The Conservatory Library's special collections include a large number of historically significant printed treatises from the 16th through the 19th centuries.

Drawn primarily from the Frederick R. Selch Collection of American Music History, the materials highlighted here include some of the most influential writing on brass and percussion performance practice in the history of Western music.
Historic Brass Instrument Treatises
1776    New instructions for the French-horn [MT422.N48 1776]
  • French horn tutor, based on the over-the-shoulder position popular in the late 18th century.
1786    Gehot, Joseph, 1756-ca. 1820, Treatise on the theory and practice of music [MT6.G44 1786]
  • Includes brief instructions for playing keyboard, organ, violoncello, guitar, flute, trumpet, and many other instruments.
1795    Altenburg, Johann Ernst, 1734-1801, Versuch einer Anleitung zur heroisch-musikalischen Trompeter- und Pauker-Kunst [MT442.A58 1795]
  • The last and most complete instruction book for the natural trumpet, this work is also valuable as a window onto Baroque technique and performance practice.
1835    Caussinus, V., Méthode de cornet où bugle à trois pistons [MT442 .C38 1835]
1830    Dauprat, Louis François, 1781-1868, Méthode de cor-alto et cor-basse [MT422.D28 M53 1830]
  • An important treatise for performance on the natural horn.
1836    Goodale, Ezekiel, The instrumental director, 4th ed [MT172 .I59 1836]
  • Includes instructions for flute, clarinet, bassoon, serpent, French horn, trumpet, oboe, violin, viola, bass-viol or violoncello, double bass, trombone, cymbals, tambourine, triangle, and bass-drum.
1848    Kastner, Georges, 1810-1867, Manuel général de musique militaire [ML1320.K38 M3 1848]
  • This work describes and illustrates all instruments used in military ensembles of the mid-19th century.
Historic Percussion Treatises
1612    Rocca, Angelo, 1545-1620, De campanis commentarius [ML1039 .R6 1612]
  • This work considers the history of bells, including their functions in church and in secular society.
1798    Bartl, Franz Konrad, 1750-1813, Abhandlung von der Tastenharmonika [ML1085.B18 1798]
  • Treatise on an updated version of the armonica (musical glasses), originally invented by Benjamin Franklin in the second half of the 18th century.
1817    Rumrille, J. L., The drummer's instructor [MT735 .R86 1817]
  • One of the earliest known American works containing drum lessons.
1820    Massachusetts collection of martial musick, 2nd ed [M1270 .M37 1820]
  • An early American method book for percussion instruments.
1821    Chladni, Ernst Florens Friedrich, 1756-1827, Beyträge zur praktischen Akustik und zur Lehre vom Instrumentbau [ML1085 .C45 1821]
  • Description of Chladni's newly invented instrument the clavicylinder, which is a variation on the glass armonica.
1825    Menzies, Daniel, A treatise on the angelica or musical glasses [MT670 .M46 1820]
  • This treatise for the performance of musical glasses is written in the form of a dialogue between the author and a student.
Subject Specialist
Picture: Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith
Special Collections Librarian
Tel: (440)775- 5181

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