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An Organist's Guide to the Music Library: Collected Editions

What are Collected Editions?

Collected editions are multi-volume scholarly editions of the works of a single composer or of a particular musical repertoire.  In producing these editions, scholars exam all available primary sources to determine the most authentic version of each work. Types of editions include:

Historical sets:

Collected editions containing music of a particular time period.  Examples include:

  • The Symphony 1720-1840  
  • Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century
  • Recent Researches in Music of the Renaissance

Monuments of Music (called Denkmaler in German):

Collected editions of music of a particular country or geographical area.  Examples include:

  • Musica Britannica
  • Denkmaler der Tonkunst in Osterreich
  • Recent Researches in American Music

Complete Works (Samtliche Werke, Opera Omnia, Oeuvres Completes) :

Works of individual composers.

Using Grove to Find Music in Collected Editions

Step 1: Find the composer's article in Grove

Use the search bar to find the composer's article. For composers from large musical families (i.e. Mozart and Bach), it may be helpful to search using the composers full name.

Step 2: Access the works list

Once you have located and navigated to the main article for the composer, select the "Works" tab from the "Article contents" on the left-hand side of the page.

Step 3: Locate the title in the works list

Works lists in Grove are usually subdivided by composition type (i.e. Operas, Choral, Orchestral, Chamber, Keyboard, etc.). You can also navigate a works list by using Ctrl F (Command F for Mac users) to search within the article for a particular title.

Step 4: Identify edition information

Information about the series, volume, page (if applicable), and any other divisions of the edition will be listed at the end of the entry. For some well-known composers, more than one collected edition has been published. The different editions are generally listed at the beginning of the works list, along with their respective abbreviations.

Screen shot of a sample works list from Grove, illustrating how abbreviations are used for collected editions.

Step 5: Locate the work in the print edition

The collected editions are shelved in the non-circulating score collection in the M2 and M3 call numbers ranges. Collected works by individual composers are shelved alphabetically in the M3 call number range. If you need assistance locating a volume, please visit the library help desk on the first floor.

Other Ways to Find Music in Collected Editions

Grove (Oxford) Music Online provides information about many of the major collected editions, particularly for individual composers, but in some cases you may need to consult another resource to find a work. Here are several other options:

Use the Libraries Catalog:

Use one of these print indexes:

Please note that the available print indexes are dated and will not include information on newer editions.

Terminology

Abteilung Series
Ausgabe Edition
Band Volume
Gesammelte Werke Collected works
Kritischer Bericht Critical report
Opera Omnia All works
Oeuvres completes Complete works
Sämtlich Complete
Thematisches-Verzeichnis Thematic catalog
Teil Part
Werke Works