Template:DRM music theory

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Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature

Website: Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature (CHMTL)

The Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature (CHTML) is a research center at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. It maintains several searchable archives of texts pertinent to the history of music theory. While the TML is exclusively devoted to writings in Latin from antiquity to the seventeenth century, the rise of parallel efforts for digitizing the texts of music-theoretical writings in modern languages spawned several efforts now managed at CHTML. All projects have introductions and give clearly state principles of orthography. Current projects are listed below:

  • The Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum (TML), begun in 1990 and extensively developed by Thomas Mathiesen at Indiana University, with the collaboration of many scholars in the US and abroad. Giuliano Di Bacco, who has headed the project since 2014, has introduced new faceted approaches to structuring the material and has integrated images. The version released in 2020 (subtitled Online Archive of Music Theory in Latin), contains a search bar in the masthead. (The TML was possibly the earliest database to be fully searchable in a single pass.) The lexicon of musical terminology up to c. 1600 extends to evidence from speech, literary references, music-theory manuscripts, and first lines of tracts. 950 texts; precise folio numbers in citations.
Masthead of the new Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum.
  • The Saggi musicali italiani (SMI) contains texts in Italian from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century. Founder and project director: Andreas Giger, Louisiana State University. 33 texts to date.
  • The The Traités en français sur la musique (TFM) covers the middle ages through the nineteenth century. Sources in French include items published in Belgium. Founder and director: Peter Slemon, University of Toronto. 160s texts to date.
  • The Treatises on Music in English (TME) concentrates on sources from the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries. Founder and director: Peter Lefferts, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Early Music Theory

Website: Early Music Theory

Illustration of the Sixth Rule from De imperfectionum notarum musicalium of Tinctoris.

Early Music Theory subsumes the new digital edition of the works of Johannes Tinctoris. Twelve treatises are listed on the earlier Stoa site, and three are viewable.

German writings on music theory and musical institutions

Website: Writings on Music Theory

This digitized collection (176 titles) from the Bavarian State Library emphasizes works printed between 1516 (Glareanus, Basel) and 1900. It includes a number of books related to individual theaters (mainly German).

Lexicon musicum Latinum

Website: Lexicon musicum Latinum

This lexicon of musical terminology up to c. 1600 extends to evidence of speech, literary references, music-theory manuscripts, and first lines of tracts.

Monuments of Partimenti

Website: Monuments of Partimenti

Sample entries from Robert Gjerdingen's catalogue of embellished basses (partimenti diminuiti) by Francesco Durante (1714) at the partimenti website.

Robert Gjerdingen's online website for partimenti introduces the basic approach to improvisation and composition based on suggestive figured-bass sketches that survive, according to the seminal work of Giorgio Sanguinetti's The Art of Partimento (2012), in abundance from the eighteenth century. The website is still under development, but between the materials available here and the companion site linked to the book (above), users can form an elementary notion of the practice. The Beginner's Guide and a study of the Rule of the Octave enable keyboard players to improvise music in the style of many eighteenth-century composers.

Thesaurus Musicarum Italicarum

Website: Thesaurus Musicarum Italicarum (TMI)

Frans Wiering's Thesaurus Musicarum Italicarum, which is entirely separate from the TML, represented a second incarnation of his CD-ROM encodings of all the treatises of Gioseffo Zarlino (1995). The CD offered all the musical examples as MIDI and DARMS files as well as in modern notation. Its viability was undermined by the evolution of operating systems in the early 2000s. Other works of Italian music theory from the decades following Zarlino were encoded subsequently by students at Utrecht University.