George Baillie Collection of Music Manuscripts

Scope and Content

Much of the material currently contained within the George Baillie Collection has noted upon it the P-purchase number and shelfmark of its older location in the Reid Music Library. These aids are noted below for the benefit of those having accessed the material in the older location.

The collection is composed of the following:

In Box No: 1

  • Contemporary Yugoslav Music by Dragotin Cvetke. Ph.D. printed, bound
  • Ettrick. Rhapsody on an original theme by Ramsay Kay. Mss
  • Ettrick. Rhapsody on an original themeby Ramsay Kay. Mss. Score. Parts: flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets, trombones, tuba, timpani, violins, cello, double bass
  • Work by T.H.Parry-Williams
  • Duetti by Steffani. Mss. Bound, P 1432., M78 Stef-4
  • Duetti del Grua Mss. P1437., 784.21062(45)
  • Cantata di Pergolese 1732. Mss. P 1428., M78 Perg-26
  • Diverse works. P 1435., 784.21(45)

In Box No: 2

  • Diverse works. Mss. Bound
  • Di Diversi Cantata by Mr. Bain 1722. Mss. P 1436., 784.5(45)
  • Bononcin Cantat by Bononcini. Mss. P 1425., M78 Bon-26
  • Scarlatti Arie' Scarlatti Arie'. Mss. P 1430., M78 ScaA-4

In Box No: 3

  • Concerto for violin and string orchestra by Hans Gal. Copy. Notebook. M78 Gal-21(6)
  • Cantate' Vol.1. Mss. P 1433., 784.5(45)
  • Italian duetts 1824. Mss. P 1439., 784.21062(45)
  • Italian opera music 1824. Mss. P 1440., 784.21062(45)
  • Arie e Cantate del Bononcini Works of Giovanni Battista Bononcini

Contained within the musical works, Arie e Cantate del Bononcini, are:  

  • Sembre tiranno amor
  • Se amar mi vuoi
  • Ascolta o Figlio
  • E'ver che mi piacette
  • Clori dal colle al prato
  • Merce' d'amico raggio
  • Quanto piace agl'occhi mici
  • Veggio la bella dori
  • Usignuol che col mio canto
  • Combattuta alma mia
  • Fissai caro mio
  • Clori bell' idol mio
  • Torno a voi piante amorose
  • La nuvoletta

There are also two arie by Handel (G. F. Haendal):

  • Poterti dir vorrei
  • Son confusa Pastorella

In Box No: 4

  • Italian duetts 1823. Mss. P 1438., 784.21062(45)
  • La Calfurnia arie del Bononcini P 1424., M78 Bon-26
  • L'astarto arie del Bononcini P 1423., M78 Bon-26
  • Duetto … Alesandro Scarlatti Mss. P 1431 M78 Scar-4(2)

Administrative / Biographical History

Among the composers represented in the George Baillie collection are: Giovanni Battista Bononcini; and, Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725).

Giovanni Battista Bononcini was born in Modena, Italy in 1670. He was the eldest son of Giovanni Maria Bononcini (1642-1678). Bononcini trained as a cellist in Bologna where he published two collections of trios (1685) and three of sinfonie (1685-1687). He was a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, and was a musician at San Petronio, and maestro di cappella at Monte San Giovanni, Modena

Bononcini went to Milan, commissioned to the Duke of Modena, and then to Rome. In Rome he worked with the poet Silvio Stampiglia on, among other things, an opera, Il trionfo di Camilla, which was the highlight of the Naples Carnival 1696-1697.

In 1698, Bononcini was recruited to the court of Leopold I (Holy Roman Emperor) in Vienna where he became a favourite of Joseph, the son and heir, who succeeded as Joseph II (Holy Roman Emperor) in 1705. He was joined in Vienna by Stampiglia and his own younger brother Antonio Maria Bononcini, also a cellist and opera composer. On the death of Joseph II in 1711, Bononcini left the court in Vienna for Rome where he stayed until 1719.

Bononcini's work made Italian opera popular in England, partly because it was translated for English voices. In 1719, he was invited to London by the Earl of Burlington to become a composer for the Royal Academy of Music under the direction of G. F. Haendel (Handel). In London, he was well received and his opera Astarto opened at the King's Theatre, Haymarket, in 1720. In the early 1720s he spent some time in Paris, and on his return to London he became director of the private concerts of the Duchess of Marlborough, a post he held until 1731.

The early 1730s again saw him in Paris and Lisbon. His last known work was a Te Deum commissioned by the Empress Maria Theresa in 1741. Cellist and composer Giovanni Battista Bononcini died in Vienna in 1747.

Alessandro Scarlatti was born in Palermo on 2 May 1660. His first opera was a resounding success and he attracted the attention of Queen Christina of Sweden who made him her 'maestro di cappella'. In 1684 he was appointed 'maestro di cappella'' at the royal court in Naples which he dominated in the production of operas. By 1700 the War of the Spanish Succession was threatening the stability of the court of Naples so Scarlatti moved to Florence in 1702. Failing to find a post at the court of Prince Ferdinando de' Medici, he took his family to Rome where he found a post at the church of San Maria Maggiore. A papal ban of opera forced him to concentrate on writing oratorio and cantatas. In 1707 he was in Venice but his operas failed there and he returned to Rome and to San Maria Maggiore. Life as a church musician gave him little satisfaction and so in 1708 he accepted an invitation from the new Austrian viceroy to return to his post at Naples where he remained there for the rest of his life.

Scarlatti's various works included Gli equivoci nel sembiante 1679, Il Pirro e Demetrio 1694, La caduta dei Decemviri 1697, Mitridate Eupatore, Il trionfo della liberta, and La Griselda 1721.

Alessandro Scarlatti died in Naples on 22 October 1725.

Access Information

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

We strongly encourage you to contact us before your visit as special access conditions and restrictions apply to some collections. Please see our information on requesting material

Acquisition Information

Reid Music Library


Much biographical and encyclopaedic information about Giovanni Battista Bononcini online. The biographical notes here were created using [online] Baroque Composers and Musicians. Giovanni Battista Bononcini. [accessed 6 January 2007] and [online] Extracts from Grove Concise Dictionary of Music. [accessed 6 January 2007].

Other Finding Aids

A list of material contained in the Baillie Collection has been prepared.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Graeme D. Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.