Musica Egrana

The Online Digital Edition

The project Musica Egrana is a digital online edition presenting the music repertoire from the second half of the 16th century related to the Czech town Eger (Cheb) and its neighborhood laying near to the Czech-German border. The edition is focused on the music prints by the prominent persons from Eger of the reformation period, Clemens Stephani and Johann Hagius. Clemens Stephani (* 1530 in Bochov, Carlsbad Region, † February 1592 in Eger) is well known as a poet, music collector, teacher and publisher. Apart from his poetical work, he is also the author of music anthologies containing the uniquely preserved compositions by the contemporary European composers. The compositions by Johann Hagius (* 1530 in Marktredwitz, Upper Palatinate, † after 1575 ibidem), which in Eger executed the function of the Superintendent during the four years, are comprised in the anthologies by his colleague Stephani as well as in the music collections of his own authorship.

The digital online edition is based on the standard MEI (Music Encoding Initiative), which meets all the conditions for the record of the music notation with the scientific requirements. As the project is at the very beginning of its existence, two musical prints are currently finished:

  • Clemens Stephani: [Discantus] schöner außerleßner deutscher Psalm, Nürnberg 1568.
  • Johann Hagius: Symbola der erwirdigen und hocherleuchten Menner, Herren D. Martini Lutheri und Philippi Melanthonis, Eger 1572.

These music prints will be followed by other sources from the Eger region.

Project Team:

Project director, proofreader and consultant:
Jan Bata (Charles University)
Editor, encoder and programmer of the application:
Jan Bilwachs (Charles University / National Library of the Czech Republic)

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Clefs are adapted to the modern reading with respect to voice pitch and avoiding the auxiliary lines.


Key signature is derived from the primary source and accidentals usage is adapted to the modern reading:

  • Sharp and flat signs used in the source for the cancellation are transcribed as natural signs.
  • The accidental in the transcription is valid to the end of measure. In the source, repeated accidentals during the same measure are not taken into account.
  • In case of editorial addition (musica ficta), the accidental is placed above the note.


In the primary sources occur mostly C.O.P. (cum opposita proprietate) ligatures representing the two semibreves, which are transcribed as the two whole notes. In the transcription, every ligature is represented by the solid bracket above the notes in question.


In the transcription, every coloration is represented by the dashed bracket above the notes in question.

Mensuration, note values, proportions

The every composition is written in alla breve, i.e. tactus equals the one breve. This original mensuration has been preserved and it should be read with its original meaning.

The ratio of the note values against the primary source is 1:1 (i.e. one breve equals the double whole note).

The proportions (generally proportio sesquialtera) are transcribed in 3/2 metre. In addition, note values are reduced in ratio 1:2 and divided with respect to the tempus perfectum metre. Consequently, one perfect breve in the proportio sesquialtera equals the one dotted whole note.

The rest ordering and note tied division is adapted to the modern measure reading. The mensurstrich has therefore been omitted.

Score ordering and voice denomination

The voices are named according to the original name of the part book and ordered from the highest to the lowest. If the composition contains more voices of the same pitch, the primary voice (Cantus / Discantus) is placed above the secondary voices (Vagans / Quinta vox / Discantus secundus …) in the staff.

Text underlay

The original part books served as the main resource for the text underlay. In case of the more serious intervention to the text underlay (shifting of the phrase or its replacing with different one), the remark in the critical apparatus is provided.

The text repetitions, which had to be completed according to the “ij” sign in the primary source, are written in italics.


The Latin texts are mostly of biblical origin. Consequently, the Vulgate has been taken into account. The transcription respects the following principles:

  • Ligatures (æ, œ) are divided and abbreviations (atq;) are expanded.
  • The archaic form of the letters are replaced with the modern one (ſ → s; v → u; ij → ii).
  • Punctuation modified according to the Vulgate and the content meaning.
  • Capitals maintained only in case of the sentence beginnings, names and God.

The German texts correspond to the Early Modern German of the second half of the 16th century. It comprises the eminent variability, namely not only between individual part books, but also in case of the multiple repetition of the text phrases. This variety affects the usage of capitals, vowels, consonants, umlauts (for example “kommt / kompt / kümpt”), suffixes and word shortenings. The text in the part books is compared with each other and the differences are recorded in the critical apparatus. For the sake of the better intelligibility, the transcribed text is adapted to the modern orthography. In ambiguous cases, the German dictionary is taken into account. The text modernisation is performed with these principles:

  • If the text is of biblical origin, the ambiguous words and phrases are solved with respect to the Lutheran Bible (publication from 1545, 1561 and 1569). In these cases, the editorial emendation is commented in the critical apparatus with the reference to the source in question.
  • Preservation of the archaic word forms (“zehend” instead of “zehnte”).
  • Preservation of the archaic suffixes “-e-” (“siehet” instead of modern “sieht”).
  • Modernization of long vowels “i” › “ie”.
  • Unification of the orthographic variability (u / v / w; i / j; i / y). Differences between part books are not recorded in the critical apparatus.
  • Abbreviations are expanded without commentaries.
  • Consonants are simplified according to the contemporary orthography (“tz” › “z”; “ck” › “k”; “auff” › “auf”).
  • Pronominal connections are divided according to the contemporary orthography (“lessestu” › “lässest du”; “magstu” › “magst du”).
  • Punctuation is very inconsistent in the music prints. Consequently, the meaning content is taken into account. For the repeating phrases, the comma is used. Signs, which are not relevant in the modern punctuation, i.e. slashes “/”, are either deleted, or replaced with the modern equivalent appropriated to the meaning in question.
  • The usage of the capitals in the music prints is very inconsistent. In the transcription, the capitals writing is adapted to the modern orthography. Capitals at the verse beginnings are omitted. On the contrary, nouns, names and God receive the capital. The inconsistence in the music prints is not commented in the critical apparatus.
  • Syllabic abbreviations (“einem › eim; deines › deins; untergehen › untergehn”) occur inconsistently according to the amount of notes and declamation. If the editor decides on the different solution compared to original source, the commentary in the critical apparatus is provided.
  • The apostrophe is used in accordance with the §96 and §97 of the German orthography rules. Its presence is consequently restricted to the genitive and abbreviations in the middle of words, where the absence of the apostrophe could cause the difficult intelligibility (“Märtyrer › Märt’rer; alles › all’s; eim › ein’m”). In contrast, the apostrophe is not used in case of the fusion of pronoun with preceding word (“wenns; gibts”), as well as in case of voiceless “-e-” (i.e. “geh-e-n”; “Himm-e-l”), or in words, where the missing vowel is not to the detriment of intelligibility (“Gwalt; Gfahr”).
  • Syllable division is realized according to the German dictionary