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M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

revised by Pamela M. Potter

(b Vienna, July 3, 1889; d Vienna, April 11, 1967). Austrian musicologist . After receiving a degree in law at the University of Vienna in 1912 he worked in the Austrian Finance Ministry until 1918. He began studying musicology with Adler in Vienna in 1917 and earned the doctorate in 1919 with a dissertation on the Salve regina settings in the Trent manuscripts. From 1918 and 1938 he oversaw the music collection in the Vienna Stadtbibliothek and simultaneously continued to work at the University of Vienna until 1945, completing the Habilitation in 1922 with a work on rhythm in 15th-century polyphony; he was named reader in 1929 and supernumerary professor in 1939. Orel was also interim director of the Staatliche Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in 1938, and from 1940 to 1945 he was special consultant on Viennese music research for the Vienna office of cultural affairs. After the war he was barred from the university because of his membership in the Nazi party. Orel organized numerous exhibits on music in the 1920s and 30s and received medals of honour from the state in ...


Stanley Boorman, John A. Emerson, David Hiley, David Fallows, Thomas B. Payne, Elizabeth Aubrey, Lorenz Welker, Manuel Pedro Ferreira, Ernest H. Sanders, Peter M. Lefferts, Ursula Günther, Gilbert Reaney, Kurt von Fischer, Gianluca D’Agostino, Charles Hamm, Jerry Call and Herbert Kellman

A manuscript source is one that is written by hand. Before the invention of printing, music was preserved either by oral transmission or by MS copies. There is no reason to believe that oral transmission preserves the same music for more than a few centuries, at least in the West, so that all our knowledge of medieval and early Renaissance music depends on MSS. From the start of printing until the work of Petrucci in 1501, almost all printed music was monophonic, mostly chant: even thereafter, however, there has remained a living tradition of the MS copying of certain repertories where printing would not have been economically feasible.

The present article comprises a preliminary discussion of the nature of MS sources and their significance for present-day musical research, followed by a series of sections that review the character and repertory of the main classes of MS in use before 1600...