Editorial Policies: Information for Editors

The Moravian Music Foundation welcomes qualified scholars to produce editions of works in the Foundation’s collections. The Moravian Music Foundation retains all rights to such editions, offering an honorarium to the editor, with the edition treated as a “work for hire”.

The Director of the Moravian Music Foundation serves as Editor in Chief for all Moravian Music Foundation editions, and supervises the work of all other editors. The following represent the Moravian Music Foundation’s policy regarding scholarly and performing editions of the eighteenth and early nineteenth-century music in the Moravian Music Foundation’s custody. Editors shall contact the Director for clarification or assistance, or for policy regarding “arrangements” or work with later music in the Foundation’s collections.

Moravian Editions Policy

The edition shall remain totally faithful to the manuscript source. The composer or copyist’s original notation must always be “recoverable” from the completed edition. A completed edition includes the following components:

a. Full score

b. Set of parts, including realization of figured bass (if any)

c. Vocal/keyboard score

d. Text in original language and translation

e. Description of specific issues addressed in the edition (Editorial Comments)

f. Standard information provided by MMF for each edition

In consultation with the Director, the editor prepares a description of all sources for the edition; each source is described in terms of its format, title page and catalog number(s), unusual features, hand, list of parts, relationship to other sources, and relative importance for the edition. Discrepancies between sources are noted in the Editorial Comments.

The edition is based upon the source deemed most reliable (e.g., in the composer’s own hand, most complete, supported by other documentation) in consultation with the Director. Any choice between alternate versions (e.g., SSAB or SATB, different orchestrations, or single vs. double-choir versions) is made in consultation with the Director. Changes based upon alternate sources are so noted in the Editorial Comments.

If there are obvious errors in notes, or if notes are indistinguishable due to “bleed-through” or torn or missing portions of the manuscript, the editor shall supply a reasonable suggestion, based upon internal evidence in the remainder of the work. Such interpretations must be clearly footnoted, placed in brackets, or otherwise notated (in consultation with the Director), and their necessity clearly explained.

Redundant accidentals in the primary source are retained. Accidentals are repeated across the bar line where the melodic-harmonic language requires. All editorial accidentals are placed above the staff. Editorial accidentals carry throughout the measure unless cancelled.

Beaming and rhythmic notation shall remain as in the primary source, with the following exceptions: Beaming is regularized for groups of notes which share a beam but which are stemmed differently. Missing tuplet indications are added in brackets. Dots which in modern interpretation would lead to incorrect reading (or an incorrect number of rhythmic units in the bar) are replaced with ties. These are indicated in the Editorial Comments.

For example,  music-example-1-editing becomes music-example-2-editing unless internal evidence indicates that the former should be a 16th-note triplet.

Rhythmic abbreviations, such as… music-example-3-editing


music-example-4-editing… are retained. Inconsistent stemming and beamings are retained. Rests are retained as in the primary source unless this results in an incorrect number of rhythmic units in the bar. All such emendations are noted in the Editorial Comments.

All performance indications (dynamics, articulations, ornaments) are retained exactly as in the primary source. The decision as to whether to add such indications in paralle passages, or whether to reconcile apparent discrepancies in parts that move together, must be left to the performer. Thus the following specific comments:

Dynamics. “Missing” or apparently “misplaced” dynamics are not added or altered unless they appear in at least one alternate source, and in that case they are enclosed in brackets. Dynamic indications are not “regularized” (e.g., “F”, “for.”, and “forte” may all appear in the same work.)

Articulations. The distinction between the staccato dot and vertical stroke is maintained. Should the primary source be unclear, the dot or stroke is used in agreement with parts that move together, or with parallel passages in the work; these instances are noted in the Editorial Comments. Slurs are not added, even in parallel passages.

Ornaments. Appoggiaturas and graces are retained as in the primary source. They may be added, in brackets, if they appear in an alternate source, or if their presence is indicated by a parallel passage or parts moving together and if their absence results in uncharacteristic discord. A recommendation for the rhythmic interpretation of appoggiaturas is included in the Editorial Comments, and footnoted on the page if possible. Flags, beams, and slurs on grace notes and appoggiaturas are retained as in the primary source. Trills, turns, and other ornaments are notated as in the source. The notation “+” is not modernized.

The full score includes, on its first page, clef incipits to indicate the clefs used in the primary source. If a full score exists in one of the sources, it serves as the model for score order for the edition. If no score exists in the sources, then the instruments are arranged in the score according to modern practice. All scores and parts use clefs in common usage today (treble G, alto and tenor C, tenor G, and bass F). The full score includes all instruments in original keys. The work as a whole is not transposed. Instrument names and spellings are as in the source, with modern equivalents in the Editorial Comments and included (with the original) on the parts. Colla voce parts are realized and so noted in the Editorial Comments.

Should two parts be printed on a single staff in the edition, they are separately stemmed; articulations and dynamics are separately noted (above and below the staff for the upper and lower part, respectively).

The set of parts must have all parts in original keys, and may include alternate transposed parts, e.g., for horns. If there is a figured bass, its realization is done in a “conservative” style, with the editor’s suggestions in cue-size notes, to be clearly distinguished from the composer’s own keyboard writing. The figures (in the bass or upper part) are included as in the primary source.

The vocal/keyboard score includes a keyboard part which is a reduction of the orchestral parts. (A realization of the figured bass is included with the orchestral parts for use with the complete orchestration.) The reduction is designed to be “playable” by the average organist, which retaining insofar as possible, the character of the orchestration. Dynamics and articulastions are taken from the orchestral parts. The vocal/keybaord edition also includes a list of the original scoring.

Vocal editions include both the original language and a faithful but “singable” translation. Orthography of original language texts shall remain as in the source, except that syllable divisions are included as needed without comment; a table of equivalent modern spellings may be included. Translations shall be true to the original meaning, but insofar as possible, sensitive to modern language usage. Archaic language shall be avoided; in references to people, gender-specific nouns and pronouns shall be avoided when possible. Translations will also be evaluated in terms of their faithfulness to Moravian doctrine.

The following information is provided for each edition by the Moravian Music Foundation: a biography of the composer; source information; date of composition (if possible); statement about the Moravian Music Foundation and its publications; and a statement of general editorial policy. This information is published with each edition.

Editorial Comments include the description of sources, discussion of issues addressed in the edition, and all changes or recommendations based upon alternate sources.

Octave designations are by the system of pitch classification shown here:


Octave Identification