Music in the Medieval West and Anthology – Digital Resources

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This website features online tools for studying medieval music and links for manuscripts studied in chapters in Music in the Medieval West and as related to the forty pieces (or groups of pieces) analyzed in the Anthology for Music in the Medieval West. The website is revised each year and the links are verified, keeping the book and anthology current and informed by the latest scholarship and new performances.  NB: a kindle edition of Music in the Medieval West can now be purchased for around $22.00.

Each Chapter has three tabs:
1) The Basics.  You can only get to this area through clicking on the Chapters tabs.  Each will supply a handful of information needed to work with the music featured in Music in the Medieval West (MIMW) and its accompanying Anthology: a) the featured pieces with their approximate dates and the locations of each piece in medieval and modern sources; b) a recording for each piece, usually on Naxos, but other options are indicated as well; c) some basic terms related to the study of the pieces and their contexts from both the book and the anthology; many of the terms are defined in the glossary found at the end of MIMW.
2) Lessons. This pull-down tab, which is divided into subsections, will provide short lessons related to digital materials and their uses, as particular to the repertory studied in the chapter and the Anthology. When appropriate, materials from the Primer, which is found in both MIMW and the Anthology, will be referenced  as well.
3) Bibliographies also have pull-down tabs, with links to World Cat and JSTOR.  Each is divided into two parts: a) works cited in Music in the Medieval West; and b) suggestions for readings beyond those cited in MIMW.

We assume that some basic tools for working with music in general are known to readers, and we mention only a few of them here:
1) Oxford Music Online, which offers articles on every subject and composer’s name mentioned in the textbook and anthology (by subscription);
2) RILM: Répertoire Internationale de Littérature Musicale, which will provide short descriptions of articles and books in music (by subscription) (see the Primer for an introduction);
3) Proquest, the online database listing dissertations and theses in all subjects, and if your library pays for the feature, you can down load copies for study (by subscription);
4) Naxos, a database of recordings, which is very good for early music (by subscription); the number of people who can listen at one time depends on how much the institution pays, and individual subscriptions are also available;
5) JSTOR is a database including texts of many periodicals, but to access them you need a subscription; inclusiveness of subscriptions vary depending on how much an institution pays;
6) World Cat is a free catalogue that will tell you the physical locations of the books, recordings, and sometimes of the articles searched.

Most research libraries will have subscriptions for the first five of these, and even if you are a beginner in learning about music and gathering information about music, these will be your constant companions.

Two online website are especially important for locating manuscripts online:

7) The Monastic Manuscript Project: Digital Medieval Manuscripts.  This is an incredible resource for finding chant manuscripts, and was compiled by Albrecht Diem of Syracuse University.

8) Musicologie Médiévale ,with the excellent tab for manuscrits, put together by Dominique Gatté.  You should become a member and find new medievalist-friends.

9) Spotify.  Many of the recordings mentioned in Music in the Medieval West and in the Anthology are found on Spotify with ever increasing frequency.  Chant is still not well represented there, and for chant Naxos remains the best streaming source. For a guide to recordings don’t forget Jerome Weber’s wonderful Chant Discography.

Timelines

There is a tidal wave of misinformation on the web.   Among the most problematic items are timelines.   One of the few I can recommend relates to maps, and is sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum in NYC.  You can choose Europe, and move through the timeline and get different maps for each region.  It will be useful to refer to this site throughout your study, as the maps will supplement those printed at the opening of each section of MIMW: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/world-regions/#/06/World-Map

You can visit the digital resource pages of the other books in the Western Music in Context series: