Table of Contents




This project initially concentrated on new Mozart documents and addenda discovered in digital corpora, particularly Google Books (see the Introduction). As the project has developed, we have increasingly supplemented these with new documents and addenda from archival and published sources that have not yet been digitized. With a few exceptions, we intend our coverage of Google Books to be comprehensive for references to Mozart or his works published during the composer’s lifetime and the year following his death. We also include a smaller number of documents of particular interest published after the end of 1792.

We have generally omitted reports of performances of Mozart’s operas that give only date and title; we include reports of performances only when these have a substantial evaluative component, whether of the work, the performance, or both. As an adjunct to this site, DE is preparing an online database of performances of Mozart’s operas during the composer’s lifetime and through the end of 1792. That project has already documented well over 600 performances. We also omit all but the earliest advertisements of the famous Delafosse engraving of Carmontelle’s portrait of the Mozarts (see our entry for 21 Jan 1765), and the numerous brief secondary accounts of Daines Barrington’s report on the young Mozart. Our site includes only selected advertisements for Mozart’s printed works, mainly new or overlooked Viennese advertisements published during his lifetime. (For other advertisements, see the series of articles in Mozart Studien by Gertraut Haberkamp.)

As of this writing (early 2022), Google Books continues to scan books from Mozart's lifetime, albeit more slowly than in the earlier phases of the project. For that reason, we check periodically to see if any new Mozart items in our chronological range may have turned up. However, the current state of Google Books Search now makes such chronologically constrained searches unreliable (see below; for general cautions on the unreliability of dates in Google Books, see also the essay “Google Books as Archive”). Meanwhile, the rapidly increasing number of newly scanned items in other digital repositories continues to bring new Mozart documents to light, and such discoveries are likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Thus our research continues.

The optical character recognition (OCR) used by Google Books and other repositories (such as ANNO) is far from perfect, and our digital searches have undoubtedly overlooked at least a few references to Mozart or his works that might be found by working through the same sources “by hand.” For this reason, we also continue to examine page-by-page the digitized volumes of particularly productive sources.

At present, we are not attempting to assemble a fully comprehensive collection of new Mozart documents that have been discovered in the last twenty-five years. We are not, for example, including the wide-ranging and fundamental archival discoveries on Mozart made by Viennese scholar Michael Lorenz, for which the reader is pointed to his many publications and his blog, Musicological Trifles and Biographical Paralipomena. We do not ordinarily include documents that pertain solely to Mozart’s father Leopold or his wife Constanze, without reference to Wolfgang. (For Leopold, however, see our entries “Leopold Mozart as a guide to Paracelsus” and “The first Dutch edition of Leopold Mozart’s Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule”.) Our site includes a few documents from after the end of 1792 having to do with Constanze’s early advocacy and performance of Wolfgang’s music.

Dates and Chronology


Each document reporting an event is identified by the date of the event (when this can be determined), rather than the date of the report. If the precise date of an event cannot be determined, we use the date of the report (for example, the dateline of a news report or the date of a diary entry), or (for an article with no dateline) the date of the issue of the periodical. For documents lacking a specific date, dateline, or date of issue (for example, undated letters or passages from plays or stories), we give the year of publication or writing, or the year (or range of years) to which the document refers, as best this can be determined.

In the chronological sequence of documents, items identified only by year are listed after all items from that year with more specific dates. Items identified by month without a specific day are listed at the end of entries for that month. Items assigned a date range (such as “between 12 Mar and 23 Aug 1791” or “1785–1789”) are indexed according to the earlier date (in those cases “12 Mar 1791” and “1785”).

Documents on our site can be browsed in chronological sequence using the left and right arrows at either side of the page.

Transcriptions and Translations


Our transcriptions are generally diplomatic, within the constraints imposed by web design and software. Whenever possible, transcriptions retain original line breaks, usually indicated by an actual line break, or for documents with very long lines, with a solidus (/). In a few cases, where we do not have access to a facsimile of the original source and have no other record of its line breaks, we give the transcription as ordinary running text. In transcriptions, we use square brackets to show editorial additions, or (where scanned letters are unclear) to give our best guess at the transcription.

Commentary, Notes, and Bibliography


This site aims to take advantage of the flexibility of digital publication to offer content that is impractical or impossible in print. A principal novely of our site (compared to Dokumente and its supplements) is our use of extensive contextual commentaries: the commentaries on this site are articles of various lengths (some quite extensive) rather than simple annotations.

In-text citations are of the general form (Author Date, page). Whenever possible, in-text citations have direct hyperlinks to the cited passages; this is usually (although not always) possible for items out of copyright. Where such links are impossible, as for most of the secondary literature from the past hundred years, the citation provides a pop-up reference with complete bibliographical information. Most commentaries include a Bibliography that lists secondary sources cited in the Commentary and Notes. Our site also uses a small number of abbreviations for items cited frequently across many entries (for example, Dokumente and Briefe); these abbreviations are not listed separately in the bibliographies for particular commentaries, but are given on the Abbreviations page.

This site does not employ footnotes; supplemental explantory and technical information is aggregated in the Notes section. Notes may include, among other things, information on editions of primary sources, and corrections of previously published transcriptions (in Deutsch and elsewhere).

Our site takes advantage of the flexibility of the web to include a large number of images. Sources are given for these images whenever possible.



The credit section at the end of each entry (between the Bibliography and the model citations) gives the following standard information: Credit, Author(s), Link(s), Search Term, Source Library, Categories, and the dates of the first publication of the entry and its most recent major update (if any).

Credit identifies the person who (to the best of our knowledge) initially discovered the document or (if the discoverer is unknown to us) the person who first published it. Author lists the author or authors of the commentary. Each author’s name is formatted as a link to a complete list of that author’s contributions to the site. Every commentary ends with model citations for print and the web.

Link(s) gives one or more direct links to the scan of the original document in the digitized repository (or repositories) where it was found. “NA” (Not Applicable) is used for items not found in a digital repository. Source Library records the shelf mark for the original scanned exemplar, or (if the shelfmark is not readily available) a reference to the library that holds it. Where the existence of multiple editions of an original source might cause confusion, or where multiple scans are available of the same source, we attempt to clarify the situation in the Notes.

For documents discovered in digital searches, Search Term shows the term that we originally used to find the item, usually in conjunction with a chronologically constrained search. Because of changes to Google Books Search in recent years, combinations of search term and date range are no longer reliable, and many of the items on our site can no longer be found using our original search parameters. (Note that the search terms given on our site should still work within the individual scans of the sources themselves; however, owing to the vagaries of OCR, the same search term will not always work for different scans of the same item.) Search terms are given in lowercase (even for titles and personal names), because case is ordinarily irrelevant in such searches. A single search term is given for most documents, although we occasionally give alternatives that could be used to find the same document.

For more on search strategies in online corpora, see our essay “Searching for Mozart.”



Documents are tagged using a set of eight categories: Biography, Reception, Mozart in Literature, Publication, Advertisement, Curiosa, Addenda, and Corrigenda. A document may be assigned to more than one category, as appropriate. All category tags are indexed automatically in the “By Category” index.

Category designations should be largely self explanatory. “Mozart in Literature” represents what is, in essence, a novel category in Mozart research: namely, references to Mozart or his works during his lifetime in plays, stories, and other fictional works, as well as “non-fiction,” such as guidebooks, travelogues, and works of philosophy, aesthetics, theology, and pedagogy. Entries labeled “Corrigenda” refer to corrections to transcriptions in Dokumente and its supplements.

Köchel Numbers


Whenever possible, this site uses traditional Köchel numbers (those in general use prior to Alfred Einstein’s third edition of the Köchel catalog). Entries in our “By Köchel” index are sorted according to these numbers, but headings also give the number from the sixth edition whenever this differs from the original number.

This Website


Mozart: New Documents is built using the Wagtail content management system (currently version 5.1.1). Wagtail is an extension of the Django web framework (version 4.1.10), which is built in turn on the Python programming language. The underlying database is PostgreSQL; the frontend framework is Bootstrap (version 5.1.1). A small number of custom Javascript functions manage the sidebar, pop-up references, and so on. The site is hosted on Heroku, using AWS for image storage. Site design and code is by Dexter Edge; the complete code (without the database) is available on GitHub. All resources used for this site are free except for Heroku, AWS, our domain registration, and our e-mail subscription service.

This site attempts to preserve a continuity of design with the original version of Mozart: New Documents on the old Google Sites, while providing greater ease of navigation (including the possibility to browse chronologically through documents), indexing, and sorted search results. The site has been designed with readability in mind. The offwhite background color (#F6F7F6) is intended to reduce eyestrain during extended periods of reading. The font color (#003965) is chosen to provide sufficient but unobtrusive contrast against that background color. Line lengths are limited to around 90 characters for readability. The free serif font used for document transcriptions and translations is EB Garamond, which is also used throughout in the generated PDFs. Commentaries, Notes, endmatter, and sidebar use the free nonserif font PT Sans, chosen in part for its clear distinction between lowercase L, uppercase I, and the numeral 1 (l, I, and 1), which are easily confused in many nonserif fonts.

The background image in our header comes from the diary of Countess Maria Sidonia Chotek; it is her entry on the premiere of Mozart’s Così fan tutte (see our entry for 26 Jan 1790). The sidebar image comes from Johann Friedrich Jünger’s letter to Johann Franz Hieronymus Brockmann in 1790, in which Jünger reports asking Mozart for a keyboard piece to use in the premiere of Jünger’s play Er mengt sich in Alles (see our entries on Jünger’s letter and the play’s premiere on 23 Aug 1791).

We are grateful to Cliff Eisen, Catherine Sprague, and Janet Page for their comments and suggestions on the design of this site, and to Jonas Donhauser for his guidance in using wagtail-pdf. We welcome suggestions and help in improving both the design and the code.


Haberkamp, Getraut. 1992–2013. “Anzeigen und Rezensionen von Mozart-Drucken in Zeitungen und Zeitschriften,” parts 1–19. In Mozart Studien, edited by Manfred Hermann Schmid, vols. 1–3, 5, 7–8, 10–22.

Updated: Fri, 18 Aug 2023