Old musical manuscripts make up a very valuable part of the written documentary heritage which becomes increasingly interesting to the researchers. Musicians look for the content of these documents, music historians are interested in the development of genres and history of performance, researchers of cultural history pay attention to the origin and ownership of the documents, researches of art are interested in their decoration.
This website provides for a possibility to get acquainted with the musical manuscripts stored in the repositories of the Manuscripts Department of the Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Some of these manuscripts are already well known for Lithuanian and foreign researchers, other musical compositions are still waiting for their researchers.
Today there are more than one thousand different musical manuscripts preserved in the Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. These manuscripts belong to the period of 14-20th century and geographically reflect the musical life of Lithuania, Poland, Byelorussia, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and the Netherlands.



Musical manuscripts are stored in several collections and archives. According to the content, they comprise music of Lithuanian authors, transcripts of classical music, and old musical manuscripts. According to the performance of musical compositions, these include the pieces of vocal, scenic and instrumental music.

For a long time musical manuscripts have been available only for a small group of scientists. The need to present these collections to a wider public appeared together with increasing interest in cultural heritage of different nations. The newest digital technologies provide a possibility to save an original document and to present a high quality copy of sound and image.
Musicalia multimedia database is intended to be an informational system convenient for users and specialists. That is why the trial version includes a small number of old musical manuscripts of different genres (book of songs, Gregorian chant, irmologion, tablature of instrumental, scenic and vocal music, as well as the oldest record of Lithuanian folk tune). These manuscripts were owned by Lithuanian and Byelorussian monasteries and preserved in the Library of Kőningsberg University, Kőningsberg City Library, and in Prussia State Archive.
At the moment there are 26 musical manuscripts presented. Selected documents cover the period of 15th -17th centuries. Only the documents of very good, good or satisfactory condition where selected; some of them have been restored or managed by restorers. 
Presentation of a musical manuscript consists of a short description of the musicologist, archival description of the document, bibliography, discography, digital images of the most important and interesting pages, and sound and video recordings if available.
For the convenience of users there is a list of all presented musical manuscripts given on the search page. It is possible to search for documents according to different criteria: title, author, genre, period, signature. There is also a possibility to search for documents in the databases of the project partners.

High quality digital copies of the documents can be accessed at the Manuscripts Department of the Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Readers and publishers may obtain the copies according to a special agreement.

We extend our thanks to the consultant dr. Jūratė Trilupaitienė (Lithuanian Institute of Culture and Arts) for her kind help.

Administrators of the multimedia database Musicalia expect to enlarge the database with new records and images and would be grateful for your remarks and suggestions. 


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