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Music: Find Primary Sources

Video tutorials

Reception history

Manuscripts, facsimiles, and early printed editions

A concise overview of the term "sources" from David Fallows can be found in The Oxford Companion to Music. 

Primary sources for music may include

  • letters and diaries
  • manuscripts and early printed editions of scores
  • annotated scores used for early performances
  • reviews of first and early performances
  • sound recordings, including recording-session masters and out takes
  • film footage of performances, rehearsals, and people involved in creating the music
  • ethnographic films and folklore collections
  • musical instruments and equipment of all kinds.

Research Methods Primary Sources