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20 Pages

The Thematic Catalogue in Music: Further Reflections on Its Past, Present, and Future: Barry S. Brook and Richard J. Viano

The fundamental significance of both the eighteenth-century incipit index and the more recent scientifically prepared thematic catalogue as primary research implements is completely accepted today. Yet this was not always the case.1 The early inventories were created mainly by publishers, by court and church librarians, for sales and record-keeping purposes. The value of the incipit ". .. to differentiate one [work] from another as one differentiates books by their titles ... ," was recognized (and implemented) by Johann Gottlob ImmaI1uel Breitkopf [167]2 as early as 17623 and con-

finned by Charles Burney in 1775.4 However, its potential for dating, authenticating, and dissemination studies was not fully appreciated until almost two centuries later.