800), which are featured in either the RISM A listings of work by single composers, or the RISM B I-II listings of anthologies.

Approximately one quarter of the collection is devoted to works of music theory by Descartes, Playford, Rousseau and many others, including some 400 items from the RISM BVI series.

The collection contains extremely rare materials such as the 1520 Ludwig Senfl choirbook, a 1540 Jackques Moderne publication, five 1568 prints by the composer Pietro Giovanelli, two publications by Simone Verovio and splendid texts with music by Pierre de Ronsard.

Important coverage of English music from the Restoration and Jacobean periods is exhibited, along with Italian and French dance music and European secular music of the 16th and 17th centuries and mid-eighteenth century South-German part-books. American music is represented by an array of Thomas Walter editions, including seven printings of The Grounds and Rules of Musick Explained, or An Introduction to the Art of Singing by Note.

Music in Harvard Libraries: A Catalogue of Early Printed Music and Books on Music in the Houghton Library and the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library by David A. Wood accompanies each order and contains an introduction, catalog, bibliography and index, along with a reel summary insert with item numbers for convenient microfilm access.