Studies in the Printing, Publishing and Performance of Music in the 16th Century: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Studies in the Printing, Publishing and Performance of Music in the 16th Century

1st Edition

By Stanley Boorman


376 pages

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Hardback: 9780860789703
pub: 2005-08-28
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The emergence of music printing and publishing in the early 16th century radically changed how music was circulated, and how the musical source (printed or manuscript) was perceived, and used in performance. This series of close studies of the structure and content of 16th-century and early 17th-century editions (and some manuscripts) of music draws conclusions in a number of areas - printing techniques for music; the habits of different type-setters and scribes, and their view of performing practice; publishers' approaches to the musical market and its abilities and interests; apparent changes of plan in preparing editions; questions of authorship; evidence in editions and manuscripts for interpreting different levels of notation; ways in which scribes could influence performers' decisions, and others by which composers could exploit unusual sonorities.


'In summary, the reader of this collection will be deeply rewarded for taking the care to read each of these essays and observe a keen intellect at work… Any comprehensive collection of published research on early music in Europe must acquire this book of thoughtful and seminal studies.' Notes ’While across the essays Boorman writes for a narrow audience of specialists, his methodology has implications for studies of the sociology of books, the nature of evidence, the interaction of printed and manuscript sources (and their subsequent scholarly study), and the role of the market in the production of texts… The work of Stanley Boornlan is familiar and 'required reading' for all students and scholars of early music printing.’ Sixteenth Century Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction. Printing: The 'first' edition of the Odhecaton A; Petrucci's type-setters and the process of stemmatics; A case of work and turn half-sheet imposition in the early 16th century; Printed music books of the Italian Renaissance from the point of view of manuscript study; The Salzburg liturgy and single-impression music printing. Publishing: Early music printing: working for a specialized market; Some non-conflicting attributions, and some newly anonymous compositions, from the early 16th century; The music publisher's view of his public's abilities and taste: Venice and Antwerp. Performance: Notational spelling and scribal habit; False relations and the cadence; Two aspects of performance practice in the Sistine Chapel of the early 16th century. Indexes.

About the Author

Stanley Boorman is Professor in the Department of Music at New York University, USA.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
MUSIC / General