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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS n of music.
EARLY BOOKS ON MUSIC
OF THE CATALOGUE DIVISION
PREPARED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
O. G. SONNECK
CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF MUSIC
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
The "musical renaissance" movement is placing ever increasing treasures of olden time music before us in the form of "Denkmäler" and similar, more or less, monumental publications, edited by competent musical scholars. Thus the old masters of music are again accessible to libraries which could not and can not acquire them in the very costly and scarce original editions, and this remark applies for obvious reasons to practically all American libraries.
While therefore the evolution of modern music may be fairly well reconstructed through the medium of these modern editions of old music, it is entirely different with the old books on music in which there lies stored such a great wealth of historical suggestion and fact. They are not accessible in reprint, if we except certain works by standard authors-I mention at random Altenburg, Agricola, St. Augustine, Bach, Blankenburgh, Boethius, Diruta, Glarean, Hawkins, Mattheson, Parfaict, Praetorius, Quantz, Ramos de Pareja, Schlick, Virdung, Zacconi. Confronted by this fact, the Library of Congress, immediately after the reorganization of the Music Division in 1902, undertook systematically to collect the old books on music in the original (because practically, only available) editions. In the short space of ten years it was, of course, impossible to acquire every rare book of moment and in some instances this was due less to rarity than to prohibitive cost. Fortunately, a few such books are available either in modern reprints at the Library of Congress, or they found their way years ago, when prices were less exasperating, to other American libraries, principally the Boston Public, the New York Public and the Newberry Library of Chicago. It would be unsafe to assume that an old book on music is not to be found in America because it happens to be wanting here in the largest American collection of the kind.
Possibly, if fortune favors us, certain annoying gaps in our own collections, annoying because of the otherwise comprehensive character of the collections, will gradually disappear. But, whether or not fortune will so favor us, it was felt that the publication of a catalogue of the old books on music already in the Library of Congress-probably more than a third of the entire output before 1800-had become advisable in the interest of musicology at home and abroad. One point, however, should not be overlooked. It has not been the policy of the Library of Congress to collect every or even many edi