Disjecta membra project

The vast majority of printed music editions from the beginning of music printing around 1500 until the first half of the 19th century were not published as scores at all, but only in the form of individual parts. In view of the relatively small print runs and the functional, practical character of the music market, it is not uncommon that complete sets of parts of a music edition have not survived today.

Swiss archives and libraries hold a total of some 54 titles of printed parts that do not exist in their entirety in any library world-wide, but are split between different collections. The individual parts of these 54 music prints are distributed to a total of 33 Swiss libraries and archives and a further 74 libraries worldwide. However, it is not necessary to digitise all the copies in order to reconstruct the works. Thanks to an optimal selection of the incomplete voice sets, the reconstruction of the titles can be achieved by reproducing the holdings of about 19 Swiss and 31 foreign libraries (in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, France, England, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia and the USA). The images will be attached to the respective RISM catalogue entry, a link to the digitised material from the library’s own OPAC is of course possible. The sets of parts, thus completed as far as possible, are brought together using a visualisation tool on a dedicated project page (in the series of online publications RISM d-lib).

Contact: Claudio Bacciagaluppi