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Medieval Music Database

an integration of electronic sources

La Trobe University closed its Music Department at the end of 1999. This site has not been updated since February 2004. A new and updated version of the Medieval Music Database is currently under construction and should be available in 2008: in the meantime we welcome your comments, corrections and additions.

The main features of the new version are a much expanded repertoire of works in addition to the melodic incipits of liturgical works. Four complete manuscripts, a gradual and three antiphonals, have been added. Browse by Liturgical Feast is entirely new. This displays the melodic incipit of each liturgical chant for each feast, analyses related melodies and displays colour images of source manuscripts. The Browse by Composers, by Genre and by Manuscripts remain the same as they were is the earlier versions.

  1. Browse by Text

    This revision of the Medieval Music Database, first mounted on the Internet in 1994 and expanded in 1996 has now further expanded the range of works which can be browsed from 7,800 to 70,000. Its current scope covers all of the music of the fourteenth century and all liturgical chant currently electronically indexed, adding to these links transcriptions with modern music notation (where melodic information is available),original manuscripts where possible and links to the electronic editions themselves.

  2. Browse by Composer

    All of the named composers of the fourteenth century are listed, along with the alternate forms of their names. All of the manuscript sources of their works, biographical literature and recordings are identified and cross-linked to details of each individual work, genre and manuscript. New composers are progressively being added, working backwards from the fourteenth century.

  3. Browse by Genre

    All genres of liturgical chant, polyphony and secular lyrics have been consolidated into one list for ease of searching.

  4. Browse by Manuscript

    All manuscripts containing the repertoire of the fourteenth century are listed, with facsimiles, inventories, literature and recordings, with cross-links to individual works. A unique feature of these listings is a list of concordant manuscripts, in which every source which has at least one work in common with the currently selected manuscript is listed.

  5. Browse Complete Manuscripts:

    Four complete manuscripts are currently available: a Cistercian Gradual of the thirteenth century, a certified Dominican antiphonal of the fourteenth century, a Franciscan Common of the Saints from the fourteenth century and an Italian thirteenth-century Antiphonal. Details of decoration and alterations to the text are identified, with links to the relevant folios. Each manuscript can be 'paged through' with the navigation buttons provided.

  6. The Browse by Liturgical Feast

    This function displays the music and texts for each feast of the liturgical year according to medieval Dominican sources, divided betwwen the Temporal Cycle (Advent to the last Sunday after Pentecost) and the Santoral Cycle (from January through December). Transcriptions of the music into modern notation with the original notation immediately above each note are given for each piece, with a link to a colour image of the original manuscript, when this is available.

    A unique feature of this listing is a comparative analysis of related melodies: when similar melodies are used for different texts the melodies are listed together with transcpriptions into modern notation and details of the relationship between the melodies are identified.

  7. The Search facility

    Texts of liturgical chant from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries and the texts of polyphonic songs of the fourteenth century can be searched: some 70,000 works in all. Melodies based on an annual cycle of Dominican chants as currently identified in the description of sources may be searched using intervallic notation. For details of melodic searching see search tips

  8. Corrections and additions are warmly invited.

    Content Approved by: MMDB Director
    Last updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2007