New Book about Music in Stams Abbey, Austria

We have received the following from Hildegard Herrmann-Schneider (RISM Tirol-Südtirol & OFM Austria):

New publication: Wo die Engel musizieren. Musik im Stift Stams

The RISM catalog currently (August 2020) contains over 8,300 records from the Music Archive of the Cistercian Abbey in Stams, Tyrol (RISM siglum: A-ST). Hildegard Herrmann-Schneider, responsible for processing the archival collection, opens up further perspectives on the music history of this monastery in her new book, Wo die Engel musizieren. Musik im Stift Stams (Brixen: Verlag A. Weger, 2020).

In the Stams abbey church and monastery, many artworks with musical motives (14th-18th centuries) still uniquely illustrate the extraordinary position that music used to enjoy in this place. The music archive of Stams Abbey in particular reflects the once fascinating musical life of the Cicertians in Tyrol's Upper Inn River valley. Several thousand music manuscripts and printed editions (16th-20th centuries) are preserved in this monumental Tyrolean musical treasure trove, with an unusually high number of singular items that bear witness to the history of music in Tyrol and Europe. Unique music manuscripts in the abbey archive and library date back to the 11th century. Records kept by the abbott and abbey contain numerous remarks concerning musical events in the monastery. Monks, artists from near and far, and the choirboys from the monastery's own seminary took part in impressive musical performances.

This book offers a first-time overview of the cultivation of music at Stams Abbey in all areas of sacred and secular music, from the Middle Ages to today, encompassing a range including plainchant, musical theater, and wind music. Connections between figures from music history, instruments, music materials, music iconography, and other written documents are made and viewed from the perspectives of musical, monastic, and regional history. All topics are presented in an easy-to-understand form and are illustrated by ca. 450 diverse and high-quality images.

Table of contents (PDF)

Abbreviation in the RISM catalog: Herrmann-SchneiderS 2020

The author, Hildegard Herrmann-Schneider (Univ.-Doz. Dr.phil.), is a musicologist and a renowned expert on music source studies and documentation. Thanks to her longtime work in the Music Archive of Stams Abbey, she is currently the top authority for the music history of this monastery.  


Category: New publications

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