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Instructions for authors
Editorial policy

Early Music History is devoted to the study of music from the early Middle Ages to the end of the seventeenth century. The journal demands the highest standards of scholarship from its contributors, all of whom are leading academics in their fields. Early Music History gives preference to studies pursuing interdisciplinary approaches and to those developing new methodological ideas. The scope is exceptionally broad and includes manuscript studies, textual criticism, iconography, studies of the relationship between words and music, and the relationship between music and society.

1. Submissions

All contributions and editorial correspondence should be sent to: The Editor, Dr Iain Fenlon, Early Music History, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1ST, UK. All submissions should be sent as hard copy in the first instance. At the same time, please also send an anonymised copy of your article (your name should not appear on the word/ pdf) to The Editor can also be contacted via email at

Early Music History accepts submissions of no more than 20,000 words in length. Submissions beyond this will not normally be considered. If you have any questions or would like further guidance, please write to the Editor or Assistant Editor.

Authors must include a 150-word abstract, details of their affiliation, their email address and competing interests declaration with all submissions. 

Competing interests declaration: This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”.

Submission of an article is taken to imply that it has not previously been published, and has not been submitted for publication elsewhere.

Contributors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce any material in which they do not own copyright, to be used in both print and electronic media, and for ensuring that the appropriate acknowledgements are included in their manuscript.

Open Access Policies

Please visit Open Access Publishing at Cambridge for information on our open access policies, compliance with major finding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.

2. Manuscript preparation

All contributions should be in English and must be double spaced throughout, including footnotes, bibliographies, annotated lists of manuscripts, appendices, tables and displayed quotations.

English Language Editing Services

Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Please see the Language Services page for more information. Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge published journal.

In the event of the manuscript being accepted for publication the author will be asked to submit the text electronically in Word or Word Perfect with an accompanying PDF, as well as in hard copy.

Figures and music examples should be submitted as electronic files suitable for printing purposes at the approximate size of reproduction, bearing in mind the maximum dimensions of the printed version: 17.5 x 11 cm (7" x 4.5").

Acceptable file types for figures are, EPS, TIFF or high resolution JPEG saved in Greyscale mode. In more detail:

Line artwork (graphs)

Format: tif or eps

Colour mode: black and white (also known as 1-bit) Resolution: 1200 dpi

Combination artwork (line/tone)

Format: tif or eps

Colour mode: grayscale (also known as 8-bit) Resolution: 800 dpi

Black and white halftone (photographs)

Format: tif

Colour mode: grayscale (also known as 8-bit) Resolution: 300 dpi

3. Text conventions


English spelling, idiom and terminology should be used, e.g. bar (not measure), note (not tone), quaver (not eighth note). Where there is an option, '-ise' endings should be preferred to '-ize'.


English punctuation practice should be followed: (1) single quotation marks, except for a 'a "quote" within a quote'; (2) punctuation outside quotation marks, unless a complete sentence is quoted; (3) no comma before 'and' in a series; (4) footnote indicators follow punctuation; (5) square brackets [ ] only for interpolation in quoted matter; (6) no stop after contractions that include the last letter of a word, e.g. Dr, St, edn (but vol. and vols.).

Bibliographical references

Authors' and editors' forenames should not be given, only initials: where possible, editors should be given for Festschriften, conference proceedings, symposia, etc. In titles, all important words in English should be capitalised; all other languages should follow prose-style capitalisation, except for journal and series titles which should follow English capitalisation. Titles of series should be included, in roman, where relevant. Journal and series volume numbers should be given in Arabic, volumes of a set in roman ('vol.' will not be used). Places and dates of publication should be included. Dissertation titles should be given in roman and enclosed in quotation marks. Page numbers should be preceded by 'p.' or 'pp.' in all contexts. The first citation of bibliographical reference should include all details; subsequent citations may use the author's surnames, short titles and relevant paper numbers only. Ibid. may be used, but not op. cit. or loc. cit.


Abbreviations for manuscript citations, libraries, periodicals, series, etc. should not be used without explanation; after the first full citation an abbreviation may be used throughout text and notes. Standard abbreviations may be used with explanation. In the text, 'Example', 'Figure' and 'bars' should be used (not 'Ex.', 'Fig.', 'bb.'). In references to manuscripts, 'fols.' should be used (not 'ff.') and 'v' (verso) and 'r' (recto) should be typed superscript. The word for 'saint' should be spelled out or abbreviated according to language, e.g. San Andrea, S. Maria, SS. Pietro e Paolo, St Paul, St Agnes, St Denis, Ste Clothilde.

Note names

Flats, sharps and naturals should be indicated by the conventional signs, not words. Note names should be roman and capitalised where general, e.g. C major, but should be italic and follow the Helmholtz code where specific (C,, C, Ccc'c"c'''; c' = middle C). A simpler system may be used in discussions of repertories (e.g. chant) where different conventions are followed.


A quotation of no more than 60 words of prose or one line of verse should be continuous within the text and enclosed in single quotation marks. Longer quotations should be displayed and quotation marks should not be used. For quotations from foreign languages, an English translation must be given in addition to the foreign-language original.


Numbers below 100 should be spelled out, except page, bar, folio numbers etc., sums of money and specific quantities, e.g. 20 ducats, 45 mm. Pairs of numbers should be elided as follows: 190-1, 198-9, 198-201, 212-13. Dates should be given in the following forms: l0 January 1983, the 1980s, sixteenth century (16th century in tables and lists), sixteenth-century polyphony.


Incipits in all language (motets, songs, etc.), and titles except in English, should be capitalised as in running prose; titles in English should have all important words capitalised, e.g. The Pavin of Delight. Most offices should have a lower-case initial except in official titles, e.g. 'the Lord Chancellor entered the cathedral', 'the Bishop of Salford entered the cathedral' (but 'the bishop entered the cathedral'). Names of institutions should have full (not prose-style) capitalisation, e.g. Liceo Musicale.


Titles and incipits of musical works in italic, but not genre titles or sections of the Mass/English Service

e.g. Kyrie, Magnificat. Italics for foreign words should be kept to a minimum; in general they should be used only for unusual words or if a word might be mistaken for English if not italicised. Titles of manuscripts should be roman in quotes, e.g. 'Rules How to Compose'. Names of institutions should be roman.

4. Proofs

Typographical or factual errors only may be changed at proof stage. The publisher reserves the right to charge authors for correction of non-typographical errors.

5. Offprints

Contributors of articles and review essays receive a complimentary PDF of their published paper. Offprints may be purchased from the publisher if ordered at proof stage.

6. Copyright

The policy of Early Music History is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant Cambridge University Press a licence to publish their work. In the case of gold open access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish the article without this. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here .

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.

Last updated May 2021