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Information for Authors


Early Music

Faculty of Music
University of Cambridge
11 West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DP


+44 (0)1223 335178




Early Music is always pleased to consider for publication articles of between 4,000 and 6,000 words, and shorter contributions for the sections 'Observations' and 'Performing Matters'.

Early Music is a peer-reviewed journal that aspires to unite the worlds of scholarship and practical performance. We publish articles which make a distinct contribution to scholarship (for instance, by presenting new discoveries or formulating new interpretations) and which are also of interest to professional performers and enthusiasts who enjoy singing, playing or listening to early music. Articles should show accurate and nuanced scholarship, and should be clearly written, logically presented and accessible to the intelligent general reader. Early Music prides itself on its illustrations, and contributors should give careful consideration to selecting pertinent pictorial matter that is integral to their argument.

Our subject matter encompasses hundreds of years and many different countries and genres: nobody is an expert in all this material, so please do not feel that it is unduly condescending to explain a few things that a specialist in your field will probably be perfectly familiar with.

In particular, please try to avoid an excessively ‘academic’ tone: articles should not read as though they had been filleted from a PhD dissertation. Endnotes should be used for essential bibliographical references only.

We make use of a very detailed style-sheet, the implementation of which may be left to our copy-editors. The best guide to editorial style, including such matters as the manner of bibliographical citation, is a recent issue of the journal. We follow standard British usage for spelling, idiom and terminology. However, our readership is international, so please beware of parochialisms.

Articles submitted to Early Music are initially assessed by the editors, and may be rejected at this stage if they are found to be unsuitable for the journal. Submissions are then sent to external referees for double-blind peer-review.


If your first language is not English, you must ensure that the academic content of your paper can be fully understood by journal editors and reviewers. You may consider pre-submission language editing, although this does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. For further information on this optional service, please click here. Several specialist language editing companies offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.


Initial submissions are made online via
http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/earlym, and should include the main text of the article (preferably as a Word file); illustrations / music examples (as JPEG, TIFF or PDF files); captions for illustrations / music examples; and an abstract of 100-200 words (with up to 10 separate keywords). For the purposes of peer-review, all these files should be anonymized; the author’s name should not appear anywhere in the submission, including in the footnotes, or in any supplementary files. A separate title-page (designated as Title Page) should be uploaded with the authors’ details and any acknowledgements. Please ensure that any files for submission in addition to your Word file, such as illustrations, are included in a zip file.

The online submission software will automatically create a single .pdf file containing the main text, supplementary files, and reduced-resolution versions of any figures that have been submitted. This document will be used when the manuscript undergoes peer-review. The submitted files will appear in this .pdf sequentially, as specified on the submission page. There will be an opportunity to enter figure/plate captions and to check the .pdf file prior to final submission.


When submitting an article for peer-review, please submit music examples as TIFF, JPEG or PDF files. If your article is accepted, we will ask you to submit Sibelius or Finale files of your music examples. Our music setter will modify the layout where necessary to fit our format. Music examples are expensive to set and inconvenient to revise, so please check that the notation of examples is complete and clearly legible. If they include any unusual or non-standard elements (e.g. many Baroque ornaments) give clear instructions so that our music-setter will be able to reproduce them. We discourage the use of Mensurstriche. Each example should be provided with a caption, which should explain what we are looking at and why.


We make use of a very detailed style-sheet, the implementation of which may be left to our copy-editors. There are, though, a few points that it may help you to be aware of.

Early Music follows standard British usage for spelling, idiom and terminology.

When quoting material from languages other than English, always provide a translation. The text should usually be reproduced both in the original language and in translation, especially if you have translated it yourself, or if the translation is likely to be contentious or materially affect the details of your argument. If none of these circumstances apply, it may be appropriate to omit the original and quote solely from a published scholarly translation (with full citation), particularly in the case of extended quotations. Whenever the original words are given, they should appear in the text and not be hidden away in the endnotes.

Each table should be numbered and provided with a caption. Each column in a table should have a heading.

Titles of articles, books, dissertations and music in all languages are shown italicized with minimum capitalization, i.e. for English titles only the first word and those words that would require capitalization in running prose are to be capitalized.

In endnotes do not use ibid., op. cit., loc. Cit., idem and the like; second (and later) references to a work are made by the short-title system. Similarly, do not use ‘cf.’ but ‘see’ or ‘compare’.
In the endnotes authors of secondary sources are shown with initials only; composers and authors of primary sources are given forenames. Editors of books are shown after the title, i.e. The Tinctoris companion, ed. J. Doe (and not J. Doe (ed.), The Tinctoris companion).

Publication details of books and music normally show only place and date; occasionally, though, it is useful to add the publisher of some of the more out-of-the-way modern editions of music. Where there are multiple places of publication, cite just the first. Omit details of photographic reprints.

Volume numbers of books and periodicals are shown in small roman numerals. References to page numbers in books and journals are always preceded by p. or pp. Avoid such uses as pp.13f. or 72ff.; instead give a terminal page number—pp.13-14, pp.72-85. When first citing articles in periodicals and books, give the full pagination, not just the first page number.

Library sigla for manuscript sources should be avoided unless their use will save a great deal of repetition, in which case the full reference should be given on their first occurrence.

We prefer folios to be cited in the form fols.6v–7r. Note that in this system fol.6 indicates the whole of folio 6 and not just the recto.

Some examples of preferred forms of bibliographical citations:

Books: J. Doe, Johannes Tinctoris: life and works (Oswestry, 1968), pp.73–5.

Dissertations and theses: J. Doe, ‘The compositions of Johannes Tinctoris’ (PhD diss., University of Slough, 1966), i, pp.247–9.

Articles in a periodical: J. Doe, ‘New light on Tinctoris’, Journal of the Australian Musicological Society, iii (1971), pp.125-40, at p.130.

Articles in a collection of essays: R. Roe, ‘Mensural puzzles in Tinctoris’, in The Tinctoris companion, ed. J. Doe (Hoboken, NJ, 1975), pp.73-85, at pp.79-80.


Based on the opinions of the journal’s peer reviewers, the editors will decide whether to accept your article outright, ask for revisions (which might be minor or major) or decline to publish it. If the decision is to accept or ask for minor revisions, one of the editors will read your article and forward you a version with any editorial queries; once you have addressed these and any minor revisions required by the peer reviewers, your article will enter copy editing. If the peer-reviewers have recommended major revisions, you will first be asked to undertake these in a specified time period (usually three months) and submit a revised version of the article, which may be read again by one or more of the peer reviewers to verify the changes.


If you wish to receive a complimentary copy of the issue in which your article appears, please select this option in the Oxford Journals Author Services site using the link sent to you by Oxford Journals once your manuscript has been accepted for publication by the journal.

Offprints, or single issues of the journal, may also be ordered using the Oxford Journals Author Services site. Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from elsewhere in the EU you or your institution should account for VAT by way of a reverse charge. Please provide us with your or your institution’s VAT number.


Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.

By granting an exclusive licence to Oxford University Press the article will be permitted the widest possible dissemination while you retain the right to use material from it in other publications you write or edit.

Early Music authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication.

After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for Open Access. If you do not select the Open Acess option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences.

All authors, including RCUK/Wellcome Trust funded authors, publishing in Early Music can use the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) for their articles.

All other authors publishing in Early Music can use the following Creative Commons licences for their articles:
• Creative Commons Non-Commercial licence (CC BY-NC)

Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The open access charges applicable are:

Regular charge - £2000/$3200/€2600
Reduced Rate Developing country charge* - £1000/$1600/€1300
Free Developing country charge * - £0/$0/€0
*Visit our Developing Countries page for a list of qualifying countries.

Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour/page charges that may apply.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.


Early Music is famous for its rich pictorial content; no other music journal can match us on that front. You should therefore give careful thought to the images that might accompany your article, and ensure they are integrated within your argument. For guidance and inspiration, please consult a recent copy of the journal. We are always interested in pictures suitable for colour reproduction, but since the cost of printing colour is considerably greater than black and white, we must set a limit on the amount we use in a single issue. If colour is crucial to your article, please make sure that we understand this. The final choice of illustrations will be made as we approach publication. Contributors are responsible for the cost of acquiring illustrations and reproduction permissions, although the journal may be able to assist authors without academic affiliations.

Before your article can enter production, we will need high-resolution files of all the images; both JPEGs and TIFFs are acceptable, providing the files are of at least 300dpi. It is the author's responsibility to include acknowledgements as stipulated by particular institutions.


In line with most academic journals, Oxford Journals require contributors to obtain clearance for any copyright materials reproduced in their articles. The fact that our journals appear in an online version, some with downloadable sound examples, may further complicate the position. The law governing copyright, especially as it refers to non-print media, is far from clear but the following guidance is offered in good faith; of necessity, these guidelines are not comprehensive, but rather a simplification of the law governing copyright. Furthermore, these guidelines are based on English law only. You should always seek advice when in doubt.

In essence it is necessary to ensure that clearance is gained for the following:

  • reproduction and distribution in printed form of copyright textual or graphic material or music;
  • reproduction in electronic form and dissemination on-line of copyright textual or graphic material or musical or dramatic works;
  • reproduction in electronic form and dissemination on-line of copyright sound material (eg a sound recording); and
  • reproduction in electronic form and dissemination on-line of performances of music and/or words (eg a song embodied in a sound recording).

While the owner of the rights in a sound recording may also own or control the rights (eg of the performer) in the performance recorded, it would be wise to get confirmation of this from that owner when seeking a clearance, and to make it clear that a licence of both categories of rights is being requested.
Finally you must respect the author's moral rights. This means being careful to ensure that the author and source of any material used are identified sufficiently, and that no material used is subjected to any derogatory treatment.

Is it in copyright?

There is no restriction on the inclusion of non-copyright materials in either the printed or the electronic version of the journal, but be aware that there may be rights in performances of public domain works. Terms of copyright in literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works (whether published or not) depend both on when and where the work was first published, and on if and when the author has died and on the residence and nationality of the author. The rules are complicated, but the general rule is:

  • copyright expires seventy years after the end of the calendar year in which the author died;
  • if a work was unpublished (and this term has a broad meaning including public performance and broadcasting) at the date of the author's death, then the period of copyright protection will be the longer of:

    1. seventy years after the end of the calendar year in which the author died; or

    2. fifty years after the end of the calendar year in which the work was first published (in the case of works first published before 1 August 1989) and fifty years from 1 January 1990 (in the case of works first published after 1 August 1989)

In the case of an unpublished document you will need to seek permission from the owner of the document as well as the owner of any copyright in the document.

New editions: A new copyright may exist in a new edition of an existing work. If the new edition contains material alterations which suffice to make the totality of the new edition an original work, then the new edition will be a new copyright work. This is so whether or not the existing edition is in the public domain. Copying the existing work will require no consent if it is in the public domain, but that copying must be done from the existing work and not from the new edition. If the existing work is still protected by copyright, then permission for use must be obtained from the rights owner. If the new edition is used and the old edition is still in copyright, permission must be obtained from the owner of the rights in the new edition and, if that owner does not also own the rights in the old edition, from the person who owns the rights in the old edition. Copyright on typography and music setting (engraving) lasts for 25 years from publication.

Sound recordings: In the case of sound recordings, copyright in the recording generally lasts for fifty years from release. Release has a wide meaning and includes broadcast and public performance. That means that you do not need permission to reproduce clips from original recordings that were released over 50 years ago; reissues (for instance CD compilations of historical recordings) may however be protected by a new copyright, as will sound recordings which have been remastered or digitally enhanced. Rights of performers performing on sound recordings generally last for the same period as the copyright in the sound recording.

Multiple copyrights: As you will gather from the above, a single publication will have multiple copyrights. For a musical score, these typically include the composer, the editor or arranger (if any), and the music setting; in the case of songs and operas the lyrics or libretto will be copyright, too. The publisher will normally handle all these rights. For a recording there will be a number of separate copyrights relating to the performance but they will usually all be handled by the record company, although it may sometimes be necessary to get separate permission from performers; you should check with the record company. Where the work itself is copyright, however, you will have to obtain permission for that separately from the publisher. Material can be considered out of copyright only if all the relevant copyrights have expired.

It's in copyright, but do I need permission?

Make sure you do not apply for permission when you do not actually need it! There is one important circumstance under which permission is not required, and you should consider carefully whether it applies in your case.

Where copyright is in force, it is legal to quote brief extracts from books, articles, or musical works for purposes of review or criticism, provided that the source is acknowledged. In this context 'musical works' is believed to include both scores and recordings, and this provision is believed to extend to electronic as well as to print publication. However you must note the following:

  • 'brief' is generally understood to mean no more than 5% of the work and, in any event, no more than is necessary for the criticism or review in question (note that individual items in collections, eg songs, count as works in their own right)
  • you cannot include the materials just for illustration; the legality of the quotation depends on the presence of critical commentary on it or its use for critical commentary on another work. For instance it might only be legal to reproduce an extract from a recording if you were commenting on the performance or the work recorded.

These provisions do not however apply to illustrations or figures in books, since each illustration or figure is treated as a separate copyright item. You will need to obtain permission to reproduce them from the publishers, or where they are credited to third parties from those third parties.

I need permission so what do I do?

In most cases the best place to start applying for permission is with the music publisher. Publishers of most music published in the UK can be found by searching on the web site of the Music Publishers Association

You need to write to the copyright holder or owner of the rights in the performance, explaining what you want to reproduce and the nature of the publication; you may have to pay a fee. In the case of textual and graphic material there will normally be little problem; publishers and libraries are used to handling such enquiries.

You may wish to include or adapt the following when writing:

Early Music, which is published by Oxford University Press, is a scholarly journal with a limited print run. It is also published in an electronic (web-based) version, accessible only to authorized users. I am therefore seeking clearance for both the printed and the electronic versions of the journal for the life of the work. As a scholarly publication, the journal does not offer any remuneration to authors and I would therefore ask you to consider reducing or waiving any fees in respect of this permission.

Sound recordings: The situation is more complicated in the case of sound recordings, largely because record companies are not yet used to handling such requests. As you will only be reproducing a short extract from a recording, an enlightened company will see this not as undercutting sales but as offering free publicity. For this reason it may be advisable, when writing to large companies, to address your letter to the marketing rather than the rights division.

You may wish to include or adapt the following when writing:

Early Music, which is published by Oxford University Press, is a scholarly journal with a limited print run. It is also published in an electronic (web-based) version, accessible only to authorized users. The electronic version includes a facility for sound examples, and I am writing to request permission to include and use an extract from one of your recordings as a sound example in the way just described, for the life of the work. Full details of the recording will be given. As a scholarly publication, the journal does not offer any remuneration to authors and I would therefore ask you to consider reducing or waiving any fees in respect of this permission.

A problem you may run into is being offered permission for the electronic version on the basis of a fixed-term or renewable license only, which we would unfortunately be unable to accept. In this case, contact the editorial office.

You may have difficulty in determining exactly who holds the rights for older recordings. The National Sound Archive (a division of the British Library) has information on this and will be glad to advise. The National Sound Archive may also be able to supply CD copies of recorded extracts for journal submissions, with the copying charges paid by the Archive from an educational trust fund (but please note that responsibility for copyright and other rights clearance remains with the contributor).

Mechanical rights and performance rights:

1) In the UK: MCPS/PRS Alliance. The MCPS (mechanical rights for sound recordings, UK) and PRS (performing rights, UK) have formed an alliance which means that it is possible to apply to both of them for permission in tandem. This is good news and should make research and clearance more straightforward: http://www.mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk

2) In the US: Mechanical rights: The Harry Fox Agency in New York is roughly equivalent to MCPS for the US: http://www.harryfox.com

Musical extracts from films: Unlike the reproduction of film stills (where film companies sometimes have little interest in granting permission for academic publications), film companies are very keen to license permissions for the use of musical extracts, and will usually charge. Academic publications might be an exception, and we can expect them to be a little more flexible for a journal article, but it means it is very important to emphasize academic journal publication whenever submitting a permission request to a film company.

Music in facsimile: Permission for music in facsimile works in much the same way as any other illustrative material, so permission should usually be sought for use of the photograph, even if the original object (such as a book) is out of copyright. Usually the best place to start is with the publisher, or in the case of an out of copyright book, the library or collection where the book is held. Where the music itself is still in copyright, then of course the rights have to be cleared as well.

Queries: If you have queries about clearing permissions for your article, please contact the editorial office.


If you will be publishing your paper under an Open Access licence but it contains material for which you do not have Open Access re-use permissions, please state this clearly by supplying the following credit line alongside the material:

Title of content
Author, Original publication, year of original publication, by permission of [rights holder]

This image/content is not covered by the terms of the Creative Commons licence of this publication. For permission to reuse, please contact the rights holder.


It is your responsibility as the author to obtain written permission to reproduce an image. You should therefore write to the library, museum, archive or gallery that supplied you with the image. It is essential that permission to reproduce is sought well in advance so that any unforeseen copyright issues can be dealt with in good time. Ideally, any clearances should be obtained immediately upon acceptance of the article for publication a manuscript cannot proceed to production until permissions have been cleared..

Please note that if any third-party permissions have not been obtained before this time, it is possible that there could be a delay in the publication of an article, or indeed the entire journal.

Please go to https://www.oxfordjournals.org/access_purchase/image_permissions.html for more information and guidance.
Facsimiles: If you wish to reproduce a page from a facsimile, you need to obtain permission from the publisher of the facsimile. However, this is a complex area, and we recommend that you discuss it with us well in advance of publication.
Captions: Every image should be supplied with a caption, which we ask you to write. The caption should explain what the reader is seeing, and must also give full details of the source from which it has been taken. It should also acknowledge permission to reproduce, using the exact wording supplied in the letter of permission, and (in the case of books or manuscripts) it must give the call-number or shelfmark, and the page or folio number.

E.g. Dublin, Trinity College, Ms.410/2, the Dublin Virginal Manuscript, f.1 (= modern p.273), by permission of The Board of Trinity College Dublin


For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page.


In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources in the manuscript. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here.

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