Project Description

Revision: December 3, 2022 (approved)

1. 1 About this edition

The Italian composer, pianist and writer on music Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924) lived in Berlin since 1894; he did not give up his apartment on Viktoria-Luise-Platz even during his exile in Zurich (1915–1920) due to the war. His estate, which is kept in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, comprises a total of more than 8,000 letters, as well as manuscripts of music and texts, concert programs, reviews, biographical material, pictures and portraits.

From the corpus of Busoni’s writings and correspondence will appear here in digital edition:

Next to appear are:

1. 2 Scientific editing

The text corpora are made available page by page in different views, which can be freely combined to form a synopsis:

  • in facsimile (if available);
  • in diplomatic transcription (with original spellings and line breaks, incl. documentation of revisions)
  • in a reading version with regularized orthography, punctuation and layout

An extensive commentary accompanies the presentation of the text. The critical apparatus with additional information includes:

  • explanatory notes;
  • the description of sources;
  • an overview of persons, works, places, and institutions mentioned;
  • notes on uncertain readings;
  • deviations from previous editions.

The coding of the sources is based on the TEI P5 standard of the Text Encoding Initiative. Details can be found in the edition guidelines. The full XML code is available for all documents.

Encoding of the texts began in 2015/16 under the direction of Christian Schaper and Ullrich Scheideler as part of a seminar at the Institute for Musicology and Media Studies of the Humboldt University in Berlin and has since been continued in follow-up seminars:

  • The estate of Ferruccio Busoni in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin: Digital text edition of selected sources with TEI (winter semester 2015/16)
  • Edition in musicology: Methods, media, perspectives (winter semester 2016/17)
  • Busoni’s aesthetics in digital form: Editing letters, compilations, and annotated prints with TEI (winter semester 2018/19)
  • Ferruccio Busoni revisited: Digital editing as work in progress (winter semester 2019/20)
  • Schönberg, Jarnach, WeillFerruccio Busoni and the network of musical modernism (summer semester 2021)
  • Introduction to digital text edition: The correspondence Ferruccio BusoniPhilipp Jarnach (winter semester 2021/22)

To date, six BA theses have been completed as part of the edition:

1. 3 Technical realization and contributing

The project Letters and Texts from Intellectual Berlin (Nachwuchsgruppe Berliner Intellektuelle 1800–1830, Institut für deutsche Literatur at the Humboldt University in Berlin) originally served as a model and starting point for coding and presentation.

The project was made possible by numerous grants from the Digital Media in Research, Teaching and Learning program of the Media Commission of the Academic Senate of Humbold University in Berlin (2015–2017, 2017/18, 2019/20, 2021/22, 2022/23). The WebApp created during the second funding period runs in the native XML database eXist-db and is written in XQuery and XSL; it is largely based on the WeGA-WebApp developed for the Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Gesamtausgabe by Peter Stadler. Our fork was significantly adapted and further developed by Jakob Schmidt who also did the design of the website. Current work on ODD development, partial automation of entity markup, and coding tutorials is being driven by Steffen Astheimer. The expansion of the edition’s content is ongoing, especially in the context of courses on the digital edition as well as final theses.

External contribution to both the application and the datasets is generally welcome. For further details and viewing of the XML data, please visit the project page in the university’s internal GitLab (login required). Information and access to the program source code is available upon request. You are also welcome to contact us with your bug reports, questions or suggestions.


done_allStatus: approved
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