Organisation of the Catalogue of Solo and Chamber Music for Viola da Gamba

Every entry of the Catalogue of Solo and Chamber Music for Viola da Gamba by Bettina Hoffmann contains the following:

author Author’s name with possible spelling variations. In case of transcription: “Transcription from” + name of the author of the original work, and name of the transcriber. Dates of birth and death or years of activity.
By ‘transcription’, I mean a version created by a hand other than that of the composer, a version that translates the musical substance of the original, usually by a change of instrumentation; any other cases are recorded as “copies” in the entries of the original works.

work information Title, indications of the scoring, opus number, catalogue number, tonality and other useful indications for the identification of the composition. Original titles are in italics, inferred titles in roman type; textual incipits of vocal works are included between quotation marks.
For printed works: indications of the place of publication, publishing house and date of printing. These datas are placed in parenthesis when they are inferred from secondary sources.
Single movements by the same composer for the same instrumentation are grouped under a single entry, especially in the case of the repertoire for the lyra viol, where one comes across a tightly interwoven series of copied pieces, that pop up in various manuscripts and printed editions, making it difficult to know the original source. When several anonymous compositions for similar formations or of similar structure are found in one and the same manuscript, they are gathered under one single entry since, in the absence of the composer’s name, the belonging to a certain library or collection can often provide useful historical and geographical references.

scoring Abbreviated indications on the instruments involved. This field is intended to be a practical help for the consultation without replacing the more detailed information offered in other fields; for the sake of clarity the alternative instrumentation for the viola da gamba is not given. In this field a slash denotes alternative instrumentations indicated for the same composition, while a comma denotes the instrumentation of different compositions found in one work with a unique title.
In this field vocal works are not yet indexed; they are therefore searchable by single voices or instruments, but not by precise scoring.

source RISM sigla of the library that hold at least one exemplar of the work. For works in manuscripts the sigla of the library is followed by the shelf location if available and, in italics, the possible name of the manuscript.

online copy Links to photographic reproductions available in the internet of the original manuscript or print.

modern editions A selective list of modern editions with particular attention to critical editions and facsimiles. Scores without critical apparatus and without editorial control (as many available in the web) are therefore included only rarely and with great caution.


RISM References to printed RISM volumes and links to online RISM if available.

Thematic index Link to the Thematic Index of Music for Viols of the Viola da Gamba Society of Great Britain. This work is organised in index cards grouped by author initials and published in pdf format. The exact page must therefore be searched for manually.

bibliography Very selective bibliographical indications concerning the work in question in particular.


The work on this Catalogue would have been impossible without the help of many scholars, colleagues and friends who generously shared their knowledge, made my studies possible, and contributed to my violist library. I sincerely thank…
Peter Adams, Marcello Alemanno, Bernhard R. Appel, Andrew Ashbee, Alex Baker, Alessandro Bares, Edelgard Baumgärtel, Oswald Bill, Johannes Boer, Kathryn Bosi, Frank Bowles, Marco Casonato, Sabine Mielke-Cassola, Marcello Castellani, Giovanni Dalla Vecchia, Nikolaus Delius, Jonathan Dunford, Albert Dunning, Anders Edling, Fred Flassig, Olivier Foures, Daniel Gloor, François-Pierre Goy, Helmut Hell, Johann Friedrich Hoffmann, Marita Hoffmann, Peter Holman, Raimund Jedeck, Kivie Cahn-Lipman, Mateusz Kowalski, Alfred Lessing, Barbara Linnert, Martin Lubenow, Loren Ludwig, Marta Mancini, Domen Marincic, Stephen Morris, Joëlle Morton, Giulia Nuti, Théodora Psychoyou, Alice Renken, Caroline Ritchie, Fabio Salvato, Federico Maria Sardelli, Lynda Sayce, Brigitte Schürmann, Marc Strümper, Richard Sutcliffe, Nicki Swallow, Gerardo Tocchini, Bernhard Vass, Hugh Ward-Perkins, Caroline Wood, Günter von Zadow, the Viola da Gamba Society of Great Britain and the Viola da Gamba Society of America
and many others.

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