The Gimo Music Collection

Erik Sandberg,

The Gimo music collection, named after the small city Gimo in Uppland, Sweden, is a great collection of music collected in Italy during the first half of 1762 by the young Swede Jean Lefebure.

The Gimo Collection contains 359 works, of which 19 are written for chamber ensembles including the mandolin. This is of great importance for the international mandolin community. I have typeset all these 19 works during 2002.

"Mandolin" refers here to the Neapolitan mandolin developed in the 1740s, tuned g-d'-a'-e''.

The manuscripts are commercial hand-made copies of the originals, and they are of very varying quality. My goal has been to typeset as close to the manuscripts as possible, and only where there are obvious errors with fairly obvious corrections, I have changed the notes from the manuscripts. In some rare cases, there is a very bad error that something has to be done about in order to make the notes usable, and there is no obvious solution. In these cases, I have tried to find the simplest solution, such that the given error could be obtained by hand-copying the notes, and such that I don't add any musical material that isn't already there.

Whenever anything has been corrected, I have tried to add comments about this in the lilypond sources (search for "Note:"). An exception is when the issue just is an accidental, in those cases I have just put parentheses around the accidental. There are vague plans to make the comments visible in the paper output as well, I'm just trying to find a good way of doing this.

My degree of perfectionism has varied between the pieces, depending both on my laziness and on the quality of the sources. E.g., sometimes my ambition has been to copy even the beaming, and sometimes it hasn't.

Unfortunately, the dates of composition are very unclear in general. Usually there are no dates given in the manuscripts, except that they are "new", and when there is a date, it's usually not reliable. One example is Gimo 60, a mandolin concert by Carlo Cecere, which says in the manuscript it was composed in 1762. But Cecere died in 1761. New music was easier to sell, so there was simply no good reason for a copyist to say that a piece of music was not new. And since these notes were collected in 1762, "new" could mean "no earlier than 1762".

Because of this, I have set the date of each piece to "c.1760".

List of Works

This listing groups the works according to their instrumentations. The Gimo number, the composer's name and the movements' names are listed. Some works have multiple sources, which is indicated by "=".

Mandolin and Basso:

Two Mandolins:

Two Mandolins and Basso:

Mandolin, two Violins and Basso:

Disclaimer and general editorial notes

This is not intended to be my final version of the Gimo Collection, it's rather a first draft. Some of the works have been carefully proofread, others have not. In some cases, you will need some creativity to decide interpret the notes, either because I made a mistake, or because the notes contain an error copied from the source.

Many movements are written on a form similar to the sonata form, with two sections. In most cases, the delimiter between these two parts is a double repeat sign, :||:, which indicates that both sections should be repeated. However, it is very rare that the last barline of the movement also has a repeat sign. And since the single repeat sign, :||, never occurs in these notes, the possibility remains that :||: actually sometimes could be a notation for :||. Musically, it can (according to my taste) sometimes make more sense not to repeat the second section than to repeat it, while sometimes, as in the gavotta of Gimo 13, it is quite clear that the second section was repeated. Therefore, I have kept the notation as it is in my sources (even if this is against the modern rules of notation), in order to leave this decision to the interpreter.

Keep in mind that during the 18th century, the common practise was not to interpret the music by playing exactly the notes and ornaments that were written into the notes. To interpret the music correctly, you should add quite a lot of ornaments and dynamics. My intention with this edition of the Gimo collection is to give a clean copy of the notes, without any of my suggestions of how to interpret it. That way, you can easier do your own interpretation without being disturbed by my personal taste.

Since this is considered a draft, I have not done much work on the layout. Mostly, the Lilypond defaults are used for everything.

Future Plans

There are a few things I would like to do in the future. Any help is very welcome.

I will probably have to wait until lilypond 1.8 until this can be done nicely.


I release this to the Public Domain. This means that there is no copyright, instead you are encouraged to print, modify and copy the music as much as you wish. I do not require anything in return, but if you find this music useful, and want to do something in return, you could try one of these things: