Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

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Waterman, Richard Alan

(b Solvang, CA, 10 July 1914; d Tampa, FL, 8 Nov 1971). American ethnomusicologist. After completing his undergraduate studies at Santa Barbara State College (1937), he obtained the MA in anthropology at Claremont State College (1941), and took the doctorate under M.J. Herskovits at Northwestern University in 1943. His subsequent appointment to the Northwestern anthropology faculty marked the introduction of the field of ethnomusicology to the American Midwest. He taught at Wayne State University (1957–65) and subsequently at the University of South Florida. His most extensive field research was carried out with the people of Yirkalla, northern Australia, but his research interests centred on the music of the African diaspora, particularly of Afro-Cubans and Cuban-Americans, and on jazz in its social and historical context. He was also a distinguished jazz musician, frequently performing on the double bass throughout his academic career.

Waterman’s publications are modest in number, but they cover a variety of subjects and approaches and are regarded as significant, innovative and influential. His greatest contributions were the interpretation of black American music using the concept of syncretism, the introduction of research in urban American subcultures and the assembling of major bibliographies.


African Patterns in Trinidad Negro Music (diss., Northwestern U., 1943)

with others: ‘Bibliography of Asiatic Musics’, Notes, v (1947–8), 21–35, 178–86, 354–62, 549–62; vi (1948–9), 122–36, 281–96, 419–36, 570–83; vii (1949–50), 84–98, 265–79, 415–23, 613–21; viii (1950–51), 100–18, 322–9

“‘Hot” Rhythm in Negro Music’, JAMS, l (1948), 24–37

with M.J. Herskovits: ‘Música de culto afrobahiana’, Revista de estudios musicales, i/2 (1949–50), 65–128

‘African Influence on the Music of the Americas’, Acculturation in the Americas: … XXIXth International Congress of Americanists: New York 1949, ed. S. Tax (Chicago, 1952), 207–18; repr. in Music as Culture, ed. K.K. Shelemay (New York, 1990), 17–28

Music in Australian Aboriginal Culture: some Sociological and Psychological Implications’, National Association for Music Therapy VI: Detroit 1955, ed. E.T. Gaston (Lawrence, KS, 1956), 40–49; repr. in A Century of Ethnomusicological Thought, ed. K.K. Shelemay (New York, 1990), 132–41

On Flogging a Dead Horse: Lessons Learned from the Africanisms Controversy’, EthM, vii (1963), 83–7


A.P. Merriam: ‘Richard Alan Waterman 1914–1971’, EthM, xvii (1973), 72–95 [incl. complete bibliography and discography, 89–94]



The traces left in paper by the use of designs in the moulds or belts (‘wires’) used for its manufacture. These usually show as a thinning of the paper's texture when a sheet is held up to the light. Marks have a history of over 700 years in the West, and continue to be used to the present day (especially in currency). Since marks were used as identifiers of the paper, and since they vary considerably over time and place, they are of great value to the scholar attempting to date or localize manuscripts.

1. Character and production.

2. History and styles.

3. Use in musical research.




1. Character and production.

Paper from past periods is conventionally divided into two large categories, roughly corresponding to the manner in which it was made, with a transition from the earlier phase to a mechanized phase taking place around 1800. Earlier papers, called ‘laid’, were made by hand, a sheet at a time. The same process is still followed for some handmade papers: it involves dipping a wire ‘mould’, designed like a sieve, into a vat of paper pulp, and then letting the excess water drip through the mould before the paper is laid on a pile, or ‘post’, to dry.

The mould is made with wires, which produce the visible thinning of the paper as the pulp is pulled down into the spaces between them by the weight of the escaping water. A sheet of paper may show up to four elements of these marks, of which two are usually referred to as the watermark and the countermark. The other two, almost always to be found in handmade paper, are the traces of the basic structure of wires in the mould. Laid-lines, which are formed by the laid-wires that support the paper pulp in the mould, are close together and fine (reflecting the thinness of the wires), and run parallel to the long sides of the original sheet of paper. Chain-lines, at right angles to the laid-lines, are thicker and further apart; they are formed by the stronger chain-wires, acting to keep the laid-wires in place, and run parallel to the short sides of the sheet. The spacing of these sets of lines is critical to the quality of the paper, producing thicker or thinner results from the same vat of pulp. Typical spacings involve as many as 15 to 20 laid-lines to an inch, with chain-lines spaced perhaps one and a half inches apart, and closer at the edges of the sheet. Measurements vary from maker to maker, from one paper-type to another and even from mould to mould of the same mark.

The watermark proper is produced in the same manner, by a wire design, sewn (or sometimes soldered) to the chain-wires of the mould (see fig.1). It is usually in the middle of one half of the sheet of paper: this means that it lies in the middle of a page when this sheet is folded once to make a standard bifolio. Any countermark will appear in the other half of the sheet of paper, either again in the middle or at the lower outer corner (see fig.2). At certain times papers were made with a single, often larger mark placed in the centre of the sheet.

Once the pulp has been shaken down in the mould and a large part of the water has drained through (a process of a few seconds), a second craftsman takes the mould and turns the sheet of paper over on to the ‘post’ to be pressed (by the weight of additional sheets) and begin the drying process. Between each two sheets of paper is a piece of felt. The result is that a sheet will often show slightly different textures on its two sides, one being indented by the wires of the mould against which it was pulled by the escaping water, the other reflecting the texture of the felt placed above it. While the difference is hard to detect in many papers, in others, including much good-quality paper over 500 years old, there is a significantly different ‘feel’ to the two sides.

While the second man turns the paper out of the mould, the first takes another mould and dips it into the vat of pulp. Almost all paper was made this way, with two alternating moulds. The two carry marks that were intended to be identical – the same basic measurements for the placing of laid- and chain-lines, and the same design for the watermark and possible countermark. However, the two can always be distinguished, for two reasons: it is impossible to make a design in bent wire so that the two copies are identical, or to attach it in precisely the same manner to two different moulds; and both chain-lines and watermark tend to slide around a little under the repeated pressure of the water as thousands of sheets of paper are made. The two marks, used together, are now called ‘twins’ (Stevenson, 1951-2).

While almost all handmade paper uses this style of moulds, a development of the second half of the 18th century introduced moulds in which the wire mesh was woven into a fine mat. This produced a ‘wove’ paper, in which the chain-lines were not present, and indeed a mark was not always present, either. The result is a paper with a more even surface, showing a texture, when held to the light, akin to very fine knitting. These papers were not always popular at first: they were better for printing, but many individual purchasers preferred the ‘old paper with the lines’ (Rees' Cyclopedia, 1819–20). Papers from the new moulds survive in printed music from the years around 1800, particularly in English editions.

However, experiments in developing a paper-making machine began late in the 18th century, and the first was perfected in England in 1803–4 by the Fourdrinier brothers. This and its successors used a continuous belt, of woven wires or a similar surface, over which the paper-pulp flowed (the belt was originally called a ‘web’ and now a ‘machine-wire’ or ‘wire’, with the word ‘web’ reserved for the actual strip of paper-pulp on the wire). Water escaped through the wire, in the same manner as through a mould. The size of a sheet of paper was now no longer defined by the size of the mould, and its maximum not restricted to what a man could comfortably hold. While at first sheets were cut by hand from the long strip, after coming from the paper-making machine, ridges were soon added to the wire, defining the sheet size, which could be as large or as small as needed. Continuous rolls of papers, as now commonly seen in newsprint, allowed for the development of the rolling press.

These papers do not normally show the lines evident in handmade paper, for the weave of the belt is finer and more complex in design. Differences in this design give each modern paper its characteristic texture. ‘Wove’ papers can still carry watermarks, for designs can be placed on the ‘wire’ and will have the same effect as they did in the mould of handwork days. In addition, the web of paper is passed through rollers to force additional water out of it: these rollers can also have designs attached to them which will produce similar designs in the paper.


2. History and styles.

While chain- and laid-lines are to be found in all early European papers, the earliest extant watermarks are found in papers made at Fabriano in Italy in 1282. They seem to have originated as indicators of the size and the quality of the paper. Early marks tend to be small and relatively simple in design: a flower-head, a bishop's crozier, crossed arrows or a simple tower. Other early marks consist of an initial (the letter F, perhaps for Fabriano, is found in 13th-century papers) which may indicate the maker's name. They could appear anywhere in the sheet; the standard position was established only slowly. The names of some of these designs have survived until recent times as indicators of size, such as elephant, foolscap or royal (using a crown).

Fairly early in the history of paper, certainly by 1400, other designs emerge, which evidently served a different function. Much paper from Rhenish areas shows devices associated with the cities of Basle or Strasbourg, and other localizing marks exist, including a range of Britannias. Other papers show the devices of local ruling families – a column for the Colonna family in Rome or a ladder for the Della Scala in Milan. Most would be placed as if the main watermark.

Individual paper mills also adopted specific identifying marks, sometimes as part of the watermark and sometimes as a countermark. The mill's name eventually became a frequent part of a mark. At the same time, marks were becoming larger and more complex: even by 1500, they often have more than one component, for example an anchor within a circle surmounted by a crown or star, or a bull’s head with a cross above it. The details became more intricate: whereas a simple pot would be sufficient for 14th-century mills, later pots gradually acquired two handles, perhaps ribs and decoration on the body, or a band carrying the maker's name. A famous early complex design comprised a bunch of grapes, with each grape made out of wire. Later bunches might add inscriptions on scroll-work or a crown above. Among the most intricate designs are complete heraldic bearings, with supporters, crest and motto, popular throughout Europe during the 18th century. These and similar large designs appear in the middle of the sheet rather than to one side. Examples can be found in Viennese sources of the late 18th century.

Countermarks were already used in the 15th century. They seem to have a more specific function, often being little more than a representation of the mill's name. Among the most famous is Whatman, named after an Englishman who began making high-quality paper in about the mid-18th century. Others carry initials or a simple device. The simpler of these marks are often placed in the lower corner of the sheet.

Dates also appear in watermarks: especially in France, from 1742 for some decades, and in England from about 1794 until the middle of the next century (LaRue, 1957), a simple impression of a year can be found in either of the countermark positions. In the French case, the date does not mean that the paper was made in that year, but in English sheet music the frequent marks do in fact indicate the year of the paper's manufacture.

Although watermarks are still present in much paper, they became rare in printed music by the middle of the 19th century, in part because many papers for printing ceased to have marks at all.


3. Use in musical research.

Watermarks are of use to the scholar for three reasons. The user of the paper rarely if ever cared about the specific sheet of paper or the watermark it contained; so, first, the marks can be taken to represent something specific about the document, without the distractions of any outside social or cultural influences that could affect styles of handwriting and decoration. A second reason lies in the vast range of watermark designs and the extent to which they can be localized; and the third depends on the manner in which each mould was unique, leaving a watermark that would not be exactly duplicated, and relatively short-lived, deteriorating under the weight of endless sequences of water-sodden paper-pulp. The individual mould has a lifespan that will depend on circumstance, but moulds seem to have had a maximum life of about three or four years before they were replaced. In the same manner, the stock of paper held by a stationer would have turned over as frequently as possible (for simple commercial reasons), so that paper made with a particular mould would normally have left the papermill and the stationer's shop within a very few years of its manufacture.

As a mould wears, so the mark will deform, becoming lop-sided, or sliding along the wires to different positions. Once a mould became useless (because some of the laid-wires had broken, for example), it was often replaced by another with basically the same design. This design could not have been identical with its predecessor, not with its twin. Paper produced from any ‘single’ mark, therefore, shows two sequences of continually changing details, whose course would be paralleled by other similar sequences from earlier or contemporary marks within the same design. Thus ‘the same’ mark will not normally appear in different sources, for there will virtually always be small variations in measurements, in the state of the mark or in design, implying the mould had endured the ravages of time or that a different mould was used.

Given that the user was not interested in the paper and its marks, it is possible, when studying the patterns that appear in a manuscript or a printed book, to decide whether the document is made up of one batch of paper or of more than one (thus suggesting a change of plan or a delay in production), and also to assign an approximate date and plausible locality to the paper used.

Although decisions on this latter point can be no more than a guide to the probable date or locality for the writing or printing on the paper, there are many occasions when this may be the best guide we have. There are whole repertories that survive with few dates: manuscripts of the Baroque cantata in Italy, or of parts for late 18th-century orchestral music, private manuscript anthologies of songs or piano music, printed editions of the 19th century or songsheets from the 18th. In these cases, a knowledge of the basic designs in use at any given period will help to narrow down the origins of the paper: reference books (among them Briquet, Churchill, Heawood and others listed in Pulsiano, 1987) provide guides to the distribution of marks over time. Most of the standard works have to be used with considerable caution, however. A prime reason is that they can only assign dates to a paper on the basis of the date when an individual sheet was used. For this reason, the most useful catalogues (those by Piccard are particularly valuable) are based on large archives from institutions which used great amounts of paper all the time. A major royal ducal court required continuous stocks of paper to keep its financial, diplomatic, legal and criminal records up to date, and thus can be relied on to have used paper soon after it was purchased. In addition, the documents in such an archive were always scrupulously dated. The result is that such an institution gives a guide to the date of manufacture of the paper, probably accurate within about a year. This condition rarely applies to musical or other cultural documents. No composer, musical scribe or amateur musician used paper in the same way, or could be relied on not to drag out of the cupboard sheets that had been lying around for some time; nor can it be assumed that the paper was local rather than acquired on a concert tour.

A second reason for caution with most illustrated catalogues of watermarks is that they consist of tracings (or even free-hand drawings) of marks, not always to life size, and often without the laid-lines and chain-lines to add precision to the picture. With the more common marks, therefore, it is difficult to be sure that a piece of paper to hand has a mark that can be called identical with any in the catalogue. The development of beta-radiography, using the isotope radiation to photograph the thickness of paper, has allowed for precise reproductions of watermarks and will produce an archive of reproductions that should overcome some of these problems. One of the few collections of such marks (Woodward, 1996) shows the extent to which individual variation is important. In music there has been little such detailed work so far, although Saunders (1989) has provided important data for the Trent codices, illuminating their history, and Dürr (1959) completely rethought the datings for Bach's cantatas. In the same way, paper and watermarks helped identify a complex of manuscripts, now dispersed, as having been copied at Mannheim (Wolf and Wolf, 1974). Even a single manuscript can be placed in this manner: important conclusions have been drawn for the chronology of works by Mozart and Beethoven as a result of a number of studies (including Tyson 1975, 1980 and 1987). Watermark research can also help in the detection of forgeries, as in the case of Berlioz's letters (Holoman, 1974).

With dated paper the situation is easier: papers, other than French ones of the 1740s on, were probably made in the year marked on the mould, or at least within a year or two after. They will usually have been used for a manuscript or an edition soon after the date in the watermark. With engraved editions of music this is particularly important. Since engraved plates were rarely dated, and could be re-used for many years after their preparation (see Bibliography of music) , often the only evidence for the date of an individual copy of a composition lies in the date preserved in the watermark. This may not date the first printing of the music, but it gives a terminus ante quem and also indicates that the compositions concerned were still commercially viable.

Another use of watermark and paper study is in detecting anomalies in the structure of a manuscript or printed edition. Since papers were available for a relatively short time, sheets of a different paper inserted in an otherwise homogeneous manuscript must often represent a later addition. While the composer or other non-professional copyist might have been using up old paper, adding odd sheets to an otherwise recently purchased batch, it is always probable that such changes stand for something more important. They have been used to indicate layers of compilation in a manuscript that apparently underwent changes of function, to show the order of composition of a major work (Mozart's La clemenza di Tito; Tyson, 1987, pp.48–60) or the insertions and deletions in a composer's autograph, and to indicate that a manuscript is actually a combination of several different sources bound together (Noblitt, 1974). Similar study has been used to connect fragments of a single manuscript (such as Beethoven's sketchbooks: Johnson, Tyson and Winter, 1985) that has been broken up and dispersed.

Exactly the same uses can be made of watermarks in printed books of music, with the proviso that allowance has to be made for the vastly greater use of paper involved in producing hundreds of copies. Nonetheless, careful study of paper anomalies can show that certain sheets were printed later, as replacements, or in fact belong to a totally different edition (Boorman, 1977), or alternatively, that undated editions were probably produced at a specifiable time (applied to English madrigalian and contemporary editions, Smith, 1996–7).

Manuscript study has one further use for watermarks. Almost invariably, the original sheet of paper is folded at least once before it is used. This often moves the watermark to the edge of the page as used after folding (see fig.3), and often results in part of it being lost by binding. However, the surviving parts, taken with the pattern of chain- and laid-lines, will confirm whether the various pages that contain parts of a mark in fact belong together. This kind of study has been invaluable in the reconstruction of fragmentary sources such as the Beethoven sketchbooks.

However, pending the collection of series of archives of beta-radiographs of watermarks, many of the other conclusions must consist of approximations, and watermark evidence, while remaining a potent research tool, is most useful in conjunction with other evidence such as handwriting, type styles and staff rulings. Patterns of change, or indications of date and place, in more than one of these elements have a strong corroborative effect: the imprecision of each is to a large extent negated, and watermarks can then become a most potent research tool.



C.M. Briquet: Les filigranes: dictionaire historique des marques du papier (Geneva, 1907/R with addns)

W.A. Churchill: Watermarks in Paper in Holland, England, France etc. in the XVII and XVIII Centuries (Amsterdam, 1935)

E.J. Labarre: Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and Papermaking (Amsterdam, 1937, 2/1952, suppl. 1967)

D. Hunter: Papermaking (London, 1947)

E. Heawood: Watermarks, Mainly of the 17th and 18th Centuries (Hilversum, 1950/R, and repr. 1969 with suppl.)

A. Stevenson: ‘Watermarks are Twins’, Studies in Bibliography, iv (1951–2), 57–91, 235

J. LaRue: ‘British Music Paper, 1770–1820: some Distinctive Characteristics’, MMR, lxxxvii (1957), 177–80

A. Dürr: Zur Chronologie der Leipziger Vokalwerke J.S. Bachs (Kassel, 1959, 2/1976)

G. Eineder: The Ancient Paper-Mills of the Former Austro-Hungarian Empire and their Watermarks (Hilversum, 1960)

J. LaRue: ‘Watermarks and Musicology’, AcM, xxxiii (1961), 120–47 [with extensive annotated bibliography]

G. Piccard: Veröffentlichungen der Staatlichen Archivverwaltung Baden-Württemberg: Sonderreihe die Wasserzeichenkartei Piccard im Hauptstaatarchiv Stuttgart (Stuttgart, 1961–83)

J. LaRue: ‘Classification of Watermarks for Musicological Purposes’, FAM, xiii (1966), 59–63

T. Tanselle: ‘The Bibliographical Description of Paper’, Studies in Bibliography, xxiv (1971), 27–67

C. Bühler: ‘Last Words on Watermarks’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, lxvii (1973), 1–16

D.K. Holoman: Autograph Musical Documents of Hector Berlioz, c. 1818–1840 (diss., Princeton U., 1974)

T. Noblitt: ‘Die Datierung der Handschrift Mus. Ms. 3154 der Staatsbibliothek München’, Mf, xxvii (1974), 36–56

E.K. Wolf and J.K. Wolf: ‘A Newly Identified Complex of Manuscripts from Mannheim’, JAMS, xxvii (1974), 379–437

A. Tyson: ‘The Problem of Beethoven's “First” Leonore Overture’, JAMS, xxviii (1975), 292–334

S. Boorman: ‘The “First” edition of the Odhecaton A’, JAMS, xxx (1977), 183–207

T.L. Gravell and G. Miller: A Catalogue of American Watermarks, 1690–1835 (New York, 1979)

T. Gerardy: ‘ Datierung mit Hilfe des Papiers’, Datierung und Filiation von Musikhandschriften der Josquin-Zeit: Wolfenbüttel 1980, 217–28

A. Tyson: ‘Mozart's “Haydn” Quartets: the Contribution of Paper Studies’, The String Quartets of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven: Studies of the Autograph Manuscripts, ed. C. Wolff (Cambridge, MA, 1980), 179–90

C. Massip: ‘Les filigranes: utilisation, lecture et reproduction’, FAM, xxviii (1981), 87–93

D. Johnson, A. Tyson and R. Winter: The Beethoven Sketchbooks: History, Reconstruction, Inventory (Berkeley, 1985)

P. Pulsiano: ‘A Checklist of Books and Articles containing Reproductions of Watermarks’, Essays in Paper Analysis (London, 1987), 113–53 [with an extensive listing]

A. Tyson: Mozart: Studies of the Autograph Scores (Cambridge, MA, 1987) [incl. ‘New Dating Methods: Watermarks and Paper Studies’, 1–22; ‘La clemenza di Tito and its Chronology’, 48–60]

E.S. Saunders: The Dating of the Trent Codices from their Watermarks (New York, 1989)

D. Woodward: Catalogue of Watermarks in Italian Printed Maps, ca. 1540–1600 (Chicago, 1996)

J.L. Smith: ‘The Hidden Editions of Thomas East’, Notes, liii (1996–7), 1059–91

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