Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Introduction to Editorial Techniques

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Music Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit examines the concepts of musical editing by training students in elementary palaeography. It will help them assess existing editions and prepare their own critical edition by transcribing music using computer music notation software. The course will also help them deepen their knowledge of early music and its sources, and to develop their skills of observation and presentation. The study-unit will guide students in presenting a modern critical edition of a work (or works) mainly from the eighteenth century.


This study-unit aims at introducing students to the concepts and techniques of musical editing and elementary palaeography in order to apply them to unedited early music manuscripts.

Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(i) recognise the common difficulties encountered in the process of editing a musical work; and
(ii) identify the principal tasks needed to prepare a modern critical edition.

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(i) identify the various problems encountered in the processes of editing early music;
(ii) undertake editing tasks to unedited autograph scores; and
(iii) prepare a critical edition of a musical work (or works) comprising an editorial preface, a computer transcription, critical notes and a critical commentary.

Main Texts:

- Caldwell, John. 1995. Editing Early Music (Oxford: OUP).
- Grier, James. 1996. The Critical Editing of Music (Cambridge: CUP).

Supplementary Readings:

- Dumitrescu, T., Kügle, K. and van Berchum, M. (eds.). 2014. Early Music Editing: Principles, Historiography, Future Directions (Turnhout: Brepols).
- Feder, Georg. 2011. Music Philology (New York: Pendragon).


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Frederick Aquilina

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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.