How to use this catalogue
Typical uses as envisaged:
- I need a copy of X (a particular item)
- I need a trio-sonata for recorder violin and b.c.
- I'm looking for madrigals
- I want something I can perform on 3 viols
- Use 'Finding music' or 'Finding books' to look up by composer (or author, in the case of books) or number of parts (and whether texted or not)
- Search for words or phrases: 'madrigal', 'chanson', 'trio sonata', 'SATB', or even 'LPM' (for London Pro Musica).
- Search for instruments. Remember that the earlier the music, the less specific the instrumentation, and that in much early music an instrument can replace a voice, so that a four part C16 chanson could be performed by 4 voices a capella, purely instrumentally by any 4 instruments of suitable range, or by any mix. The catalogue only lists instruments mentioned in the modern edition (including in the 'performance notes' sometimes given, notably by London Pro Musica editions), not all the manifold possibilities an ingenious mind might discover.
- When you've located a promising item, you can view a sample page to see how difficult it looks, what clefs are used, and so on. The sample page is taken from the score where there is one, but not all pieces have scores. Sample pages are only shown when the publisher has given permission.
Pieces published for viols usually put parts for tenor viols in alto clef; sometimes, but not always, they include parts in alternative clefs. If not mentioned, the clefs are the obvious ones – alto for tenor viol and high bass viol parts, treble or bass clefs for all others. (Sackbut parts are more complicated.)
No attempt has been made to indicate the ranges of the pieces. Too much work.
Books versus Music
Items are listed under Music if the content is predominantly whole pieces of music. Books are items that predominantly contain words, although they may have musical examples. Note that the distinction is made by the content, not the binding; a hard-backed volume an inch thick will be classed as music if that's what it contains.