Scholars and performers more familiar with the “standard repertoire” of frequently-republished nineteenth-century instrumental music may be surprised not to find a full score when perusing many of the chamber works found on the U of R research page. While full scores were typically issued for ensembles including piano, such as piano quartets or quintets, only a very small percentage of the string quartets we have digitized include them, for instance. This is also the norm even for larger ensembles of up to eight or nine instruments, or any group which did not include a pianist and was presumably small enough to not need a conductor. While contemporary scholars, trained to analyze from the score, may find this to be a problem, it was evidently standard practice for nineteenth-century publishers, who were issuing music for performance rather than scholarly study.
On the rare occasions when publishers did issue a full score of a chamber work, it was almost always in the familiar pocket-sized miniature score format. However, we have found several quite interesting specimens of super-miniature score printed on full-sized paper, resulting in an almost-illegible tangle of staves suitable only for reference. For instance, see this arrangement of Schubert’s Valses Nobles, op. 77, for string quartet with optional bass part.