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Composers' manuscripts (17th-19th C.)


Several hundred manuscripts, containing several thousand music works from a range of the key Classical and Romantic era composers in Europe. Much of the original material is held in the Music Library at Leipzig. A broad range of manuscripts of music scores from each of the composers is included.

The collection comprises over 170 manuscripts of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) drawn from the Pölitz, Becker, Scheibner, Mempell-Preller, Rudorff and Peters Collections. They include: all compositions vouched for by the BachWerkeVerzeichnis (BWV) [List of Bach Works]; those which have subsequently been shown by Bach scholarship to be the works of a different composer; and some that have been handed down in the library under J. S. Bach's name but are not contained in the BWV. In addition there are: 65 Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) manuscripts, mostly belonging to the last quarter of the eighteenth century, featuring concerti, symphonies, chamber music and vocal works; 22 works by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), including operas, anthems, and oratorios; letters and musical manuscripts by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847); and autograph letters by Robert Schuman (1810-1856) and Clara Schumann (1819-1896).

Date range: 18th-19th century

Significance: Significant in the United Kingdom

Size: 12 microfilm reels.

Keywords: Music, Germany, Europe, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847), Robert Schuman (1810-1856), Clara Schumann (1819-1896)

Notes: The Library also holds a number of other microfilm collections relating to music. These include: The History of Musical Instruments Collection (Parts 1 & 2 on 36 reels); Acta Musicalia: administrative documents relating to musical life at the Esterházy Court ca.1700 to ca.1850 (28 reels); The Batten Organ Book, which includes 256 pieces by composers of the Elizabethan and early Jacobean school (15 reels); The Oxford Music School Collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford; and the Music Collection of Christ Church, Oxford.