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date: 22 November 2019


  • Sydney Robinson Charles


A printed or manuscript collection of musical works selected from a particular repertory. Most anthologies contain works by more than one composer. Certain types of collection, which may be anthologies in the broadest sense – folksong collections, tune books, songsters, hymnals, psalters, pasticcios, ballad operas, organ and lute intabulations, and theory or performance manuals with music examples – are not considered in this article, which is confined to printed anthologies of music roughly contemporary with date of publication and containing works by different composers. For manuscript anthologies, see Sources, MS ; for printed anthologies, see Editions, historical .

The value of printed anthologies for the musical scholar and performer goes beyond the individual musical items contained, for the entire make-up of each one reflects the judgment of a knowledgeable contemporary, its compiler, of the interests, tastes and needs of the musical public of that time and place. Thus anthologies can suggest many aspects of social usage. Sometimes the very wording of an anthology title can offer a surprisingly vivid picture of the circumstances of its intended use, as in ...

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