The MGM logo: a hand-drawn cartoon of Mahler at the podium, glaring at the audience

Main heading: The Music of Gustav Mahler: A Catalogue of Manuscript and Printed Sources [rule] Paul Banks





Instrumental Works


Vocal Works


Unfinished Works


Lost and Spurious Works






Mahler's Publishers




Using the Catalogue


Conventions & Abbreviations




Index of Works


Site Map












Index to this page


Source descriptions:




Source descriptions:


Printed Sources


Bibliographic terms


Library sigla


Source sigla


Stemmatic diagrams






General abbreviations




Conventions and Abbreviations


Source Descriptions - Manuscripts

The elements within a manuscript description are normally:

    Source siglum; RISM siglum of holding collection and relevant shelf number or other unique identifier




        Name(s) of scribe(s)

        Writing implements employed


        number of staves

        maker's mark (if present)

        watermark (if present)

        format (upright or oblong)

        dimensions (height ´ width; total span)

        other features (including paper or stave colour)

    Manuscript Structure and Collation



    Select Bibliography


In descriptions of foliation of manuscripts:
   r placed after the folio number = recto
   v placed after the folio number = verso

Where relevant, small numbers are used to indicate stave numbers on a page, so that 1r2–4 should be read as 'folio 1, recto, staves two to four'.

In the descriptions of fascicle structures the following conventions are used:



Fol. 1 and 2 make up a bifolium (i.e. two conjugate leaves)






Fol. 1 and 2 now physically separate but were originally a conjugate pair






Fol. 1 tipped onto the stub of the discarded conjugate to fol. 2





Source Descriptions - Printed Sources

A main entry (e.g. for an Edition or Issue) will normally contain some or all of the following elements:


        Source siglum - in LH margin

        Bibliographic descriptor - in capital letters

        Place of publication: name of publisher/distributor, date of publication

    Title Page

        Link to facsimile, if available

        Diplomatic transcription


        Link to facsimile, if available

        Diplomatic transcription

    Analysis - detailed account of the make up of the publication


        h x w (total span on first page of music)

    Watermark - description

    Printer - name as given on the publication, and page reference

    Printing Method

    Hofmeister - date of any relevant entry in Hofmeister's Monatsbericht

    Edition Number; Plate Number

    Printing Details (if known)

        Date of Print Order

        Date Copies Received

        Print Run (i.e. number of copies received)

    Copies - List of copies located

        Library siglum

        Shelfmark or other unique identifier

        Brief descriptive notes


An entry for an individual exemplar may include some or all of the above elements as appropriate.

The abbreviations fw (=front wrapper) and bw (=back wrapper) are used, with, where necessary the suffix r (=recto) or v (=verso).



Bibliographic Terms

Any analytical bibliography will need to use terms to define the relationship between different copies of the same work. Unfortunately the four terms in general use – edition, impression, state and issue – cannot be rigorously defined and do not form a hierarchy. One of the sources of the confusions that arise is the fact that three of the terms in common use are normally defined solely or chiefly in terms of the production of the copies concerned, while the fourth is defined in terms of the publication history of copies. Thus any attempt to arrange the four terms in a hierarchy is doomed to failure. Another source of confusion is the fact that chief users of the terms – bibliographers, library cataloguers, editors, collectors and booksellers – have different agendas and priorities and use the vocabulary in different ways. The following are the definitions, based in part on those of GDEPM,  adopted in the bibliographic descriptions of this catalogue, together with notes on some of problems and anomalies.

  • Edition
    An EDITION consists of the whole number of copies of a distinct version of the work printed from substantially the same printing surfaces (be they settings of type, engraved plates, or lithographic stones or surrogates produced directly from type or engraved plates by processes such as stereotyping or photolithography), at any time or times.
    According to this definition study scores photolithographically reduced from prints pulled from unaltered plates of the first edition of the full score (PF
    1), might arguably be considered to be simply a later issue or impression of that first edition. Though not common practice, such a description would have the merit of emphasising the fact that both published formats share a common printing surface (in this case the full score plates).
    On the other hand, when study scores of Mahler's works were prepared they sometimes incorporated significant revisions by the composer, so that in any case they constituted a new edition under the above description. Moreover, when Mahler revised the score yet again for a new edition in full score format (PF
    2), it was not uncommon for subsequent impressions of the study score to reproduce the superseded version of the work for some time.  For this reason the publishing histories of the two formats (full score and study score) are treated as separate narratives in the descriptions.

    An ISSUE consists of the whole number of copies of an edition put on sale at any time or times as a consciously planned unit.
    As GDEPM makes clear separately, 'the concept of issue reflects an integrity of commerce, that is, copies have in common their conditions of sale'. So the description of a copy as an exemplar of the second issue is itself conveying no information about the version of the musical text it reproduces, only that the publishing arrangements had changed since the first issue. Nevertheless it can be useful to be able to pinpoint such changes, so the term is employed here, though only to reflect substantial changes in the conditions of sale (i.e. changes in publisher or distributor), not minor alterations (e.g. changes in price).
    It must be borne in mind that the creation of a new issue does not necessarily involve the production of additional copies. If a new publisher or distributor or publisher takes over unsold stock from the original publisher, and simply pastes new imprint information onto the cover and title pages of the unsold copies, a new issue is created.

    The term STATE is used to discriminate between copies of a single edition that exhibit variations in content caused by purposeful alteration of the printing surface that does not result in the creation of a distinct version of the work.

    The term IMPRESSION describes all the copies as a unit run off the press at one particular time (i.e. as one press run).
    On the whole the term impression is preferred and used more extensively in this catalogue, especially since some information about the date and extent of print runs is available. Where necessary revisions to the printing surface are noted in the narrative descriptions.

Library Sigla

The RISM library sigla may be found in The New Grove Dictionary of Music ed. S. Sadie (London, 2001) or online. The siglum GB-Lpc is used for private collections within London, UK.



Source Sigla

These are used for the sake of quick reference, and are broadly based on the system adopted by the New Berlioz Edition.

2p4 two pianos, four hands p4 piano duet
2p8 two pianos, eight hands P printed
A autograph; autograph revisions/annotations pr proofs
Alb albumleaf Prog programme
C copyist PS printed study score
c collective volume [songs] O orchestral parts
Ch chorus parts OD orchestral draft
CL list of corrections R revision sheets or lists
F full score S sketches
GM source used/owned by Mahler SB sketchbook
h high voice [songs] T transcription
l low voice [songs] tp title page
M miniature score V vocal score or piano-voice score (songs)
p2 piano solo Wr wrapper

Alpha-numeric additions in smaller type are used where the same designation applies to more than one source for a work, and/or, where necessary,  to distinguish between different layers of revision in manuscripts (e.g. ACF2a = second copyist's full score with autograph annotations, first layer of annotations) different editions, issues, impressions and states (see above, Bibliographic descriptions) in the case of printed editions (e.g. PF1b = first edition of the full score, second impression or issue). Further details are provided in the pages relating to the printed editions of song sollections.

In discussions of a copyist's manuscript with autograph annotations the normal siglum may be shortened by the omission of the initial 'A' (e.g. CF2 rather than ACF2) to indicate that it is the original copyist's text that is being referred to; the context should always render the meaning unambiguous.



Stemmatic Diagrams

  • These read from the top left down

  • The sigla of lost or unlocated sources are enclosed in square brackets

  • Sources in vertical alignment are different states of the same document

  • Solid lines represent confirmed relationships

  • Dotted lines represent conjectural relationships



In the lists of performances during Mahler’s lifetime, entries for performances by conductors other than Mahler have a shaded background. A graph showing the number of performances per concert season is added at the end of the entry.




All measurements are in millimetres unless otherwise stated. The abbreviation 'mm.' is only employed where necessary to avoid ambiguity



General abbreviations


bar baritone
bcl bass clarinet


bass drum



btrb bass trombone
btuba bass tuba
ca cor anglais
cbsn contrabassoon
cbtuba contrabass tuba
cel celeste



contr contralto
cym cymbals
db double bass(es)

edition number





glock glockenspiel
harm harmonium






half title

imp. impression
mez mezzo-soprano



picc piccolo(s) plate number
sd side drum
st strings
sop soprano
ten tenor



tp title page



tr triangle









vol./vols volume/volumes
ww woodwind
xylo xylophone



Pitch Notation



Level A conformance icon, 
          W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Creative Commons Licence

© 2007-14 Paul Banks  |  This page was lasted edited on 19 September 2017