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date: 24 November 2020

Anonymous theoretical writings.locked

  • C. Matthew Balensuela


This article focusses on anonymous music theory texts written during the Western Middle Ages and early Renaissance (to about 1600), currently assumed to be anonymous and not closely associated with a known person, which have been edited and published in modern times.

Numerous artefacts of music have survived to modern times without clearly identifying their author. These include musical works, pictures, court records, theoretical treatises, and other documents. The corpus of anonymous theoretical works, therefore, comprises only a portion of all anonymous works in the history of music. In music theory, anonymous sources primarily span the time from antiquity to the early Renaissance, when texts were copied by hand. After the advent of printing, few theoretical works were transmitted anonymously.

Several groups of anonymous treatises are excluded from this article, such as works of ancient Greek, Byzantine, or Arabic music theory, works closely associated with named writers, and unpublished anonymous works. In addition, several significant anonymous works, such as the ...

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