Dr. Jennifer Thomas
Associate Professor
Music History
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Data Fields



Information is entered into the database in fields that provide information about each source and work as well as in fields used strictly for sorting. The source of most information in the data fields is listed in brief form in the Citation field.


1.  Source

For printed anthologies, this is an abbreviated title of the volume; the definitive identification for prints is the RISM siglum in the Date field. For manuscripts, the library sigla are provided in the style of the Census-Catalogue, i.e., city abbreviation, library abbreviation, and shelf number. All database sources are listed below.


2.  Date of Source

For prints, the date and superscript as assigned by RISM amounts to a positive identification as well as a dating of the source. For manuscripts, the field provides the year or range of years assigned to the manuscript by recent scholarship. When a range is supplied, the operative sorting date is the earliest year indicated. Sorting on this field will yield not only a chronological listing of sources and works, but can be used in tandem with place fields to assist in determining dissemination patterns of works.


3.  Scribe or Publisher

These are the names indicated in the original source or as proposed in recent scholarship. In some cases, we have only the number of hands, the initials of a scribe, or the name of a workshop or scriptorium. Any such information is entered in this field. This information is useful for associating particular scribes or publishers with specific motet repertories. It will be of special interest to scholars of printing, musical patronage, manuscripts, and paleography.


Place Information

Place information for the sources has been broken into three separate fields, as listed below. For prints, the city and country are the place of publication; for manuscript, the provenance as determined by modern scholarship (author/date citation provided). Country names are often anachronistic and are based on secondary sources, but are included because more accurate manuscript information is often not available. Place names and spellings are standardized according to the usage in Encyclopedia Brittanica. Information on musical establishments is available for only a relatively small number of  sources. To facilitate searching by geographic regions, I have designated a place code field for eight major regions of Europe.


Place  Code

Database Records 

  Geographic area







Italy/ Savoy





















England/Scotland/United Kingdom








4.   Musical Establishment or Patron

      The court, church, city, or individual patron associated with the source, if known.

5.   City of Origin or use

6.   Country of Origin or use

7.   Place code


8.  Citation

Citations refer primarily to the sources of the inventories. These sources include published catalogues as well as unpublished inventories. This field provides brief bibliographic information (author/date citation) for published sources; citations for unpublished inventories include the name of the researcher who created the inventory, when known, and the location of the inventory. Additional information in the field cites sources of various types of information that may be entered in any of the fields, often concordance listings, information used to resolve conflicting attributions, and general information entered in “Motet comments.” These citations are necessarily cursory. The Census-Catalogue provides more complete lists of literature for each source. See the key to citation abbreviations below.


9.  Comments on the source

      Source comments provide information applicable to the entire source, for instance,       dedicatee, whether it is a reprint, etc.


10. MS/PT

This field simply identifies the source as a manuscript or print. It is useful for searching (for calling up only one type of source) and for sorting (quickly separating the two types of sources within a file).



11.  Order in Source

The position of the motet in its original source. For uniformity, clarity, and ease of sorting, the position is indicated, when feasible, by order rather than by folio or pagination.

This field will allow the entire motet contents of any print or manuscript to be reconstructed in the proper order. The ordering accounts for all the works in the source, not just the motets. In motets with multiple parts, each part is entered and numbered separately (1a, 1b, 1c, etc.). Sorting by source and order will reveal the correct combinations and orders of motet parts.


12.  Composer

The name as given in the print, manuscript, or inventory consulted.


13.  Text Incipit (in effect, the motet's title)

The opening phrase or phrases of text. Each motet part is assigned a separate record; thus searches by incipit can locate the opening of any parte, not just the first. It is important to be aware, in the discussions of statistics, whether motets or records are the point of reference.


14.  Number of Voices

This information is included only when it is provided in the inventory or known from the original source itself and is not simply added for every presumed occurrence of a particular motet.


15.  Type

The motet may be designated in original sources or in secondary literature as a responsory, antiphon, prosula, etc. Intabulations are also noted in this field. This information is not intended to suggest actual liturgical usage, but normally refers to the classification of the text.


16.  Comments on the Motet

Miscellaneous information about a particular work may be supplied by the original source or secondary literature, including marginal dates or comments; performing instructions; occasion for which the work was composed; liturgical season or usage; origin of the text; in­complete parts; presence and/or identification of a cantus firmus, canon, or known contrafact.


17.  Core Repertory (CR)

A “y” (for “yes”) in this field signifies that the motet is one of the 54 works constituting the core repertory. See the discussion of the core repertory in Chapter 6.


18.  Concordances

Other manuscripts or prints containing the same motet.

This information, taken primarily from secondary literature, is useful for identifying additional sources for an anonymous motet and for distinguishing between multiple settings of a single text by one composer. Much of the concordance information is taken from Lincoln’s The Latin Motet: Indexes to Printed Collections (see footnote 4) was the source for the concordance, indicated in the citation field by “Lincoln, 1993. 



19.  Standardized Composer Name

Composers’ names are standardized in spelling and form to conform to the authoritative reference in the field, New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980). For composers not included in New Grove, I have adopted a spelling from one of the sources that contain the name.


20.  Standardized Text Incipit

      The spelling of the words in the text incipits is standardized to conform with that of modern liturgical books.


N.B.  In addition to the fields created expressly for sorting, other fields have been standardized in format to allow sorting as well as searching. These are: Source, Date of Source, Scribe or Publisher, Place Information, Source of Inventory, Order in Source, Concordances, Place Code, Core Repertory, and MS/PT (manuscript or print). The Comments and Type fields are not currently practical for sorting, though specific searches can be conducted on them.





Copyright © 2003 [University of Florida Associate Professor Jennifer Thomas]. All rights reserved.
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Revised: May 10, 2008