The Center's History
The Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature (CHMTL) was established in 1998, first directed by Thomas J. Mathiesen, as a joint venture of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and the Vice President for Research and the University Graduate School.
The initiative for the Center grew out of a desire to consolidate the activities of three electronic resources developed at Indiana University: the Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum (TML, directed by Thomas J. Mathiesen, 1990), its sister project Saggi musicali italiani (SMI, directed by Andreas Giger, 1997) and the online version of the bibliographic database Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology (a resource now hosted by the American Musicological Society).
With the creation of the center, the three CHMTL projects were among the first resources in musicology to be disseminated through the internet. In 1998 a CD-ROM was also released incorporating current work on the full-text databases; later releases in 2002 and 2008 also included another venerable resource for the study of early music CANTUS and a bespoke full-text search utility to facilitate searching.
Musical Borrowing, an annotated bibliography of sources examining the creative recycling of existing music by J. Peter Burkholder, went online on the CHMTL website in 1999. It was renamed as Musical Borrowing and Reworking in 2017.
The work on historical texts of music theory initiated by TML was further extended to encompass additional languages and historical periods, with the Texts on Music in English by Peter Lefferts (TME, 2002), and Traités sur la Musique en Français (TFM, 2003) by Peter Slemon, formerly the Center's Assistant Director, then Interim Director from 2009.
While the full-text theory thesauri and the Borrowing bibliography continued to grow, CHMTL also sponsored conferences, launched editorial initiatives and started collaborations at national and international level in the fields of historical musicology and early music theory.
In 2011 CHMTL became an inter-departmental research center of the Jacobs School of Music.