Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


Yale libraries will be closed Nov. 25 – Jan. 5. Online services and access to library materials will continue. See COVID-19 library updates.

Music Literature Prior to 1800: Home

This will help you find writings about music published before 1800.


What is this page about?
Music literature, as V. Duckles presents it, "refers to writings on music as opposed to musical scores." The historical bibliographies below represent early compilations (published prior to 1800) of theory treatises, pedagogical works, scientific essays and many other types of publications.  There are also some later compilations.

Helpful Books


Modern Bibliographies

Historic Bibliographies

Historic Works on the Topic

These bibliographies were among the first to be published to help research on Music Literature. They can be helpful if you're really digging into a subject.

Music Librarian for Reference and Instruction

Suzanne Lovejoy's picture
Suzanne Lovejoy
Music Library, Sterling Memorial Library
Virtual office hours 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays
(203) 432-0497