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Research Guides

Music Guide: Find Collected Editions and Thematic Catalogues

What are Collected Editions

What are Collected Editions? Collected editions are composed of either the complete works of a single composer or the works of several composers organized by period, region, or genre. These editions often come in several volumes and are usually published over a number of years. 

Why are they helpful? These might be helpful if you're looking for an individual score the library doesn't have. You might find that the library does have the work contained in a collected edition. The most famous composers will have collected editions. 

How can I find them? Collected editions are traditionally found in M2 and M3 call numbers. However you can also search the UW catalog for a collected edition with search terms such as the name of the composer and complete works. For Example: "Bach, collected works" or "Bach, works"

You may also see several foreign terms meaning collected editions, such as WerkeSamtliche WerkeGesamtausgabe, Opere, Oeuvres.


How can I Find Specific Works within Collected Editions

In order to locate a specific work or to see if a composer has a collected editions, you can search Oxford Music Online or one of the two books listed below. 

In Oxford Music Online, when searching by the name of the composer, you can typically find a list of works at the end of the dictionary entry. Each work entry usually contains the volume the work is in. 

You can also use the print guides listed below. These guides are a comprehensive lists of collected editions and their contents until 1997. 

What are Thematic Catalogues

What are Thematic Catalogues? Thematic Catalogs are catalogs of all a single composer's works, usually organized by opus number, chronology, or music type. Many times an incipit is included. These catalogs are often published over many years and are sometimes not finished.

Why are they Helpful? Similar to collected editions, these can be helpful when you are looking for individual scores that the library does not have. They may be present in a thematic catalog. 

How can you Find them? One way to find a thematic catalog for a particular composer is to search Grove Music Online. You can often find thematic catalogs before the lists of works in the bibliography. 

Another way is to check Barry S. Brook's Thematic Catalogues in Music: An Annotated Bibliography that is linked below. 

You can also search the UW catalog with search terms such as the name of the composer and complete works. For Example: "Bach, complete works" or "Bach, works"