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 woodwind performance practice in the history of Western music.
17th and 18th Century Woodwind Treatises
1679    Bartholin, Caspar, 1655-1738, De tibiis veterum et earum antiquo usu [ML169 .B28 1679]
  • First published in Rome in 1677, this volume provides one of the earliest comprehensive histories of wind instruments in antiquity.
1722    Hotteterre, Jacques, 1673-1763 Principes de la flûte traversière, où flûte d'Allemagne [MT342 .H74 1722]
  • First published in 1707, with nine additional printings in the 18th century, this important early 18th century treatise includes instructions for the flute, recorder, and oboe.
1730    Prelleur, Peter, 1705?-1741, The modern musick-master : or The universal musician [MT6.P744 M6 1730]
  • Includes a basic set of instruction manuals for voice, recorder [flute], flute [German flute], oboe, violin, and harpsichord.
1730    Prelleur, Peter, 1705?-1741, Instructions upon the hautboy [MT362 .P84 1730]
  • Part 4 of Prelleur's Modern musick-master, London, 1730
1746    Simpson, John, The compleat tutor for the flute [MT351.C66 1746]
  • A brief instruction book for playing the recorder, which was called the flute at that time.
1748    Geminiani, Francesco, 1687-1762, Rules for playing in a true taste on the violin, German flute, violoncello and harpsicord [MT262.P49 I6]
1754    The Muses delight [M1619.M93 1754]
  • A reworking of Prelleur's Modern musick-master.
1756    Tans'ur, William, 1699?-1783, New musical grammar [MT6.T17 1756]
  • The work was first published in 1746, and Oberlin's copy is the third edition from 1756.  It includes instructions for organ, harpsichord, bass-viol, violin, oboe, flute, and bassoon.  It also includes instructions in music theory and a dictionary of important musical terms.    
1780     New instructions for the German flute [MT348 .N49 1780]       
1780     Quantz, Johann Joachim, 1697-1773, Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen [MT342 .Q3 1780]
  • While focusing on the flute, this treatise is one of the principal works of the eighteenth century on instrumental performance practice more broadly.  It was first simultaneously published in French and German in 1752.  Oberlin's copy is from the 1780 German second edition.    
1780   Laborde, M. de (Jean-Benjamin), 1734-1794, Essai sur la musique ancienne et moderne [ML100 .L23 1780]
  • This four-volume work is a compilation of articles, listings, and music on a variety of topics.  It includes a treatise on the bassoon by Pierre Cugnier, which is thought to be the first substantial treatise on the instrument.    
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.    
1790    Panerai, Vincenzo, Principi di musica teorico-pratici [MT6.P26 P8 1790]
  • While focusing on the harpsichord and organ, this work also includes brief instructions for flute, oboe, and bowed strings, including the first printed instructions for the modern tuning of the double bass.    
1794    Cahusac's pocket companion for the German flute [MT348 .C35 1794]
19th Century Woodwind Treatises
1801    Holyoke, Samuel, 1762-1820, The instrumental assistant : containing instructions for the violin, German-flute, clarionett, bass-viol, and hautboy [MT170.H65 1801]
  • The first comprehensive American tutor for musical instruments, including the violin, flute, clarinett, bass viol, and oboe.    
1803    Ozi, Étienne, 1754-1813, Nouvelle méthode de basson [MT405.O69 N6 1803]
  • This bassoon method was valued at the time for its clarity and thoroughness, and it remains an important source of insight into late 18th-century bassoon technique.    
1804    Blake, George E., 1775-1871, A new and complete preceptor for the clarinet [MT382 .B53 1804]
  • The first separate instruction book for the clarinet published in the U.S., intended for the clarinet in C.    
1814    Blake, George E., 1775-1871, A complete preceptor for the German flute, 2nd ed [MT342.B53 C6 1814]       
1816    A new and complete preceptor for the fife [MT356 .N48 1816]
  • This small, fragile booklet exemplifies the ephemeral nature of such inexpensive, unbound publications, which were intended for use by literate beginners, preferably to supplement lessons but often in lieu of a teacher.    
1819    Colla, Vincenzo, b. 1784, Saggio teorico-pratico-musicale [MT55 .C6 1819]
  • This work is primarily a treatise on counterpoint and composition, but it includes a section of lessons on a variety of instruments.    
1819    A new and complete preceptor for the German flute [MT342 .N532 1819]       
1821    Nicholson, Charles, 1795-1837, Preceptive lessons for the flute [MT342 .N43 1821]       
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.    
1838    Coche, V. (Victor), 1806-1881, Méthode pour servir à l'enseignement de la nouvelle flûte [MT342 .C73 1838]       
1840    Coche, V. (Victor), 1806-1881, Méthode pour servir à l'enseignement de la nouvelle flûte. Selections. English. [MT342 .C732 1840]       
1845    Dorus, L, L'étude de la nouvelle flûte [MT342 .D67 1845]       
1845    Clinton, J., composer, A theoretical & practical essay on the Boehm flute, 2nd ed [MT342 .C56 op.87 1845]       
1848    Willman, Thomas Lindsay, d. 1840, A complete instruction book for the clarinet [MT382.W45 C6 1848]       
Subject Specialist
Picture: Jeremy Smith

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

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