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Music scores

Step-by-step methods to help you find printed and digital scores.

Collected editions

What is a Collected Edition?

Collected Editions (AKA Gesamtausgabe or Complete Editions) include the complete works of a particular composer. Musicologists, who've studied manuscripts and primary sources to determine the composer's original intention, compile Collected Editions. These editions are published over a number of years and some contain over 100 volumes.

Why are Collected Editions useful?

Collected Editions tend to be used as a source for study rather than performance. They are useful to identify the original intention of the composer and for historical study of music. Collected Editions are also useful to refer to when individual scores are not available. As Collected Editions contain the complete works of a composer, the individual work can be sourced from the Collected Edition instead.

Where can I find Collected Editions in the Library?

Located at M3 in the Architecture & Music Library. Please note they cannot be borrowed.

How can I find a particular work in a Collected Edition?

Search the Oxford Music Online (Grove Online) Database to locate works within Collected Editions.

Search by the composer's surname. Select the composer's Biography entry from the list of results. From the Biography entry, select the 'works' tab, which lists the composer's complete works. Beside each work in the table is a section listing which volume of the Collected Edition that particular piece is in. In some cases, there will be more than one set of complete works.

For example, Bach's works are listed as BG (Bach-Gesellschaft) and NBA (Neue Bach-Ausgabe)