Department of Early Music History


The Department’s main field is the study of Hungarian and Central European music history before 1700 (or exceptionally 1800), notably the plainchant practice  and theoretical background to this. The difficulty of access to the sources in the field enhances the value of collections, transcriptions and accounts of secondary materials, and databases compiled from these. The Department has been adding for decades to its microfilm and chant archives and store of digital source materials, while expanding systematically its auxiliary specialist library for research.

Department staff regularly publish research findings in domestic and foreign journals and other publications. Their specific research projects and collections also involve extensive publication plans. Foremost are publications of the full repertory of antiphons, responsories and chants for the ordinary of the Mass, and liturgical manuscripts in Musicalia Danubiana series of Central European source materials. Tied in with research into the Office of the Dead are the traditional and internet editions of the CAO‒ECE (Corpus Antiphonalium Officii‒Ecclesiarum Centralis Europae) series, while online publications of the Gradualia project relate to research into the Mass.

Intensive international cooperation is involved in the Department’s research projects, in line with the field’s  international character. The Department contributes to the conferences and publications of the International Musicological Society (IMS) Cantus Planus Study Group , whose sessions have often been held in Hungary. Department staff cooperate with German, Austrian, Polish, Slovak and Slovene researchers and take part in several large international projects (Cantus, Antiphonaria, Historiae, Corpus Hollandrinum).


Istanbul 094va

The Istanbul Antiphoner, Folio 94v, Easter Sunday