The Portuguese Early Music Database

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One of the main difficulties for studying Portuguese early musical and liturgical repertory is that the sources are spread throughout the whole country, either in or out of their original diocese. The study of Portuguese Gregorian chant makes sense only in the context of a comparative approach; that is, by making an inventory of the existing documents in order for them to be examined together. In this way it is possible to see the big picture of the Portuguese musical repertory and define its specific attributes. The ‘Portuguese Early Music Database’ ( is an image-based digital resource for musicologists and scholars interested in music books from the Middle Ages up to ca 1650. Sources in PEM are currently kept in libraries and archives in Portugal and surrounding Spanish locations. PEM contains the full digital reproduction of each source and a description of its contents. In the case of several documents, PEM has had to give the first professional analysis and description. PEM puts a primary emphasis on the music’s contents, listed and analysed in detail and searchable. PEM is one of the first medieval music databases to be integrated in the international catalogue of chant texts and melodies for Office and Mass 'Cantus Index' (
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
EventInterdisciplinary Conference on Iberian Manuscripts - Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 19 Oct 201721 Oct 2017


ConferenceInterdisciplinary Conference on Iberian Manuscripts


  • Early music
  • Liturgical repertory
  • Portugal
  • Gregorian chant
  • Portuguese Early Music Database


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