L subscriptio, signature; used in the meaning of advance order. A subscription means that an interested party is committed to taking or buying a work which is to be published at a later date. In Beethovens times, it was not only possible to subscribe to a printed work but also to handwritten copies of new works (see Missa solemnis). The request for subscribers was made personally (in letters) and/or often publicly (in the form of advertisements). Printed compositions often contained a list of subscribers.