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Yo Tomita, School of Music
Queen's University Belfast
Bach Bibliography
History of Data Compilation

Here I am describing the history of my data collection in order to show you the scope of research involved in the past and what remains to be done in the future.

This began as a preparation for my PhD project, but soon the collection itself grow out of it, as it soon became a tool for research. The majority of sources have appeared several times during the compilation, and a lot of mistakes are eventually corrected during the process.

1986-1987 with ViewStore (BBC Micro)

I initially collected the bibliographical references for keyboard music of J. S. Bach only for the purpose of my PhD (i.e. keyboard music, esp. WTC). The data were collected on a BBC micro using ViewStore.

The main sources of reference were: Bibliography section of J. S. Bach in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and extracting the references from a few dozen of books and articles I have read so far. There were about 3300 items.

1988-1989 with dBase IV (286 PC)

Since the amount of data exceeded the limit of a single floppy disk (800K), I have upgraded the computer to a 286 PC/AT with 40MB HD with Ashton Tate's dBase IV. I have decided to extend the search to all bibliographical sources relating to J. S. Bach, while spend a long time converting the data format.

The main sources of reference were: RILM (1968ff); Bibliographie des Musikschrifttums (1950ff); Bach Jahrbuch: articles entitled "Das Bachschrifttum" (later re-printed in Christoph Wolff's Bach-Bibliographie (Bärenreiter, 1985); in addition to the quoted sources in the articles and books I have read so far.

I have also searched all the books and periodicals in the Brotherton Library, Leeds University: periodicals covers the following titles: Music and Letters, Musical Times, Music Review, Early Music, Journal of American Musicological Society, Acta Musicologica, Archiv für Musikwissenschaft. The number of records rose to ca. 8000.

1989-1991 with dBase IV (386 PC)

More extensive search is carried out at the British Library, London and Boston Spa.

Examination of wide range of periodicals, major collections consisting of Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, Allgemeine Musikzeitung, American Choral Review, The American Organist, Ars organi, Aufbau, Bach, Bach Jahrbuch, Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft, Beiträge zur Bachforschung, Clavier, Current Musicology, Deutsches Bach-Fest, Diapason, Die Musik, Gottesdienst und Kirchenmusik, Hausmusik, Der Kirchenmusiker, Die Musikforschung, Mens en melodie, Musikhandel, Musik Instrument, Musik und Kirche, Das Musikleben, The Musical Quarterly, Notes, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, Österreische Musikzeitschrift, Schweizerische Musikzeitung.

Main interest here would be the addition of early 19th-century items appearing in Music newspapers in Germany. The number of records reached at ca. 12,000.

1994-1995 with Idealist for Windows (386/Pentium PC)

With the slow appearance of dBase for Windows, I have given up waiting for the new release of the software, and decided to switch to Idealist for Windows. This software was recommended by University Computing Service, and I was impressed by several innovative features, such as "Indexing every words" and "cross-referencing". The conversion of data format took several month.

I have added about 800 more records, extracting information from the references in the books as well as new items from book catalogues.


Since I have moved from Leeds to Belfast, I have added items which I found at Queen's University Library. I visited the British Library Boston Spa once, adding articles from Ongakugaku, Journal of Musicological Research, Musicology, and others.

Online on 5 May 1997

The Bach Bibliography went online on 5 May 1997, thanks to the help received from my colleagues (acknowledged here). The log of updates from this time onwards is recorded in the following files: 1997-1998, 1999-2002, 2003-present.


Last modified: 01 September 2003