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Complete Works/Uniform Titles: Complete Works and Monuments


What are these?

Complete Works are collections of music of individual composers. The word "complete" is somewhat misleading as many of these editions are not yet finished. The editions are considered scholarly as they are based on research using primary sources (manuscripts or original prints). They have varying titles based on the language of publication. Some titles include: Werke, Opera Omnia, Oeuvres, and Gesamtausgabe. In the library catalog they all have the same uniform title, Works. They are located on the 3rd floor of the Library and have the call number of M3 and are often known by their short name, "M3s." Note: Not all composers have a set of Complete Works; for the most part only well-known composers are represented.

Monuments are scholarly, historical collections of works often focusing on one genre or period of music (or sometimes a composer's complete works). They have the call number of M2 and likewise are known by their short name, "M2s." As there is little similarity between these works, they have no uniform title connecting them together.

Both of these types of sources should be consulted when writing an analytical research paper or to verify the accuracy of a particular modern musical edition.

To search for a Complete Works set in the library catalog, do an Advanced search. Choose Author/contributor and is (exact) in the first search box and enter the composer's name; choose Alternative Title and is (exact) in the second box and enter Works; limit your search by choosing Scores as the Material Type and click Search.

Search Complete Works in OneSearch

How do I find something in a Complete Works or Monuments set?

To find an individual work, you must use a guide. There are several in the Library to choose from:

Perhaps the easiest way to find which volume of a Complete Works set contains the work you want is to use Oxford Music Online. Find the composer's entry in by searching their name and choosing the entry in Grove Music Online. click on the word, Works in the left hand column (listed under Article Contents). This will give you the titles and abbreviations (in red) of the complete works sets available for that particular composer.

Then choose the category of works you are looking for (i.e., Chamber music with piano) and locate the individual piece you are interested in. The table will give you the volume and issue number (and sometimes page number) of the set where the piece will be found.


Grove Complete Works Editions


Grove Complete Works Titles


After you find what you want, check the library catalog to determine if we have the set (by searching for the set as suggested above or by searching for the title of the set. Unfortunately, we don't have every Complete Works/Monuments set listed in Oxford.

Other ways to search

If a complete Works list is not found in Oxford Music Online (for lesser-known composers), the other method is to use a printed guide. There are three such guides in the Reference section of the Library:

Charles, Sydney Robinson. A handbook of music and music literature in sets and series. REF ML113 C45.
Although badly outdated (1972), Charles indexes not only Complete Works and Monuments but also monographic series and special periodical issues.

Heyer, Anna Harriet. Historical sets, collected editions, and monuments of music: A guide to their contents. REF ML 113 H52 1980.
Indexes over 900 collected editions. Volume 1 gives lists and detailed contents of complete works and monuments. Volume 2 is an index by composer and is used to determine if a specific work is included in a monument or anthology.

Hill, George R. Collected editions, historical series & sets & monuments of music: A bibliography. REF ML 113 H55 1997.
This guide is an update of Heyer but does not replace it. It is meant to be used in conjunction with Heyer.

As you can see, none of these guides are up-to-date. Although useful, the most timely information will be found in Oxford Music Online.