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Finding Early Music Resources

As a choral director interested in introducing and performing early music with my high school choirs, I am always interested in new resources for locating works. By taste, I enjoy chant and early polyphony and often gravitate towards that repertoire with my students.
Are their suggestions for sources?
Replies (9): Threaded | Chronological
on July 2, 2010 11:06am
A great beginning on this community!  I look forward to watching it grow.
I have begun programming chant at all my concerts.  I'm looking for some Hildegard von Bingen chants for a concert in fall.  Know any resources for that?
on July 6, 2010 10:49am
Hello Phillip:
We have found several at
These were drawn from Anonymous 4's recording "Origin of Fire". We have especially enjoyed "Beata nobis gaudia".
Best wishes,
on July 5, 2010 11:05am
Dana:  How do you define "early polyphony"?  It's a little hard to give advice if you're thinking 17th century and I'm thinking 12th or 13th!  But in general, your best source for the raw music is a good university library, in the various collections or complete works shelved under M2 or M3 in the LIbrary of Congress classification system.  Of course that means that you have to be knowledgeable enough to do your own editing and make your own decisions, rather than have a publisher's editor do it for you.  I touch on those things in my Early Music Literature class, but that class isn't a requirement for music majors, just a choice under Music History & Literature.
All the best,
on July 6, 2010 11:04am
Hi John:
I am thinking of the 12th-14th centuries. I have been in contact with the IU School of Music Library and have found some resources. However, as you point out, you then have to have the knowledge to do the editing and I don't think I have the requisite knowledge.
My hope is that there may be sources of information that are somewhat unknown but freely or Cheaply available. Some of the sources that I have used include:
Thanks for your input. I have always admired your thoroghness of thought and ability to delve a bit deeper into these forum posts.
on July 6, 2010 10:56am
Hi Dana
Difficult because the market is too small for traditional publishers to make money on it. Many performers edit their early music and if you contact them, you can acquire music that way.  CPDL is full of such stuff. Search by title or composer. Do the same with Google or similar. Danger with CPDL is that you have no idea how accurate/scholarly the editions are.
I'm considered somewhat of an expert on Heinrich Isaac's Choralis Constantinus (over 400 chant-based motets).  Just returned from the Isaac Symposium at Indiana University where I presented a paper on performing Isaac. If you want that, I've got lots.  So does Michael Proctor. Most of your good sources will be folks like these performer/editors.  Most of the things available by mainstream publishers are old and not up-to-date scholarship.  Distrust anything with a copyright date earlier than about 1970.
on July 9, 2010 4:01am
The First major recording of the Isaac noted, a selection of 13 from Book III, which Harold Brown did with his Renaissance Chorus of NY  came out shorly after Louise Cuylers transcription[Ann Arbor, UMichigan,1950]. It was on the Esoteric/Counterpoint/Everest Label, briefly reissued 10/31/09 for Brown's Centennial. It may be available in major libraries. Cuylers work remains sound, as does later work from Eastman.
{Any papers on this topic are of great interest to us!}
Of interest may be the old Chorwerk Isaac Missa Carminum, a charming work.
Often programmed is the Kaisermotette[1507], in many editions- which our sight-singing circle friends often read for pleasure.
For other composers one could look at the very readable editions of  John Hetland<>, which are from secondary sources, but still researched.
on October 27, 2012 12:33pm
As an addendum to this post we have just discovered the Esoteric 546 Renaissance Chorus of NY LP has been digitized and is heard on SPOTIFY.
on October 26, 2010 6:49am
Dear Dana,
Paraclete Press Sacred Music offers a Renaissance Series edited by Jameson Marven.  We are also the North American distributors for the Monks of Solesmes and are a great resource for any gregorian chant materials.
Here are two links, and please don't hesitate to call me if I can help you in any way.
Sr.Estelle Cole
Paraclete Press Sacred Music
1-800-451-5006, ext. 309
on November 9, 2012 12:43pm
 I think you may be interested in this fine Catalog:
Let me know if helpful
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