Skip to main content

MUSC255: Music History Since 1750: Finding and Evaluating Musical Editions

Composers' Thematic Catalogs

Most composers’ works are listed in thematic catalogs.  They provide the title, opus or other identifying number for each work, information about sources, important editions, and date and place of composition.  Sometimes the first few notes of each work (incipit) and/or the principal themes of the work are included in the catalog entry. Well-known examples of thematic catalogs are Georg Kinsky’s Beethoven catalog and Otto Erich Deutsch’s Schubert catalog.  For more information about composer’s thematic catalogs, see the article in Grove Music Online

Ludwig van Beethoven thematisch-bibliographisches Werkverzeichnis


Many of the complete editions of major composers’ works have been prepared by German editors and publishers. The same also holds for thematic catalogs of works by such composers as Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. This list of commonly used German terms will help you navigate through these resources.

Abkuerzungen: abbreviations
Abschrift(en): copy (copies)
Anmerkung: remarks/observations
Ausgabe(n): edition(s)
Autograph(e): manuscript(s) in the composer’s hand
Bearbeitung(en): arrangement(s)
Begleitung: accompaniment
Besetzung: instrumentation
Entstehung: origin
Erstausgabe: first edition
Faksimile: photographic reproduction (an exact copy)
Gesamtausgabe: complete edition
Herausgeber: editor
Herausgegeben von: edited by
Klavierauszug: piano reduction / piano-vocal score
Kritischer Bericht: critical report
Literatur: articles/studies about work
Originalausgabe: original edition
Partitur(en): score(s)
Quelle(n): source(s)
Sämmtlicher Werke: collected works
Skizzen: sketches
Stimmen: voices/parts
Thematishes Verzeichnis: thematic catalog
Vergleiche (Vgl.): see also, compare
Verlag: publisher
Werk(e): work(s)
Widmung: dedication (gewidmet= dedicated to)

  • Last Updated: Jan 26, 2021 11:00 AM
  • URL: