30 September 2011

Early Music Online - over 300 volumes of 16th Century music

Early Music Online contains more than 300 digitised volumes of 16th century music - some of the world's earliest surviving volumes of printed music - held in the British Library.

These anthologies of printed music contain approximately 10,000 musical compositions. They mainly consist of partbooks of vocal polyphony, but also include some early printed tablatures for keyboard or plucked string instruments. They include music printed in Italy, Germany, France and England. 

Highlights of the collection include:
  • church music by the Flemish composer Josquin des Prez
  • and the English musicians Thomas Tallis and William Byrd
  • drinking-songs from Nuremberg
  • love-songs from Lyon
  • lute music from Venice and organ music from Leipzig
Search Early Music Online content via the British Library Catalogue

Click 'I want this' in each catalogue record to access the digitised music.

Thanks to a partnership between Royal Holloway, University of London, the British Library, and JISC, this material is now freely available, and can be used for non-commercial purposes.

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