Swedish Liturgical Music Sources: An online portal for liturgical music manuscripts in Sweden ca. 1520-ca. 1820

SweLiMuS (Swedish Liturgical Music Sources) aims at identification, scholarly cataloguing and description, digitization, and online publication of liturgical music manuscripts in Sweden from c.1520-c.1820. Inventory projects in recent years have left us with a corpus of about 160 known sources, scattered all over the country, and to a large extent owned and stored locally on parish level of the Church of Sweden. They have therefore never received systematic scholarly treatment, and many sources have until recently been completely unknown to research, and will certainly have a great impact on the understanding of music, liturgy and early modern history in future years. It is likely that a smaller number of furher sources will be identified within the SweLiMuS project. The Swedish Reformation reveal in these sources a number of peculiarities, and in some respects a remarkable synthesis of consistency from late-mediaeval circumstances, and later local adaptations in the dioceses. The material is often a hybrid between print and manuscript, since Swedish music prints for a long time printed only texts and staff systems, while note heads were entered in manuscript. This gives the sources a unique descriptive, and not mererly prescriptive value - they testify to what was actually sung on different places, not just what was centrally intended or desired. Their historical importance is considerable on a number of fields in the humanities, besides musicology.

This project is funded by the The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences and is conducted by Professor Mattias Lundberg.