Except during the first two years of publication, the Hofmeister Monatsberichte were divided into what we call Hofmeister classifications or more simply Classes: these are a mixture of instrumental/vocal and generic classifications, such as 'Music for mandolin', Music for solo piano', 'Overtures and entr'actes for piano, 4 hands', or 'Part songs with or without accompaniment for orchestra, one or several instruments'. (In the first two years alphabetical codes were used, broadly mapping onto the later divisions.) This should in principle be an extremely valuable means of access to the individual bibliographical items, and accordingly we have implemented both Class indices and searches.

In practice, however, these classifications are less useful and convenient to work with than they might have been, for several reasons. As the examples just cited indicate, the headings are often unwieldy and sometimes maddeningly inconsistent. Moreover they changed over the period covered by Hofmeister XIX, and the various classifications used at different times do not map perfectly onto one another. For example, the heading 'Music for cello' disappears in January 1872, but the music is still there: it is now under 'Music for wind and string instruments'.

In order to reduce the 800 or so distinct headings found in the Monatsberichte to a more manageable number, we have created a thesaurus that links obviously equivalent headings, but because we have wished to minimize the loss of information present in the original, the thesaurus still contains nearly 300 entries. Moreover, for technical reasons it is only possible for these to be displayed in the Class thesaurus window as an alphabetical listing in German, in which form entirely different instrumental/vocal and generic classifications are mixed up with one another.

To make it easier to find the Classes you want we have prepared a list of Class thesaurus headings, organized according to broader instrumental/vocal categories than Hofmeister's, and with English translations. There are also alphabetical listings in both English and German. You can download these as either a PDF or an Excel file.