Scholarly Editions: Their Character and Bibliographic Description: Keith E. Mixter
Within the field of bibliographic description the pre-Heyer era is irregular in coverage. In 1871, the indefatigable bibliographer Robert Eitner published a listing of new editions of early music from the "earliest period" to the year 1800 as volume three of his Monatshefte fur Musikgeschichte. with supplements issued in 1877 and 1878. Eitner intended the list as an aid to the development of the field of musicology, then in its infancy. This bibliography, which reached back at least to the year 1757, but which excluded by design complete works sets, embraced general collections, collections of German secular songs (Eitner's immediate interest), editions of older sacred music, a few collections of arrangements, and titles about which Eitner had gathered information only from catalogues. There followed then a partial index to these collections, together with a brief biographical identification of the composers. The entire listing extended to 208 pages.