Digital edition: Wenzel Raimund Johann Birck (1718-1763)

This musicological Digital Humanities project documents and edits the musical works of the Viennese composer Wenzel Birck (1718-1763). This native digital edition of musical notation and metadata using MEI breaks fresh ground. Its final product will not be printed scores in volumes of a complete works edition. Instead, the Internet is the edition’s primary medium; the data will be open access under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY), that is, made available to all free of charge. Besides the online presentation on screen, it will also be possible to generate and download performance material for musical practice based on the users’ requirements. In addition, high-resolution digitalised images of as many original sources as possible will be made available online to give the Scientific Community the opportunity to com­pare the MEI edition and the original.

The musicologist and Professor of Organ and Music Theory at Vienna’s University of Music and Performing Arts, Michael Stephanides, studied the composer’s oeuvre in depth in his dissertation Wenzel Birck (Pürk), Leben und Werk eines Wiener Hofmusikers an der Wende vom Barock zur Klassik ("Wenzel Birck, the Life and Works of a Viennese Court Musician on the Threshold between the Baroque and Classical Epoch"; University of Vienna 1982, download). Stephanides divided up the majority of Birck’s works into categories as the basis for his analytical studies, producing a handwritten catalogue. This extensive corpus has not been published and is currently stored in the Archive of the Department of Musicology at the University of Vienna. Stephanides made his categories available to this project.

Robert Klugseder offers taught courses on digital music editing using MEI at the Department of Musicology at the University of Vienna. Participating students had to create modern scores of the works Stephanides transcribed by hand and of some newly discovered compositions as a preliminary stage of the edition project (MuseScore, MusicXML and rudimentary MEI files ready for further processing). In 2017, the musicologist Rolf Wissmann completed his Master’s thesis. This thesis, which is being supervised by Klugseder, aimed to investigate and render accessible the seven sources held in the diocesan archive in Györ and two further newly discovered works, which were not covered in Stephanides’s dissertation

The first project phase (09/2017-12/2018) was funded by the City of Vienna (Wien Kultur MA 7). The application for the funding of the second phase (FWF Publikationsförderung) is in work.