Lexicon of Writings on Music

Photo: First printing of Wilhelm Heinse’s novel—highly ambitious in respect to the theory and aesthetics of music--Hildegard von Hohenthal (1795/96)

While lexicons of relevant texts have long-since been available in many disciplines, such a working instrument is missing for the huge range of writings on music: this despite the fact that alongside the compositions and musical practices themselves, texts about music likely represent the most important group of sources for music history; they also offer an important window onto the aesthetic understanding of music and the conception of music from the perspective of the composer’s craft. The lexicon will appear in three volumes. It will offer access to, describe, and comment on music-related texts since antiquity. The first volume will be devoted above all to texts with an accent on music theory. In volumes two and three, the focus will be on published writings tied more closely to the aesthetics of music.

A special feature of the project is that here types of text will be included that expand the boundaries of the usual canon represented in lexicons and encyclopedias, in so far as such works address problems relevant to the aesthetics or philosophy of music. These writings emerge from a belletristic realm, from the world of compositional instruction, instrumental schools and manuals for singing; we find texts by composers aimed at artistic self-assurance and those tied to religious rites and sovereign representation. Attention is also paid to non-European writings—consequently to texts that have only played a role in marginalized discourses, but that seem suitable for expanding the corpus of central musical writings through new discoveries and opening it to new interpretations. Flanking the book project will be—as the outcome of a second step—a digital edition of the little-known or unknown texts commented on in the lexicon.


General Editors: Hartmut Grimm and Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann

Editors of vol. 1: Ullrich Scheideler and Felix Wörner (Music Theory). Published in June 2017

Editor of vols.  2-3: Hartmut Grimm and Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann (Aesthetics of Music)

Research assistant: Janine Wiesecke (Vols. 2-3)

Editorial assistants: Michaela Kaufmann, Alexis Ruccius, and Janine Wiesecke (Vols. 1-3)