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Music 248: Collected Works Assignment

What are collected works editions?

Characteristics of Collected Works editions:

  • The complete works of a single composer (also known as a ‘complete edition’ or ‘Gesamtausgabe’).
  • Valuable for the study of original versions of past music.
  • Prepared on the basis of a critical evaluation of all known primary sources.
  • Designed to present the most authoritative authentic version of its contents to most accurately reflect the composer's intentions.
  • Editorial material clearly distinguished from the original. 
  • ‘Collected editions’ refer to those publications that aim to present a complete repertory
  • Often are issued over years or decades. 
  • Includes critical apparatus:
    • Describes the documentation of variants and designates as editorial whatever is added to the sources.

Collected Works editions differ from "performing" or "practical" editions in the following ways:

  • The ‘practical’ or ‘performance’ editions usually are produced from unstated or secondary sources.
  • They may incorporate additions or changes designed to help the modern performer.

For more detailed information see:

Collected works how to find them

Finding Collected works

In Vassar's Online Catalog:
The library gives the title "Works" to all sets of collected works. To find them in the online
1. do an author search for the composer, in the form Last name, First name (with or without
the comma)
2. In the list that appears, find the composer's name and click on the link to show a list of titles
3. Go to the bottom of the screen and find the text box with a number in it. Replace the
number with the word "works"
4. Click the button "Locate in results"


In Vassar's Card Catalog:
1. Go to the books/scores section of the card catalog
2. Find the composer's name in the book/score catalog
3. You will likely find a number of cards under the composer's name. The card(s) for the
collected works will come first, followed by cards for particular compositions in alphabetical

Illustrations of Collected Works editions and performing editions

Which is a page from the practical edition and which is the page from the collected works?