9th Biennial Conference on Baroque Music


Music inventories as important sources for the reconstruction of church music repertory in the Southern Netherlands: five newly found catalogues from churches in Ghent (c. 1600 - c. 1780)

Bruno Bouckaert

The study of musical life in the Low Countries has abundantly illustrated the existence of a very intense activity in the production of music manuscripts and the purchase of music prints. In the reconstruction of the repertory from which musicians drew, the study of the surviving music collections of ecclesiastical institutions was in the past quite rightly one of the main preoccupations of musicological research. In this context the examination of the surviving music inventories too must take pride of place. After a survey of the existing inventories, attention will concentrate on the situation in Ghent. In addition to two already attested inventories, five hitherto unknown music catalogues has been unearthed. The situation in Ghent may be regarded as representative for the whole of the Southern Netherlands. The discussion of the identification process is followed by an evaluation of what the contents of the Ghent catalogues tell us about the music performed in the aforementioned churches, situated in the original context (functionality, performance practice). In a second section these data will be viewed in a broader perspective. Our aim is to extract from the all existing music inventories any information which can enhance our understanding of the musical repertory and its evolution from the early Baroque until about 1780. A crucial question is how and through which channels (manuscripts or prints) music circulated in this area and whether any particular developments can be pointed out.

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Last updated on 21 March 2000 by Yo Tomita