The edition features all the ascertainably authentic works, and also takes into consideration anonymously transmitted or spurious pieces. The source for the attributions is Pieter Dirksen's book "The Keyboard Works of J. P. Sweelinck" as well as his research for the Sweelinck Work Catalogue (SwWV), in which Sweelinck's oeuvre has been thoroughly reorganized. In Breitkopf's new edition, the works for keyboard instruments already bear the new SwWV numbers.
Each volume begins with the works transmitted in staff notation, which are followed by those that have been transmitted (exclusively) in German letter tablature. For the first time ever, the difference between the two types of transmission is clearly underscored by the sequence of the works and is made stunningly visible by their reproduction in a modern-day notational form. A third group contains the anonymous and spurious works.During his editorial work Harald Vogel was able to identify the main scribe of the important Sweelinck source "Lynar A1" as Andreas Düben, who was active in Stockholm later in his life. As a pupil of Sweelinck's during the last years of the master's life, Düben had access to his manuscripts. The scribe's close connection to these autographs lends further weight to "Lynar A1" as the principal source.
The edition consistently offers the authentic form of the works derived from the main source. For the user, this means clearer performing material which, unlike other present-day transcription attempts, does not overload the music text. The many secondary variants are listed in detail in the Critical Commentary, inasmuch as they are essential to an understanding of the work. For the first time, the "practical source edition" offers a modern-day transcription that discloses all the information value of the source to the user.
Peculiarities from the primary sources have been kept as such, and special aspects of the staff notation and letter tablature were also maintained inasmuch as this was feasible. This applies to note values, the lengths of measures, the distribution of the hands, beaming and many other aspects; only the accidentals and dots extending over bar-lines have been adapted to modern-day notation. Each volume contains a general introduction to Sweelinck's life and works, as well as to the state of the sources, the notation and the editorial technique. In addition, each book also contains an essay on its specific contents written by the Sweelinck experts. All of these texts are printed in German and English. The publication is offered at a modest price and rounded off with a Critical Commentary (in German) that is predominantly in tabular form.