Anonymous, Mylauer Tabulaturbuch

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The Mylau Tablature Book, or "Mylauer Tabulaturbuch," is a key source of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century German keyboard music, held in the Archives of the Stadtkirche in the Saxon town…
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The Mylau Tablature Book, or "Mylauer Tabulaturbuch," is a key source of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century German keyboard music, held in the Archives of the Stadtkirche in the Saxon town of Mylau. Although this manuscript source is dated to 1750 in many references, a more likely date would be 1731; that was when a new Silbermann organ was installed in the Stadtkirche, which is still there today. At that time the cantor at the Stadtkirche was Johann Christoph Träger, and although the copyist of the Mylau Tablature Book is unknown it can be assumed that, if it was compiled around 1730, that Träger had some supervisory control over what was copied into it.

The Mylau Tablature Book contains 176 compositions, of which only about 30 have been identified with a specific composer; many of the pieces don't even bear titles. Most of the composers whose names are known are from the school associated with Johann Pachelbel, such as Nicolaus Vetter, Andreas Kneller, Andreas Werckmeister, Christian Friedrich Witt, and Gottfried Pestel. This suggests that much of the music was written about 30 years before it was compiled; perhaps the contents of the Mylau Tablature Book was drawn from sources already in the Stadtkirche library for some time. Although the book was not "lost during World War II" as is stated in Grove's, certain pages are no longer legible to the naked eye due to fading and the heavy use this source underwent in its early years. The church fathers at the Stadtkirche wisely foresaw this eventuality, and in 1939 had a Photostatic copy made of the Mylau Tablature Book in which all of the music is visible, even that which is not so now. This film probably was the basis of American scholar John R. Shannon's edition of 40 pieces from the Mylau Tablature Book, published as Corpus of Early Keyboard Music Volume 39 by in 1977.