This collection was assembled by Allen Forte for his personal use. He began collecting these items in the early 1950’s, and acquisition continued over some two decades. The collection was offered for sale as a whole in the spring of 1998, and was acquired by the library in August of that year. All of the items below appear in our online catalog and are available for in-library consultation.
There are 49 titles below, arranged by author, representing 67 volumes and dating from 1715 to 1894. (Items 21, 23, 26, 29, 30, 32, 36, 41, and 49 represent more than one volume.) Following each listing is the call number of each item.
Descriptions are written by Allen Forte, unless otherwise noted.
Avison, Charles (1709-1770). An Essay on Musical Expression. London, 1775.
A major source for 18th-century aesthetics. Avison is regarded as the most important English concerto composer of the 18th century. (SPEC ML 3847 .A98)
Bazin, François (1816-1878). Cours d’Harmonie, Theorique et Pratique. Paris, 1857.
Official harmony textbook of the Paris Conservatoire during Bazin’s tenure on the faculty (from 1844). Bazin won the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1840. (SPEC MT 50 .B36 1857)
Bemetzrieder, Anton (1743 or 1748-c.1817). Leçons de Clavecin. Paris, 1771.
The French theorist, Bemetzrieder, was associated with the Encyclopedists and, by his account, gave lessons to Diderot’s daughter. He taught music in Paris and, from 1781 onward, in London. (SPEC MT 224 .B45 L4 1771)
Bussler, Ludwig (1838-1900). Musikalische Formenlehre in dreiunddreissig Aufgaven, mit zahlreichen, ausschliesslich in den Text gedruckten Muster- Uebungs- und Erläuterungs- Beispielen, sowie Anführungen aus den Meisterwerken der Tonkunst für den Unterricht an öffentlichen Lehr-Anstalten, den Privat- und Selbst- Unterricht systematisch-methodisch dargestellt. Berlin, 1894.
(SPEC MT 58 .B97 L34 1894)
Cherubini, Luigi (1760-1842). Cours de Contrepoint et de Fugue. Paris, 1840.
Prepared for publication by Halévy, the famous opera composer (La Juive), who studied counterpoint with Cherubini. For over fifty years Cherubini was a dominant figure in French music, as an opera composer, and in French music education, as Director of the Conservatoire de Musique. This is his crowning textbook achievement. (SPEC MT 55 .C523 T7 1840)
Crotch, William (1775-1847). Practical Thorough Bass. London, n.d.
Crotch was a child prodigy as pianist, organist, violinist, and composer. In 1797 he became Professor of Music at Oxford University, and in 1800-1804 gave the first lectures on history of music there. He was famous as a teacher, and became first Principal of the Royal Academy of Music in 1822. (SPEC MT 49 .C76)
D’Alembert, Jean le Rond (1717-1783). Élémens de Musique Théorique et Pratique suivant les principes de M. Rameau. Nouvelle Edition, Lyon, 1772.
D’Alembert was a prominent French philospher who interested himself in music-theoretic matters, contributing articles to Diderot’s Encyclopédie. His famous Elémens de Musique Théorique et Pratique contains an extensive critique of Rameau’s work. Marpurg’s translation of D’Alembert’s treatise brought Rameau’s ideas to the German-speaking countries. (SPEC ML 3815 .A2 A533 1772)
De Geslin, Philippe Marc Antoine (b. 1788). Cours Analytiques de Musique ou Méthode Developpée du Méloplaste. Paris, 1825.
Dedicated to Cherubini. The méloplaste is attributed to P. Galin, but bears some resemblance to Logier’s chiroplast. Contains a number of foldout plates. (SPEC MT 20 .G39 1825)
Fenaroli, Fedele (1730-1818). Cours Complet d’Harmonie et de Haute Composition. Paris, n.d.
In French and Italian. Fenaroli’s textbooks were highly regarded both in Italy and in France. (SPEC MT 49 .F46 C6)
Fétis, François-Joseph (1784-1871). Traité complet de la Théorie et de la Pratique de l’Harmonie. Douzième Edition, 1879.
The Belgian musician and scholar Fétis was a very influential figure in music throughout the central part of the 19th century. He became the first Director of the Brussels Conservatory in 1833 and was active in many aspects of musical culture, including his innovative historical concerts. His Traité, which contains many striking speculations, attempts to predict the course of harmonic development. Among his many admirers was Franz Liszt, who composed a short work inspired by Fétis’s theories. (SPEC MT 50 .F48 T7)
Fétis, François-Joseph (1784-1871). La Musique mise à la Portée de Tout le Monde. Paris, 1830.
The first music appreciation book for the general reader. Modern binding. (SPEC MT 6 .F45 M87 1830)
Gasparini, Francesco (1668-1727). L’Armonico Pratico al Cimbalo. Seconda Impressione. Venice, 1715.
A primary source for figured-bass theory in the early 18th century that influenced a number of other authors, among them Heinichen. Gasparini is highly regarded as a composer. He wrote some fifty operas, as well as oratorios and cantatas. As a teacher he was also very much esteemed, and among his pupils was Domenico Scarlatti. His figured-bass treatise first appeared in 1708. (SPEC MT 68 .G37 A7 1715)
Grétry, André-Ernest-Modest (1741-1813). Méthode Simple pour Apprendre à Préluder. Paris, 1802.
An unusual book on improvisation by the famous French composer of opéra comique. (SPEC MT 68 .G74 M4 1802)
Gunn, Anne (fl. 1800-1803). An Introduction to Music. Edinburgh, 1803.A very interesting elementary textbook by a Scottish musician, in which the student learns fundamentals in a game-playing setting. (SPEC MT 6 .G866 I5 1803)
Heinichen, Johann David (1683-1729). Der General-Bass in der Composition. Dresden, 1728.
The major treatise of the first part of the 18th century. Extremely rare. Heinichen was the first to construct a musical circle on which all twenty-four keys were represented. The book, which is nearly 800 pages in length, is not only a compendium of figured bass practice, but also contains extensive material of considerable analytical interest based upon the unusual features of the contemporary operatic style. After years of travel and study, primarily in Italy, Heinichen’s compositions brought him to the attention of the Crown Prince of Saxony and he was appointed Capellmeister of the Saxon court in Dresden. As Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart states: “Heinichen belongs to the period of J.S. Bach. And like many members of the Bach generation, he displays the double gift of logical and systematic thought in combination with rich creative imagination.” (SPEC MT 49 .A2 H47)
Jamard, Thomas (1734-1815). Recherches sur la Théorie de la Musique. Paris, 1769.
Post-Rameau acoustically based music theory concerned with scales, intervals, and consonance-dissonance, and other basic traditional ideas. (SPEC ML 3805 .J353 R4 1769)
Kellner, David (1670-1748). Treulicher Unterricht im General-Bass. Zweite und vermehrte Auflage. Hamburg, 1737.
This book, first published in 1732, was widely used in German-speaking countries in the early 18th century. Georg Philipp Telemann wrote a short preface, endorsing the book. A copy of the treatise was in Haydn’s possession. Kellner was a church organist in Stockholm and a lute virtuoso. (SPEC MT 49 .A2 K3 1737)
Kirnberger, Johann Philipp (1721-1783). Grundsätze des Generalbasses als erste Linien zur Composition. Vienna, ca. 1790.
Kirnberger was a student of J.S. Bach and a very significant theorist of the later 18th century. He also composed music, some modeled on music of the Bach period, some in the newer galant style. (SPEC MT 49 .K57 G78 1790)
Kirnberger, Johann Philipp (1721-1783). Die Kunst des reinen Satzes in der Musik. Vol. 1, Berlin, 1771.
The rare first edition of this major theoretical study. (Ed. note: This rare book contains modern notes pertaining to the “Zugabe”, pp. 248 ff., and to the Errata. It would seem that the Zugabe in the FSU copy contains an analysis of Kirnberger’s own music, while the Yale copy contains an analysis of a Bach fugue. In addition, the FSU copy contains 5 pages of Errata, while the Yale copy has none. FSU also has vol. 2, 1st Abt., of the Kirnberger, which is not part of the Forte Collection.) (SPEC MT 40 .A2 K6)
Koch, Heinrich Christoph (1749-1816). Musikalisches Lexicon, welches die theoretische und praktische Tonkunst, encyclopädisch bearbeitet, alle alten und neuen Kunstwörter erklärt, und die alten und neuen Instrumente beschrieben, enthält. Offenbach am Main.
A large dictionary that contains many of the ideas Koch presented in his Versuch einer Anleitung zur Composition, often revised. (SPEC ML 108 .K76 M8 1802)
Koch, Heinrich Christoph (1749-1816). Versuch einer Anleitung zur Composition. Three volumes: Zweiter Teil, Leipzig, 1787; Dritter und letzter Teil, Leipzig, 1793. Erster Teil in facsimile, Hildesheim, 1969.”
The most comprehensive composition treatise of the Classical era” (New Grove). (SPEC MT 40 .K72 V4)
Kollmann, Augustus Frederic Christopher (1756-1829). A Practical Guide to Thorough Bass. Offenbach am Mayn, 1808.
Kollmann was a prominent and influential figure in Britain, writing books on a variety of topics. (SPEC MT 49 .K75 P7 1808)
LaBorde, Jean-Benjamin(-François) de (1734-1794). Essai sur la Musique ancienne et moderne. Four volumes. Paris, 1780.
Pupil of Rameau. Pupil of J.P. Rameau. Composer of theatrical works, including over thirty operas. His Essai is the result of over thirty years of research. It deals with the music of many periods and countries, traces the history of ancient instruments, and assembles information about artists in all genres, primarily Italian and French. Includes many engraved plates. (SPEC ML 100 .L2 1780)
Langlé, Honoré François Marie (1741-1807). Traité de la Basse sous le Chant. Paris, 1798.
Langlé was Professor of harmony and Librarian of the Paris Conservatoire de musique after its founding in 1795. Well known author. ( SPEC MT 40 .A2 L27 1798)
Lirou, Jean François Espic (1740-1806). Explication du Système de L’Harmonie, Pour abréger l’Etude de la Composition, & accorder la Pratique avec la Théorie. London, 1785.
Post-Rameauian harmony simplified. (SPEC ML 3815 .L57 E9 1785)
Lobe, Johann Christian (1797-1881). Lehrbuch der musikalischen Komposition. Four volumes. Originally published Leipzig, 1850, 1855, 1860, 1867. Vol. 1 (Dritte, verbesserte Auflage, 1866): Von den ersten Elementen der Harmonielehre an bis zur vollständigen Komposition des Streichquartetts und aller Arten von Klavierwerken. Vol. 2 (Zweite, verbesserte Auflage, 1864): Die Lehre von der Instrumentation. Vol 3: Lehre von der Fuge, dem Kanon und dem doppelten Kontrapunkte, in neuer und einfacher Darstellung mit besonderen Rücksicht auf Selbstunterricht. Vol. 4: Die Oper.
Lobe is known for this comprehensive approach to composition and for his innovative and unique use of compositional sketches by Beethoven and others. Although he had considerable experience as an orchestral flutist and violist, he was best known as a writer on musical subjects. He was Editor of the prestigious Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung for two years (1846-48) and a member of the Goethe circle. Among his friends were Weber, Hummel, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, and Schumann. The Lehrbuch der musikalischen Komposition is his major work. (SPEC MT 40 L786)
Logier, Johann Bernard (1777-1846). A System of the Science of Music and Practical Composition. London, 1827.
From the library of Sir John Frederick William Herschel, the famous British astronomer, with notes in his hand bound in. The first book on music theory studied by Wagner. Logier is best known for his method of piano instruction, which involved a device called the Chiroplast (1816). However, in a number of ways his System of the Science of Music is an original approach to harmony and form and includes interesting “analyzations” of compositions he admired. (SPEC MT 24 .L65 S9 1827)
Manfredini, Vincenzo (1737-1799). Regole Armoniche, o sieno precetti ragionati per apprendere i principj della musica, il portamento della mano, e l’accompagnamiento del basso sopra gli trumenti da tasto, come l’organo, il cembalo, ec. Venice, 1775.
First edition of an important Italian treatise from the later 18th century. It begins with basic topics, such as rhythmic durations and note names, and proceeds to the structure of chords, including (most unusual) the diminished and half-diminished seventh chords. Practicalities of figured bass performance are considered as well as harmonic analyses using Rameau’s fundamental bass. (SPEC MT 49 .M36 R4 1775)
Marpurg, Friedrich Wilhelm (1718-1795). Handbuch bey dem Generalbasse und der Composition mit zwey-drey-vier-fünf-sechs-sieben-acht und mehreren Stimmen; nebst einem vorläuffigen kurzen Begriff der Lehre vom Generalbasse für Anfänger. Two volumes: Vol. 1 (Parts 1 and 2), Berlin, 1755; Vol. 2 (Part 3), Berlin, 1758.
A major work of the mid-18th century in which Rameau’s ideas were transmitted to Germany, primarily through Marpurg’s translation of D’Alembert’s Elémens de musique (listed above). Marpurg was a major figure in his day. In the Handbuch he extends Rameau’s idea of subposition, adding notes (theoretically) below the bass, to create a number of unconventional harmonies. (SPEC MT 49 .A2 .M35)
Marx, Adolph Bernhard (1795-1866). Die Lehre von der musikalischen Komposition. Zweite, vermehrte und verbesserte Ausgabe, Leipzig. Two of four volumes: 1841, 1842.
A comprehensive introduction to musical composition, beginning with scales and basic forms (Vol. 1) and extending to the more complex contrapuntal forms (Vol. 2). In his position as the Professor of Music at Berlin University, Marx pursued an energetic career as editor, author, and polemicist. The Kompositionslehre is a monumental effort to encompass all aspects of musical composition in a pedagogical framework. It was widely admired and used throughout Europe. (SPEC MT 40 R4)
Mizler von Kolof, Lorenz Christoph (1711-1778). Anfangs-Gründe des Generalbaßes, nach mathematischer Lehr-Art abgehandelt, und vermittelst einer hierzu erfundenen Maschine auf das deutlichste vortragen. Leipzig, 1739.
This is the very rare first edition signed by the author. Mizler was a student of J.S. Bach and the first editor of the Allgemeine Musikzeitung. He was the first to translate Fux’s Gradus ad Parnassum, which is the canonical presentation of species counterpoint, from Latin into vernacular German. The Anfangs-Gründe is an unusual treatise on figured bass that was sold with a machine made of brass intended to assist the student. (SPEC MT 49 .M68 1739)
Momigny, Jérôme-Joseph de (1762-1842). Cours complet d’harmonie et de composition, d’après une théorie neuve et général de la musique, Basée sur des principes incontestables, puisés dans la nature, d’accord avec tous les bons ouvrages-pratiques, anciens ou modernes, et mis, par leur clarté, à la portée de tout le monde. Paris, 1806, three volumes in two.
A rare and ingenious treatise from the Empire period, dedicated to Talleyrand, Napoleon’s foreign minister. Momigny, a Belgian theorist and music publisher who lived in Paris, was of an analytical turn of mind and offered a number of challenges to current theoretical ideas. Vol. 2 ends with an extensive dictionary of terms and names, while Vol. 3 consists entirely of musical examples (plates). (SPEC MT 40 .M66 C6 1806)
Portmann, Johann Gottlieb (1739-1798). Leichtes Lehrbuch der Harmonie, Composition und des Generalbasses, zum Gebrauch für Liebhaber der Musik, angehende und fortschreitende Musici und Componisten. Darmstadt, 1789.
An important treatise from the modern viewpoint because of its harmonic concept of form and its treatment of phrase structures. (SPEC MT 49 .P67 L4 1789)
Rameau, Jean-Philippe (1683-1764). Traité de l’Harmonie réduite à ses principes naturels. Paris, 1722.
The very rare first edition of this major treatise, which had enormous impact upon music theory at the time of its publication and since. Without doubt, Rameau, in his day a central figure as a composer of French opera, was the major music theorist of the 18th century and this is his first and perhaps most important book, serving as point of departure for the development of his later thought and his many emendations. The secondary literature on Rameau is very large, and even today his work continues to generate discussion. (SPEC MT 50 .R1713 1722)
Rameau, Jean-Philippe (1683-1764). Génération Harmonique ou traité de musique théorique et pratique. Paris, 1737.
This is the treatise in which Rameau posits a new theory of the generation of the minor triad. (SPEC ML 3815 .R193 G4 1737)
Reicha, Anton-Joseph (1770-1836). Traité de haute composition musicale, faisant suite au cours d’harmonie pratique et au traité de mélodie. Paris, 1824. Two volumes.
Reicha was an influential figure in early 19th-century Paris, teacher of Liszt, Berlioz, and other important figures. In this work he deals with counterpoint, canon, and fugue in detail, giving examples of their construction. (SPEC MT 40 .R36 T7 1824)
Riepel, Joseph (1709-1782). Anfangsgründe zur musicalischen Setzkunst: Nicht zwar nach alt-mathematischer Einbildungs-Art der Zirkel-Harmonisten, sondern durchgehends mit sichtbaren Exampeln abgefasset. Five volumes of projected ten completed, 1752-1768. Vol. 1: De Rhythmopoeïa oder Von der Taktordnung. Zweite Auflage, Regensburg, 1754.
Perhaps the most innovative and important part of Riepel’s remarkable work. Written in the form of a dialogue between master and pupil. Riepel was born in Austria and after various experiences devoted himself to the study of music in his thirties, composing, writing, playing and conducting. He was much sought after as a teacher, as well. In recent years his theoretical writings have attracted attention because of their novelty and the influence they exerted on later writers. (SPEC MT 42 .R54 A5 R4 1754)
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1712-1778). Dictionnaire de Musique. Paris, 1768.
A collection of articles on music by the famous philosopher, valuable as a source of information on musical practice in France during the later 18th century. (SPEC ML 108 .R82 1768)Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1712-1778). Lettre sur la Musique françoise. Second edition, 1753.Bound with other (non-musical) monographs by Rousseau. An important historical document. (SPEC ML 270.3 .R68 L4 1753)
Sabbatini, Luigi Antonio (1732-1809). La vera Idea della musicali numeriche Segnature diretta al giovane Studioso dell’ Armonia. Venice, 1799. Vellum binding.
Sabbatini was a pupil of Padre Martini and Francesco Antonie Vallotti, and this treatise reflects the influence of both men. It contains an unusual treatment of large harmonies of the eleventh and thirteenth and an influential codification of types of fugue, extending from ideas set forth by Vallotti. (SPEC MT 50 .S26 V4 1779)
Sulzer, Johann Georg (1732-1779). Allgemeine Theorie der Schönen Künste in einzeln, nach alphabetischer Ordnung der Kunstwörter auf einander folgenden Artikeln abgehandelt. Four Volumes: Vols. 1 & 2, Leipzig, 1773; Vols. 3 & 4, Leipzig, 1775.
The major late 18th-century encyclopedia devoted to the fine arts. Music entries by Bach’s student, Kirnberger and by J.A.P. Schulz. (SPEC N 64 .S95a 1773)
Tevo, Fra Zaccari (1651-1712?). Il Musico Testore. Venice, 1706.
A little known treatise by a Franciscan monk, born in Sicily, consisting of a compilation of ideas from various theorists, including Boethius, Glareanus, Galilei, Kircher, and Mersenne. (SPEC MT 6 .T38 M8 1706)
Turbri, François-Laurent (1795-1859). Cours d’Harmonie. Paris,1841.
Small early 19th-century French post-Rameau treatise on fundamentals of harmony. (SPEC MT 50 .T77 T3 1841)
Türk, Daniel Gottlob (1750-1813). Von den wichtigsten Pflichten eines Organisten: Ein Beytrag zur Verbesserung der musikalischen Liturgie. Halle, 1787.The distinguished and gifted Türk was raised in the J.S. Bach tradition, having studied as a boy under G. A. Homilius, Cantor of the Dresden Kreuzschule, a student of Bach. He spent most of his life in Halle as a church musician, playing, composing and conducting. At the turn of the century he began to conduct Mozart operas and works by Haydn and to revive Handel’s compositions. His interest in performance is evident in his best known treatise, the Klavierschule of 1789. The much smaller volume listed here reflects Türk’s extensive experience as an organist. (SPEC MT 190 .T9 1787)
Türk, Daniel Gottlob (1750-1813). Anweisung zum Generalbaßspielen. Zweite, verbesserte und sehr vermehrte Auflage. Halle und Leipzig, 1800.
The most important treatise on figured bass after C.P.E. Bach’s Versuch (1753), and the last in a series of treatises on this central topic going back to the late 17th century. (SPEC MT 49 .T87 A6 1800)
Vallotti, Francesco Antonio (1697-1780). Della Scienze Teorica e Practica della Moderna Musica, Libro Primo. Padua, 1779.
The only published volume of an exceptionally interesting treatise by an important mid-century musical figure. Teacher of Luigi Antonio Sabbatini and Georg Joseph (Abt) Vogler. (SPEC ML 3805 .V25 D4 1779)
Vogler, Georg Joseph (Abt) (1749-1814). Betrachtungen der Mannheimer Tonschule, 1778.
A contemporary compendium of writings by this flamboyant and innovative musical figure. The important critical essays convey a feeling for contemporary issues. Among Vogler’s contributions was the use of Roman numerals for harmonic analysis. Vogler travelled widely in Europe, for instance, to Italy, where he had contact with Padre Martini and Francesco Vallotti, to France, England, and, especially, to Sweden, where he stayed for ten years. Vogler was something of a cult figure in his time because of his iconoclastic musical writings and his various public appearances and pretensions. A remarkable personality, he is regarded as the founder of comparative musicology. (SPEC ML 276.8 .M3 V64 B4)
Vogler, Georg Joseph (Abt) (1749-1814). Choral-System. Kopenhagen, 1800.
In a polemical context, the author presents a new method of harmonizing Lutheran chorale melodies, as an alternative to J.S. Bach’s harmonizations, which he regards as unauthentic. (SPEC ML 3809 .V64 C4 1800)
Weber, Jacob Gottfried (1779-1839). Versuch einer geordneten Theorie der Tonsetzkunst. Four volumes. Dritte Auflage. Mainz, 1830-32.
A major treatise of the early 19th century. Weber’s position in music is unusual. He carried out his extensive musical activities while serving as an eminent judge in the courts of Darmstadt and Mannheim. Although his music is virtually forgotten, his major theoretical treatise, the Versuch is held in high regard by contemporary historians of music theory. (SPEC MT 40 .W43 V4 1830)