Some of Tim Crawford's recent and current research

The Tablature Processor

The Tablature Processor is a program for the editing, playback (via MIDI) and printing of music written in lute tablature.


Lute tablature is a specialised historical system of musical notation based on the notion of telling a player of the lute which string to play at which fret.

TabCode is an ASCII test-encoding format for representing all graphical elements of lute tablature in a manner that is readable both by humans and by machines.

Music Information Retrieval: OMRAS (Online Musical Recognition and Searching)

Between 1999 and 2002, I coordinated a major collaborative research project between King's College, London, and the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (CIIR) at the University of Massachusetts, and, from 2000, the Digital Music Library at Indiana University. The project was awarded a major grant under the International Digital Libraries Initiative jointly administered by the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) in the UK and NSF (National Science Foundation) in the US.

The project, known by the acronym OMRAS (Online Musical Recognition and Searching), is described in detail on the project's web site.

Weiss Sämtliche Werke

I am currently the editor of the Sämtliche Werke of the great German lutenist, Silvius Leopold Weiss (1686-1750), an exact contemporary and friend of J.S. Bach. Weiss was probably the greatest lutenist of all time, ranking with Francesco da Milano and John Dowland, the two outstanding figures of the Renaissance lute. He has left over 750 pieces of music, ranging from light-weight galanterien to large-scale concerto movements, all for the lute, and all written in tablature.

The Moscow Weiss Manuscript

After the London and Dresden manuscripts of S.L. Weiss's lute music, the Moscow Manuscript is the next most important, in terms of the number of unique pieces. My complete edition of the MS appeared recently, and an online version of the introductory matter, including incipits of the music, can be viewed here.

Electronic Corpus of Lute Music

Using the encoding system specially developed for lute tablature, Tabcode, enables us to work with lute tablatures on a computer just as we can handle text. The ECOLM project builds on this principle to build a collection of historical tablatures which can be displayed, printed and listened to.

Peasant Cantata

My other recent work has involved an examination of the musical sources for J.S. Bach's so-called 'Peasant Cantata' BWV212.

Breslau violin MSS

In August 1997, I read a paper at the International Musicological Society's Congress on some recently-discovered violin manuscripts from the former Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland) Stadtbibliothek. Here is the abstract of the paper.

Walter Rowe and the Baryton

Walter Rowe (1584/5-1671) was an English viol player who worked for most of his long life at the Brandenburg court in Berlin and Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Lithuania). He was the first player of the baryton whose name we know today.

The historical importance of of François Dufault and his influence on musicians outside France

Paper read at the Colloque, 'Le luth en l'Occident' at the Musée de la Musique, Paris in May 1998.

Lord Danby's Lute Book

As long ago as 1985 (intended for the Bach/Handel/Scarlatti tricentenary) I prepared a full transcription of this manuscript for Faber Music, but it was unfortunately never published. Recently I edited a facsimile edition for Éditions Minkoff, which has been announced by the publisher for some time, and should appear soon.

As I have received several requests for information about this source, here is a version of the introductory material.