Editing the past

  • van Berchum, M. (Organiser)
  • Petra van Langen (Organiser)
  • Ita Hijmans (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConferenceSocietal


Less than a year after the KVNM (Royal Society for Music History of the Netherlands) was founded in 1868, the first music publication saw the light of day: Sweelinck’s five-voiced Regina coeli. The aim of KVNM-founder and Amsterdam medical doctor Jan Pieter Heije was to facilitate scholarly research by members of this (North)-Netherlandish Society and to publish music by ‘our old Masters’. Heije wanted to make this music available for future use by creating new scores, as musicologists in other countries were doing. Today, 150 years later – during which the KVNM proudly published the New Josquin Edition – we live in a digital world with well-nigh endless possibilities in terms of creating ideal, multifunctional editions.

Running parallel to the wealth of productive editing is the vast development in the early music performance practice. Performers and scholars have inspired, reviled and supported each other. The jubilee celebrations of the oldest musicology society in the world provide a unique opportunity to once again inspire each other.

The theme of this symposium was the interaction between editors and performers in the world of new digital possibilities.

The symposium addressed three score possibilities: paper, digital, and historical performance editions. One of the key issues at the symposium was assessing the added value of digital editions for musicologists and performers, and related disciplines such as literature. Tying in to the themes of the Utrecht Early Music Festival Festival 2018 a session was devoted to Josquin Desprez, a composer who earns a place of honor for editions both on paper and digital (KVNM), and of course the many performances of his music.

Together with the Stichting voor Muziekhistorische Uitvoeringspraktijk (STIMU) and the Utrecht Early Music Festival, the KVNM hopes to have given a new impulse to discussion between scholars and musicians with music editions as common denominator.
Period30 Aug 201831 Aug 2018


  • musicology
  • editions