The IFMuC project for the recovery of the Musical Heritage of Catalonia

Motivation and process

Catalonia has a rich legacy of musical repertoire that is preserved in numerous sheet music fonds in archives, libraries, museums and documentation centers distributed throughout the map of its territory. That is why IFMuC’s objective is to carry out the cataloging of these fonds to facilitate access to the description of their contents.

The compositional repertoire subject to cataloging is presented together through the collections «author manuscripts» (Au), «anonymous manuscripts» (An), «choral books» (LC), «free lecterns» (LF) and « printed» (Imp), which can be consulted thanks to the printed catalogs of the Inventaris dels Fons Musicals de Catalunya series and the respective computerized records in the IFMuC Database, with public access and totally open.

As the project progresses, IFMuC prepares and maintains, on an annual basis, a Census of musical fonds in Catalonia.

Objectives and benefits

In the context of the management of the European musical heritage, there is a growing interest in creating large databases through internet portals, with the aim of facilitating free access to the description and content of the preserved musical collections. in archives, libraries, museums and documentation centers. IFMuC’s priority objective is to convert the musical repertoire of the cataloged funds into a digital library, in such a way that all citizens can freely access these large volumes of knowledge.

The project includes three phases of action:

  1. Facilitating free access to the information contained in the description fields of the catalog records of the musical repertoire of the cataloged holdings, through the respective established fonds.
  2. Publishing critical musicological editions of the most significant musical repertoire of the collections cataloged through the sheet music collection Mestres Catalans Antics. Quaderns dels Fons Musicals de Catalunya.
  3. Provide online access to the musical repertoire of the digitized fonds, so that the complete digital images of each work can be viewed, downloaded or printed from each of the catalog records.

The expectations of the IFMuC project are fulfilled by the systemic fact of returning to the society of our time the immense musical wealth generated in past times, which is preserved in the country’s archives, libraries, museums and documentation centers. The benefits of the project revert to the following areas:

  • Scientific: they facilitate the promotion of new research (graduate projects, master’s theses and doctoral theses) on authors, repertoires, styles and periods in the history of Catalan music.
  • Artistic: they allow performers free access to the catalog records of these repertoires, many of them still unknown, and, in the future, to digitized works.
  • Social: society benefits from the dissemination that performers and music managers carry out from these repertoires thanks to their incorporation into concert schedules and recordings.
  • Educational: the teaching of the history of music may include the recovery of ancient authors along with their compositional repertoires in their training paths.

The will of IFMuC team is guided by the spirit of collaborating in the restoration of a systemic and scientific debt, as well as an ethical and humanistic one, through the open dissemination of its results, aimed both at researchers, interpreters and pedagogues, as well as at the whole of the society of our time which it will help rediscover its roots and its memory.