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Early Music Online

chamberorgan2Early Music Online is the result of a pilot project to digitise over 320 volumes of the world’s earliest printed music from holdings at the British Library and make them freely available to all online. The project was funded by JISC as part of its Rapid Digitisation programme 2011.|

The project has focussed on the British Library’s holdings of 16th-century anthologies of printed music, as listed in RISM B/I (Recueils imprimés XVI-XVII siécles)|. These volumes contain approximately 10,000 musical compositions, which have been individually indexed. The volumes mainly consist of partbooks of vocal polyphony, but also include some early printed tablatures for keyboard or plucked string instruments. They include music printed in Italy, Germany, France and England.

The digitised volumes can be browsed via Royal Holloway’s digital repository|. Full details of each digitised book, searchable by composer name and by title of composition, can also be found in the  British Library Catalogue, |UK RISM database| and COPAC|. Enter the search phrase “Early Music Online” into the British Library Catalogue| to bring up the catalogue records for all the digitised volumes.

You may use the digitised content on Early Music Online in any way and for any such purposes that are conducive to education, teaching, learning, private study and/or research as long as you are in compliance with the terms and conditions of our licence. You may not use the content for commercial purposes.The digitised content is copyright © The British Library Board, and is made available for non-commercial use under JISC's Open Education User Licence|.

Project Director: Dr Stephen Rose, |Music Department, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Project Manager: Dr Sandra Tuppen,|The British Library, London

The project team included Dr Katherine Butler, Dr James Clements, Ian Davis, Dr Loukia Drosopoulou, Ruth Hellen, Matthew Laube, Dr Esperanza Rodríguez-García, Dr Rupert Ridgewell, Andra Patterson, Chris Scobie, Mark Summers, Dr Vassilis Vavoulis and Susi Woodhouse.

Early Music Online project blog|


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