"To sing many a tune or to play the organ and the lute" – Tablature manuscripts in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

23 November 2017 – 28 March 2018
Cabinet presentation in the series "Musical treasures"
It is owed to the Bavarian dukes' enthusiasm for collecting that the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek currently preserves not only the monumental Renaissance choir books, but in addition around 70 further music manuscripts of this epoch, in the form of tablatures and part books. Displaying specially produced reproductions, the cabinet presentation shows the musical abundance and complexity of these precious holdings.

Image motif of the poster announcing the cabinet presentation | © BSB

The documentation of music in writing underwent continuous change in the course of Europe's history. This becomes visible particularly clearly in the transition period from the late Middle Ages to the early modern era. During this time, various specialised notation forms for instrumental music – the tablatures – were established in addition to the mensural notation for vocal music. Tablatures thus became an integral part in the canon of written music tradition in the course of the 16th century in particular.

Contact persons

Bernhard Lutz
Department of Music
Phone:  +49 89 28638-2045

Dr. Veronika Giglberger
Department of Music
Phone:  +49 89 28638-2467


Venue Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, hallway in front of the Reading Room for Music, Maps and Images, 1st floor
Opening hours 23 November 2017 – 28 March 2018
Monday – Friday   9:00 – 17:00  (closed on bank holidays)
Admission Admission is free.