Due for completion in 2013, the Britten Thematic Catalogue, an online musicological research tool that will present detailed individual records charting Benjamin Britten's entire compositional output (approximately 1,200 works both published and unpublished including all juvenilia), is currently being compiled at the Britten-Pears Foundation in the United Kingdom. As this resource will be published exclusively online, it is the project's intention to fully employ the benefits afforded to the catalog through its virtual format, specifically when presenting thematic incipits for each work. In addition to typeset incipits, which in the case of the Britten Thematic Catalogue will extend beyond the traditional "opening fragment of music," corresponding audio examples will also be included that will enable users to not only view but hear Britten's compositional development, particularly during his childhood. Whilst extracts from existent recordings will be used to this end for the composer's published works, the majority of pieces to be included, principally the bulk of Britten's juvenilia, will need recording for the first time. This article outlines the various considerations that have informed incipit construction throughout the project's progression. Following an examination of specific issues regarding incipit length and error correction that arose during the process of typesetting examples, the article goes on to detail a number of observations that have been made thus far during the act of recording some of Britten's earliest efforts.


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pp. 249-262
Launched on MUSE
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