Integrated Database for Early music

IDEM - A Database for Music Sources

The Integrated Database for Early Music (IDEM) is an interdisciplinary, multifaceted database of manuscripts and printed books that are relevant to the Alamire Foundation's research and activities. It therefore especially focuses on the musical heritage of the Low Countries from the early Middle Ages until 1800.

IDEM is constructed around a central database, consisting of the digital images of primary sources, mainly digitized by means of the Alamire Digital Lab, the high-technology photography centre of the Alamire Foundation (KU Leuven - Research Group Musicology). Its state-of-the-art equipment allows musical sources to be photographed following the strictest standards and quality requirements.

The database core is surrounded by interrelated sub-databases that will eventually contain information about every aspect of the manuscripts and books concerned, including their physical characteristics, their content and illumination, as well as recordings, editions and so-called 'fake-similes' (adapted versions of the original images, facilitating performance from the original notation).

This overall approach is related to the database purpose. It aims indeed at providing material that enables the consultation of manuscript and printed sources from multiple perspectives and at different levels. To meet this objective, IDEM has been conceived as an online, freely accessible platform and tool for the preservation, study and valorisation of the music heritage of the Low Countries.

In the spotlight

After the exhibition in Antwerp, the Alamire manuscripts start their international tour. In IDEM, the virtual journey through Europe has already begun ...

Alamire in 's-Hertogenbosch

Probably in the 1530's, the workshop of Petrus Alamire produced three manuscripts for the Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Lady in 's-Hertogenbosch. Today, the choirbooks are still at their original destination, where they take part in the events commemorating the painter Jheronimus Bosch (1450-1516).

Alamire in München

The  Alamire manuscripts that belonged to the dukes of Bavaria are online in IDEM. With the kind permission of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich). .