19th- and Early 20th-Century Annotated Editions of String Music: Bibliographical Problems, Editorial Content and Implications for Performance Practice

Project start date: 2008-09 Project end date: 2012-08
Nineteenth and early twentieth-century annotated editions of earlier string music have generally been scorned in recent decades by performers, even those who specialise in historically-informed performance, and have received little attention from scholars. Greater emphasis has been placed on Urtexts, which seek to present the composer's approved notation as the authoritative text of the work. Yet the numerous editions of string music, published between c.1850 and 1930, contain not only the markings of the composers (sometimes, however, modified by the editor), but also additional technical or stylistic indications supplied by editors. These editions preserve vital clues to the performing practices that were understood by musicians of that time to lie behind and beyond the notation supplied by the composer. The project is to collate, digitise (and put online) a large collection of published performing parts of string-based chamber music from Haydn to Brahms, published between 1840 and 1930. This will lead to analysis of the content of annotated/edited performance parts in order better to understand the complex and often elusive subtleties of performing practice in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The project will lead to 2 conferences (the first is at Cardiff University, June 23-24 2010), articles and a published book in addition to the online materials.
Subject domains: 
Era(s): 
Country/region(s): 
Methods usedCategory
2d scanning and photographyData capture
CollatingData analysis
Desktop publishing and pre-pressData publishing and dissemination
Manual input and transcriptionData capture
Funding sources: 
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Software tools used: 
  • Adobe Acrobat
Source material used:  
Published annotated editions of string music; printed music bearing significant MS annotation; pedagogical material
Digital resource created:  
Scanned images of music and text as PDF files for viewing/download; information on individual player-editors; information on publishers
Access to digital resource:  
Open Access

Institutions affiliated with this project: 

UK HE institutions involved:
Cardiff University
University of Leeds

Project staff and expertise: 

Principal staff member:Professor Clive Brown, Professor Robin Stowell
Other staff:PhD student(s), Postdoctoral researcher(s) / Research assistant(s)
External expertise:


Metadata on this arts-humanities.net record
Author(s) of recordGeorge Kennaway
Title19th- and Early 20th-Century Annotated Editions of String Music: Bibliographical Problems, Editorial Content and Implications for Performance Practice
Record created2010-11-17
Record updated2010-11-17 11:18
URL of recordhttp://www.arts-humanities.net/node/3569
Citation of recordGeorge Kennaway: 19th- and Early 20th-Century Annotated Editions of String Music: Bibliographical Problems, Editorial Content and Implications for Performance Practice. <http://www.arts-humanities.net/node/3569> created: 2010-11-17, last updated 2010-11-17 11:18
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