Hildegard of Bingen Music Research Guide

About the Hildegard of Bingen Music Research Guide


The Hildegard of Bingen Music Research Guide is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Digital Research Alliance's Research Platforms and Portals program. As a comprehensive, up-to-date bibliography of music editions and scholarly literature on the music of Hildegard of Bingen, it provides the following: 1) convenient access to source citations, 2) targeted search capabilities to find detailed information on Hildegard’s music compositions, and 3) a valuable research tool to aid ongoing projects and stimulate new research on Hildegard of Bingen’s music. Not only is the bibliography useful for established Hildegard scholars, but it is also an excellent point of departure for researchers new to Hildegard of Bingen studies. An open-access bibliography on the Zotero website, it is available at the following link: https://www.zotero.org/groups/2080999/hildegard_research_guide/library

This project was developed by Jennifer Bain at Dalhousie University, with the majority of the work adding, tagging, and describing sources undertaken by Dalhousie undergraduate and graduate students: Laura Jones (2018), Andrea Klassen (2018), Martha Culshaw (2019-2020), and Lucia Denk (2019-2022, also working post-graduation).



How to Use the Hildegard of Bingen Music Research Guide


Hildegard’s seventy-seven plainchants and her Ordo virtutum, as well as the manuscripts transmitting her music, have been tagged and paginated wherever they appear in any of the bibliography’s resources. A search for a particular music composition (e.g., one of Hildegard’s sequences, “O virga ac diadema”), in the search bar in the upper-right side of the main page will find matches in titles as well as tags. Clicking on any source in the results list (or through browsing the bibliography) will provide the following:
-in the “Info” tab, bibliographic information for the source;
- in the “Notes” section, the pages on which a reference to Hildegard’s music occurs;
-and in the “Tags” tab, the type and length of the musical reference in that source (for instance, O virga ac diadema – passing reference). Descriptions of each tagging category are provided below:

Passing reference – A chant is briefly mentioned in a sentence or two without further discussion and may also be included in a table or footnote. A passing reference to the same chant may occur more than once in the same source, and pagination is provided for each occurence in the “Notes” section.
Paragraph(s) – A chant receives more detailed discussion than a passing reference, usually 1-3 paragraphs, and not longer than a page.
Substantial – Significant treatment of the chant, usually covering multiple pages, is provided.
Transcription – Indicates that a chant has been fully transcribed into modern musical notation, whether in an article, book, or music edition. Note that this tag does not apply to partial transcriptions.
Translation – Used for a complete translation of a chant, with the language of the translation provided in parentheses (for example: O virga ac diadema – translation (English)).
Facsimile – Indicates that manuscript images of specific chants are provided in a source. For example: Kyrie – facsimile.

It is important to note that multiple tags can exist for the same musical composition in a source, particularly if the chant has been discussed, translated and/or transcribed. These multiple instances are clearly delineated in the “Tags” section (for example: O virga ac diadema – transcription; O virga ac diadema – substantial; etc.).

If a single chant qualifies for multiple mention/discussion tags (that is, it receives both passing reference and is mentioned in a paragraph and/or receives substantial discussion), only one tag is used based on to what extent the chant is discussed. For instance, if “O virga ac diadema” is mentioned in passing on one page, discussed later in a paragraph, and then later in the source substantially addressed, then only one tag will be indicated in the “Tags” section: O virga ac diadema – substantial. However, all instances where it was mentioned will be paginated as well in the “Notes” section.

Lists or tables of chants in a given source are not tagged. They are only tagged if mentioned or discussed in the body of a text. It is important to note as well that the Ordo virtutum is tagged both as an entire composition as well as by its separate chants (not including the Devil’s spoken responses). For search purposes, this means that one can discover more information on a specific chant from the Ordo virtutum (e.g., “In mente altissimi,” Chastity’s address to the Devil), by searching either by the incipit of that chant or “Ordo virtutum” in the search bar, and then by looking at the “Notes” for pagination of each Ordo virtutum chant discussed in the source.
In some cases, Hildegard’s music is discussed in sources without specific chants identified. For these situations, broader tags such as “music and theology” or “music and philosophy” are used according to the topic of the scholarly source. Tags are also provided for manuscripts containing Hildegard’s music, if a manuscript is discussed at length (such as “Dendermonde codex” and “Wiesbaden codex”).

The Hildegard Music Research Guide has been carefully designed for the purpose of facilitating easy and efficient citation and research into all aspects of Hildegard’s music. If you have any questions, corrections, or suggestions of missing sources while using this Zotero bibliography, please email the Hildegard Zotero team.