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.
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.
Music Reference and Research Materials by Duckles, Vincent H. and Ida Reed
Call Number: Music Reference ML113 D835 1997
The starting point reference work for music research.
Ecrits imprimes concernant la musique. by Lesure, François.
Call Number: Music Library Reference ML113 I61 v.B VI 1-2
This two-volume work is a very extensive listing of writings on music to 1800. These two volumes are part of the RISM project, an international, scholarly project to document primary sources in music and the libraries that own them.
Bibliographie der Musiktheoretischen Drucke des 16. Jahrhunderts. by Davidsson, Åke
Call Number: Music Library Reference ML128 T396 D2
The title is pretty self-explanatory but this modern bibliography lists important theoretical treatises and works on music printing published in the 16th century.
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.
Allgemeine Litteratur der Musik by Forkel, Johann Nikolaus
Call Number: Music ML113 F721 1792a
Lists about 3000 writings from antiquity to the late-18th century, with comments on their content and thoroughness. 2 copies of original ed. at Beinecke - Music Library Deposit ML113 F721
Anleitung zu der musikalischen Gelahrtheit by Adlung, Jakob
Call Number: MUDD, Music Collection Nb12 Ad59
The MUDD Library will be closed for renovations starting Sept. 15. Request that book through ORBIS. This publication is a vast compendium of factual data and practical observations, including sources of knowledge on the theory and practice of music., originally published in 1758.
Litteratur der Musik ; oder, Anleitung zur Kentnis der vorzüglichen... by Gruber, Johann Sigmund.