Musicologists, Muscat, and Mexico

RISM was invited to the conference "Celebración y Sonoridad en Hispanoamérica (Siglos XVI-XIX): Homenaje a José López-Calo," which took place last month from 4-6 October in Morelia, Mexico. The conference was organized by the Centro Cultural de la UNAM, the Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Unidad Morelia, UNAM, and the Conservatorio de las Rosas. I was there to give a talk about RISM activities in Latin America and to lead a Muscat workshop.

The conference included participants from all over Latin America and included talks on current research, book presentations, and concerts. Over 30 people took part in the Muscat workshop, which took place over three days. I was especially glad to see John Lazos (RISM Canada/Mexico) and Antonio Ezquerro (RISM Spain) there, who were both a great help during the workshop and were able to answer many questions concerning RISM description guidelines. Antonio's Normas internacionales para la catalogación de fuentes musicales históricas (Madrid: Arco/Libros, 1996) was published over 20 years ago and is still widely known in the Spanish-speaking Americas. A revision of the guidelines in Spanish, specific to Muscat, is planned.

During the conference, I heard many references to our RISM A/I numbers (printed music), saw evidence for concordant sources in European libraries, especially in Portugal and Spain, and in general heard about many documentation projects that aim to catalog holdings of important libraries, archives, and cathedrals. My presentation (slides available here) focused on how Latin American countries are represented in RISM. The RISM online catalog currently contains sources from these Latin American countries:

There is a rich music manuscript tradition in Mexico and other Latin American countries and we would like to encourage musicologists to consider working with RISM when documenting these valuable sources. RISM provides its cataloging program, Muscat, for free and training is also available at no cost. Documenting sources in RISM contributes to their preservation and places the sources in the context of international source transmission. Data contributed to RISM can also be freely used in other ways, such as in published catalogs or in other databases.

I would like to thank Edgar Alejandro Calderón Alcántar (Conservatorio de las Rosas) and Anastasia Krutitskaya (UNAM, ENES Unidad Morelia) for the generous invitation to participate. Edgar spoke at our conference "Documenting Musical Sources in Latin America" last September and also participated in a Muscat workshop we held in Frankfurt last year.

The conference was a valuable opportunity to make connections with musicologists in Latin America. As a direct result of this conference, RISM will start working with two musicologists in Colombia and we are also talking about how to collaborate with Edgar and his colleagues at the Conservatorio. We welcome the opportunity to work with other musicologists, librarians, archivists, or other documentation experts throughout Latin America.

Jennifer Ward
RISM Central Office


Catégorie : Events

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