Introduction to Musicology


Week 9: The Critical Editing of Music

Essay title (800 words)

  1. With reference to one of the works or groups of works listed below, discuss the role and responsibilities of the musical editor. Address such issues as copy texts, recension, and practicality.

  2. Machaut, Messe de nostre dame

  3. Byrd, English anthems

  4. Handel, Messiah

  5. Beethoven, piano sonatas

  6. Chopin, piano works

  7. Bruckner, symphonies


  1. Paul Maas, Textual Criticism, translated from the German by Barbara Flower (library)

  2. David Greetham, Textual Transgressions: Essays Toward the Construction of a Biobibliography (New York and London: Garland, 1998): see pp. 204–218, ‘A Suspicion of Texts’ (online)

  3. Margaret Bent, ‘Editing Early Music: The Dilemma of Translation’, Early Music, 22 (1994), 373–92 (jstor)

  4. John Caldwell, Editing Early Music (Oxford, 1985) (library)

  5. James Grier, The Critical Editing of Music: History, Method, Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) (library)

  6. ————, ‘Musical Sources and Stemmatic Filiation: A Tool for Editing Music’, The Journal of Musicology, 13 (1995), 73–102 (jstor)

  7. Thomas Higgins, ‘Whose Chopin?’, 19th-Century Music, 5 (1981), 67–75 (jstor)

  8. For Messiah, see the relevant titles given under Performance Practice.