Early Music

<em>Collection of Medieval Musical Treatises</em>
G. de Anglia, Collection of Medieval Musical Treatises, ca. 1391.

Early Music was one of the first Newberry collecting specialties, and the collection today is full of treasures that come from times and places as diverse as the medieval court of Pavia, the Renaissance cities of Brescia and Florence, baroque France, and the Vienna of Mozart.


An English scribe created this manuscript in Pavia, Italy, copying a selection of mathematical and practical works relating to music. The piece shown here is La harpe de melodie (The harp of melody). [Essay 104]

Friar G. de Anglia
Collection of Medieval Musical Treatises
Pavia, c. 1391
Ryerson Fund, 1955
VAULT Case MS 54.1

<em>Compositione di meser Vincenzo Capirola, gentil homo bresano</em>
Vincenzo Capirola, Compositione di meser Vincenzo Capirola, ..., ca. 1517.

Vincenzo Capirola was one of the first celebrity lutenists in Renaissance Europe. This manuscript of his lute music includes some forty pieces, ranging from simple to extremely difficult pieces. [Essay 106]

Vincenzo Capirola
Compositione di meser Vincenzo Capirola, gentil homo bresano
[Compositions of Master Vincenzo Capirola, gentleman from Brescia]
Venice, c. 1517
General Fund, 1904
VAULT Case MS minus VM 140 .C25

<em>Le mvsiche di Iacopo Peri ...</em>
Jacopo Peri, Le mvsiche di Iacopo Peri ..., 1600.

Euridice is considered by most historians of music to be the first extant opera score. This first edition is also part of the Newberry’s earliest purchases of musical works, which immediately made the library a leading American resource for the history of music. [Essay 107]

Jacobo Peri
Le mvsiche di Iacopo Peri Nobil Fiorentino Sopra l’Euridice del Sig. Ottavio Rinvccini
 [The music of Jacopo Peri, Florentine nobleman, upon the Euridice of Signor Ottavio Rinuccini]
Florence: Giorgio Marescotti, 1600
Pio Resse Collection, 1889
VAULT Case CM 1500 .P44e

Alessandro Stradella, Cantate, ca. 1756.

Alessandro Stradella’s brilliant vocal works were actively collected in manuscript. This volume includes both genuine and doubtful pieces by the composer. [Essay 109]

Alessandro Stradella
Italy, c. 1750
Brown-Weiss Book Fund, 1995
VAULT Case MS 5067

<em>Aria Conservati fedele soprano 2 violini viola e basso</em>
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Conservati fedele, 1765.

This aria manuscript is the most important of the three Mozart autograph scores in the Newberry. Just nine years old when he composed it, Mozart probably wrote everything here except for the initial instrument in­dications, the clefs, and the accidentals, which were penned by his father. [Essay 110]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Aria Conservati fedele soprano 2 violini viola e basso
[Stay faithful]
The Hague, 1765
Bequest of Claire Dux Swift, 1967
VAULT Case MS 6A 48