IFMuC project for the recovery of Musical Heritage in Catalonia


1. The road to the recovery of musical heritage

Catalonia was quick to embrace the same retrospective view of music that was adopted in Central European countries in the mid-19th century through the creation of musicology at German universities. The earliest initiatives were focused on the identification and study of folk songs (through the search for materials originating from oral tradition), as well as the first studies and publications of the musical repertory conserved in archives and libraries, all of which were essential for the restitution of our country’s musical history.

When Felip Pedrell (1841-1922) said in 1894 that “old Spanish music, which is so unfortunately un-cherished for the simple reason that it is not known, holds many surprises in store for us”,1 as well as expressing his awareness of the general lack of knowledge, in the late 19th century, of the repertories of the old chapel masters and organists, he was also revealing his impassioned dedication to the recovery of Hispanic musical heritage. He made this clear in his essays Los músicos españoles antiguos y modernos en sus libros o escritos sobre la música2 prior to the publication of his manifesto Por nuestra música.3 Pedrell, like Baltasar Saldoni,4 was the one of the earliest Catalan musicologists to appreciate the need to produce a biographical dictionary for the Iberian Peninsula.5 His desire to recover the repertory led him to publish the anthology Hispaniæ Schola Musica Sacra,6 the Opera Omnia by Tomás Luis de Victoria,7 and the Cancionero Musical Popular Español.8

Pedrell’s mission was passed on to his disciples, primarily Higini Anglès, and influenced a flagship institution in our country from the late 19th century: the Orfeó Català (‘Catalan Choral Society’) founded by Lluís Millet and Amadeu Vices in 1891. This institution played a decisive role in the recovery of the nation’s musical repertory by publishing the Revista Musical Catalana (1904-1936)9 and initiating the Obra del Cançoner Popular de Catalunya in 1922, thanks to the Concepció Rabell i Civils Foundation, created by the benefactor Rafael Patxot i Jubert. This initiative was to be the starting point for the recovery of folk and traditional songs.10 During the twentieth century the library and documentary collection of the Orfeó Català formed the basis for the creation of the CEDOC (Documentation Centre of the Orfeó Català), which holds an outstanding collection from donations and personal legacies. From 2012 Marta Grassot has been responsible for the management of the CEDOC.

The first two decades of the 20th century brought about major institutional activities with regard to heritage. In times of the Mancomunitat de Catalunya (‘Commonwealth of Catalonia’) and with the involvement of such figures as Enric Prat de la Riba, Joan Pijoan and Josep Puig i Cadafalch, three institutions were founded with the explicit objective of contributing to the conservation of heritage: the Junta de Museus de Barcelona (‘Museum Union of Barcelona’, 1906), the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (‘Institute of Catalan Studies’, 1907) and the Biblioteca de Catalunya (‘Library of Catalonia’, 1911).

The Junta de Museus (the depository for the important musical library purchased from Joan Carreras i Dagas) entrusted the cataloguing of its collection to Felip Pedrell and Francesc Pujol, “since both have carried out so many studies on the music of our land”;11 however, the latter finally opted to refuse the position and it was taken on entirely by Pedrell, who completed his mission with the publication of two volumes of the catalogue between 1908 and 1909.12 When a Music Section was created at the Biblioteca de Catalunya in 1917, Pedrell was offered the position of curator, but he turned it down and it was given instead to his disciple Higini Anglès (1888-1969). Anglès’ presence did a lot to raise awareness of the need to recover heritage thanks to such major projects as the recovery of the works of Mateu Fletxa the Old, Joan Brudieu, Joan Pujol and Joan Baptista Cabanilles, as well as historical studies, such as the essential La música a Catalunya fins al s. XIII.13

The Music Section of the Library of Catalonia received new energy thanks to the incorporation of librarian Joan Crespí in 1983, who carried out an intensive task of organising and cataloguing the musical collections of the institution. This new lease of life in the management of the written and audio heritage of the Music Section has been continued since 2005 by Maria Rosa Montalt. Apart from the patrimonial treasures of the historical collections, the Library of Catalonia today has more than a hundred personal collections of composers, musicians and musicologists, and has become the main catalyzing centre of Catalonia’s musical heritage. 14

The CSIC’s Instituto Español de Musicologia (‘Spanish Institute of Musicology’) was created in Barcelona in 1943, led by the same H. Anglès with the support of an excellent team of collaborators.15 The Anuario Musical magazine was created in 1946, and work began on publishing the works of the maestros of Hispanic Renaissance tradition.16 The Instituto Español de Musicología would later be managed by Miquel Querol (1969 to 1982), who initiated the study of Hispanic baroque, Josep Maria Llorens (1982 to 1988), José Vicente González Valle (1988 to 2001) and Antonio Ezquerro (2001), and it currently enjoys the services of researchers Mariano Lambea, Maria Gembero and Emili Ros-Fàbregas. Since 1991 it has housed central editorial office of the RISM-Spain.

This brief history of our heritage should also mention the Museu de la Música (‘Museum of Music’), inaugurated in 1946 under the management of Josep Ricart i Matas (1893-1978), the essential body in terms of the preservation and study of organ music. Manuel Valls, Ricart’s successor, moved the Museum from the penthouse of the Conservatorio Superior de Música (‘Higher Conservatory of Music’) to the old Baró de Quadras mansion in the Eixample district of Barcelona. In 1983, Romà Escalas took over as manager, and set up a team of professional experts, who published the museum’s catalogue in 1991. In 2007, the museum was moved to the Auditori de Barcelona, with a new museographical discourse and where the presentation of its collection of musical instruments and documents was renovated. The museum holds more than twenty musical collections, both personal and from different institutions.

This brief overview should also give a special mention to Montserrat Monastery and the restoration work of Father Joan Baptista Guzmán (1846-1909), who published the works of Joan Baptista Comes in Madrid in 1888. The foundational impulse began anew in 1930 thanks to Father David Pujol (1894-1979) and the Mestres de l’Escolania de Montserrat series, which was later continued by Fathers Gregori Estrada, Ireneu Segarra and Daniel Codina. Their publishing work was accompanied by the recording of a significant amount of the repertory, which established a new method for the dissemination of Catalan musical heritage.

In 1983, the Catalan Government created the Centre de Documentació Musical de Catalunya (‘Music Documentation Centre of Catalonia’) in the Tarongers gardens, the former residence of benefactor Josep Bartomeu i Granell.17 The centre, created from the bibliographical and documentary collections of Josep Subirà, housed the musical collections of E. Granados, E. Morera, the Lamote de Grignon brothers, and many others. When it was closed, its collections were transferred to the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya in 2005.

From 1984 to 1991, the team formed by María Ester-Sala and Josep M. Vilar, both educated at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, made a laudable effort to promote the status of Catalonia’s musical archives, as evidenced by numerous publications.18


2. Background to the IFMuC project

2. 1. The Music Documentation Centre (CDM) of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (1973-1979)

The CDM of the UAB saw the light thanks to an initiative by the professors Francesc Bonastre and Antonio Martín Moreno,19 who, together with the students taking university courses in the Area of Music, formed a research team oriented towards the cataloguing and study of Catalan musical manuscripts. During the period 1975-1978, forming part of that initial team of researchers were Joan Bagüés, Josep M. Vives and this author, among others.

The first research task for the team was undertaken between 1975 and 1981, and involved the cataloguing and microfilming of the musical collection of Tarragona cathedral. That laborious task, which was possible thanks to continual weekly journeys by the young musicologists, became the athanor in which our vocation as musicolologists slowly cooked, united with the desire to work on the recovery of the musical heritage. During the 1975-76 and 1976-77 academic years, we were a small group of students fascinated by the privilege of contemplating with admiration and marvel the musical treasures of the cathedral which had remained for centuries in the confines of its walls . There, we were able to discover at first hand and from the collections themselves the different linguistic and aesthetic aspects of Baroque music. That kind of musicological baptism bore fruit in the form of projects for the recovery of the Tarragona musical heritage20 and the opening up of new lines of research in the methodology of cataloguing musical manuscripts.21

The work carried out by the CDM team between 1976 and 1980 centred on the musical collections of Santa Maria del Pi (Barcelona), Santa Maria de la Geltrú, Sant Esteve d’Olot, Santa Pau dels Arcs and Sant Joan de les Abadesses.


2. 2. The Josep Ricart i Matas Institute for Musical Documentation and Research (IDIM) of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (1980-2016)

The proposal to create the Josep Ricart i Matas Institute for Musical Documentation and Research (IDIM) was approved by ministerial order on 6 June 1979. The IDIM was created through the collaboration of the Catalan Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Saint George and the UAB and was opened on 15 May 1980.22 Under the impulse and direction of Francesc Bonastre i Bertran, the institution became a pioneer in Spain and the only one dedicated exclusively to Catalan musicology.23 The IDIM took over the work done by the CDM of the UAB and carried out with a more charismatic approach the functions that the LRU attributed to the university institutes––in other words the functions of a professional research centre.

In terms of the work carried out the field of music archiving, the setting up of the IDIM led to the start of a patient and silent period of work without spectacular results. Once the microfilming of the musical manuscripts of Tarragona cathedral was completed in 1981 indexing began for one of the broadest and most interesting collections for the study of Baroque music in Catalonia: the collection of the parish church of Canet de Mar, with almost two thousand manuscripts. The indexing and microfilming of this collection ended in 1982.

During December 1982 the IDIM organised and held the 1st National Symposium on Music Archiving and Documentation. Between 1983 and 1984, through an institutional agreement between the IDIM and the Library of Catalonia, and thanks to a funded research project, the first phase of cataloguing of the Joan Carreras i Dagas musical collection of the Library of Catalonia began.

With the help of two projects funded by CIRIT (Government of Catalonia) cataloguing began on the Sant Maria de Vilafranca del Penedès collection, held at the Wine Museum (Vinseum), while in 1987 the first phase of work began on the collection of musical manuscripts at Tortosa cathedral.24

The inheritance of the CDM and the IDIM, in terms of cataloguing work, study and dissemination of the Catalan musical collections and its repertoire was received in the 2001-2002 academic year by the IFMuC project of the UAB. The IDIM was closed by order of the Royal Catalan Academy of Fine Arts of Saint George in 2016 and from that time on the UAB has held the bibliographic and documentary collection of the IDIM.


3. The IFMuC project at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

3. 1. Motivations and process

Catalonia is one of the few European countries that still does not know the richness of its musical heritage with respect to the repertory of compositions by its chapel masters, organists and musicians, which are conserved but forgotten in numerous, mainly ecclesiastic, archives. However, this still unknown richness has managed to survive the numerous wars that have blighted our country in recent centuries.

From the publication by Felip Pedrell in 1908 of the Catàlech de la Biblioteca Musical de la Diputació de Barcelona (the current Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya), until the publication in 2007 of the first volume in the Inventaris dels Fons musicals de Catalunya series dedicated to cataloguing the musical collection at the cathedral-basilica of Terrassa (TerC), there has not been a single institution or a single researcher that has been willing to take on the task of setting up a nationwide project designed to systematically recover the musical richness conserved in Catalan archives.

At the university, embarking on the process of recovering the musical memory of our forebears is therefore one of the musicological challenges that our country still has pending. In undergraduate musicology courses we can transmit to the students our awareness of this urgent action and communicate to them the excitement of taking part of a project centred on the recovery of musical heritage that has until now been abandoned, forgotten and ignored in documentary deposits and reserves of numerous archives, museums and libraries.

That is why, in the Department of Art and Musicology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona at the beginning of the 2001-2002 academic year, we decided to initiate a new line of research with the immediate priority of working to recover the collections of musical manuscripts that constitute the musical heritage of Catalonia, through the production and publication, in printed form, of their respective catalographic inventories. Now, after years of academic experience, and thanks to the work placement module included in the subjects Musical Heritage and Archiving Practicum taught at the university, and especially in archives holding the collections, we can say in the light of results published in recent years that, in addition to having carried out this work with enthusiasm and willingness and a desire to perform a service for the country, as well as the international scientific and artistic community.25

The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has work placement agreements for musical heritage work with numerous archives, both public and private, and other centres among which are the ecclesiastical archives of the cathedrals of Girona, Tarragona, Lleida and Solsona; the parishes of Castelló d’Empúries, Sant Pere de Reus, Santa Maria del Pi de Barcelona, Sant Pere i Sant Pau in Canet de Mar, Santa Eulàlia in Berga, Santa Maria de la Geltrú; the diocesan archives of Solsona and Girona; Museum-archive of Santa Maria in Mataró and Wine Museum of Vilafranca del Penedès (Vinseum); the archives of the Historical County Archives of the Government of Catalonia in El Papiol, Igualada, Granollers, Olot, Ripoll and Tàrrega; the Library of the Episcopal Seminar of Barcelona and the CEDOC, Documentation Centre of the Orfeó Català.

These agreements allow the continuation, and often completion, of the description in the archives, while consolidating successive working teams, among which are those of professor Jordi Rifé (TerC, BCPuig-Capuxins de Sarrià collection); Sandra Coronel (TerC collection); Andreu Guinart (CMar and Sant Pere de Ripoll collections); Maria Josep Aloguin, Laura Gené and Francesc Rius (La Selva del Camp collection); Cristina Expósito (E. Juncosa collection); Mercè Fantova and Mauricio Rey (F. Argemí collection); Soledad Brunet (Seminary and C. Piñol collection); Marta Grassot (TomB, TomR, TomR, GiC, BCPuig-Capuxins de Sarrià collection); Esther Garcia LLop, Amàlia Ametlló, Marta Andrés and Maria Jesús Castell (LleC collection); Núria Medrano, Gerard Moreno and Marta Trill (Sant Pere de Reus collection); Ramon Canut (Joaquim Rial collection); Neus Cabot, Helena Patricio and Teresa Soler (MatC, MatF, MatV collection); Cristina Amengual (Sant Vicenç de Sarrià collection); Olga Niubó (TagF collection); Anna Torrent and Jordi Puig (GrAS, GrJV, GrEP collection); Carme Monells and Joana Canalias (SEO and TEch collection); Mireia Perpinyà and Elena Salgado (CdE collection); Montserrat Giménez (SHB collection); Montserrat Canela (TarC collection); Pau Vázquez-Pongiluppi, Violeta Tello and Alícia Daufí (Pongiluppi collection); Andrea Bares and Marc Montané (Santa Maria de la Geltrú collection); Angelina Dorado (MerB collection); Angelina Dorado, Noel Camarena, David Galan (Seminary collection); Martí Vilardebó (Sancho Marraco, La Garriga collection); Anna Maria Anglada (GiC collection); prof. Bernat Cabré, Maite Fages and Irene Augé (Solsona cathedral collection); Núria Martí, Cristina Roca and Anna Romeu (SMI collection), Antònia Casas and Martí Badia (Santa Eulàlia de Berga collection), Carles Badal (SMPi and Sant Cebrià de Vallalta collection); and Aurèlia Pessarrodona (Sants Just i Pastor collection), a collaborating professor for the project, in process of incorporation (Juan de la Cierva) at the UAB.

IFMuC has produced and maintains an annual census if musical collections which are localized as the project advances.26 Of the collections located in public, ecclesiastical and personal archives, 17 have been catalogued, with an index of over a thousand composers and more ten thousand catalogue records. The following catalogues can be consulted on line:

  1. Cathedral-basilica of Sant Esperit in Terrassa (TerC), with 672 author manuscripts, 291 anonymous works, 16 choir books and 9 printed works. Repertoire from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  2. Collection of the parish church of Sant Pere and Sant Pau in Canet de Mar (CMar), with 1,196 author manuscripts and 923 anonymous works. Notable presence of repertoires from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, followed by the nineteenth century.

  3. Vicenç Bou collection, at the Mediterranean Museum in Torroella de Montgrí (TomB), with 480 author manuscripts and 4 anonymous works. Repertoire from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  4. Josep Pi collection at the Mediterranean Museum in Torroella de Montgrí (TomP), with 476 author manuscripts, 4 anonymous works and 5 printed works. Repertoire from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  5. Pere Rigau collection at the Mediterranean Museum in Torroella de Montgrí (TomR), with 475 author manuscripts and 5 printed works. Repertoire from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  6. Chapel of Music collection at the Museum-Archive of Santa Maria in Mataró (MatC), with 127 manuscrits d’autor and 207 anonymous works. Repertoire from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  7. Joan Fargas i Heras collection at the Museum-Archive of Santa Maria in Mataró (MatF), with 163 author manuscripts, 5 anonymous works and 35 printed works. Repertoire from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  8. Lluís Viada i Castellà collection at the Museum-Archive of Santa Maria in Mataró (MatV), with 131 author manuscripts, 27 anonymous works and 5 printed works. Repertoire from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  9. Ramon Florensa collection (TagF), from the parish of Santa Maria d’Alba and preserved in the Urgell County Archive, with 208 author manuscripts and 172 anonymous works. Repertoire from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.

  10. Musical collection of the parish church of Sant Esteve d'Olot (SEO), preserved at the Garrotxa Historical County Archive (ACGAX), with 1.359 author manuscripts, 409 anonymous works, 23 choirbooks and 468 printed works. Repertoire from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  11. Teodoro Echegoyen collection (TEch), preserved at the Garrotxa Historical County Archive (ACGAX) with 218 author manuscripts, 3 anonymous works and 7 printed works. Repertoire from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  12. Collection of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Castelló d’Empúries (CdE), preserved in the Diocesan Archive of Girona, with 209 author manuscripts, 96 anonymous works and 109 printed works. Repertoire from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  13. Collection of Tarragona cathedral (TarC), preserved in the Historical Arch-Diocesan Archive of Tarragona (AHAT): 1,606 records (1,114 author manuscripts, 299 anonymous works, 74 choirbooks , 5 lectern books and 119 printed works). Repertoire from the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  14. Salvador d’Horta Bofarull collection (SHB), preserved in the Public Episcopal Library of the Seminary of Barcelona: 64 records (27 author manuscripts and 37 printed works). Repertoire from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  15. Collection of the Basilica of Santa María in Igualada (SMI), preserved in the Anoia County Archive (ACAN), with 632 author manuscripts, 157 anonymous works, 7 choirbooks and 188 printed works. Repertoire from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  16. Artur Sitjà collection (GrAS), preserved in the Vallès Oriental County Archive (ACVO), with 23 author manuscripts and 1 printed work. Repertoire from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  17. Joan Vernet collection (GrJV), preserved in the Vallès Oriental County Archive (ACVO), with 27 author manuscripts and 87 printed works. Repertoire from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

During the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 the Subdirectorate General for Archives of the Government of Catalonia subsidised part of the indexing tasks for musical collections of Catalonia, led by the Musical Heritage chair of the UAB.

The IFMuC has also had four Micinn/Mineco research projects (2003-2006, 2007-2010, 2011-2014, 2016-2018) to pay for the costs of the infrastructure, equipment and food and travel expenses that were necessary to carry out this work:

  1. 2003-2007: “Religious music in Catalonia in the nineteenth century. Studies on musical heritage: the music collections of the Basilica of Espíritu Santa in Terrassa, the Basilica of Mercè in Barcelona and the Convent of the Capuchin monks of Sarrià (Barcelona)”

  2. 2008-2011: “Religious music in Catalonia in the nineteenth century. Studies on musical heritage: the music collections of the Diocesan Archive of Girona, Episcopal Library of Barcelona, Santa Maria in Mataró, Sant Esteve d'Olot and the Tàrrega County Archive”

  3. 2011-2014 (extension 2015): “Cataloguing, study and publication of the collections and musical repertoire of Tarragona cathedral and the basilicas of Igualada and Castelló d'Empúries from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century.”

  4. 2016-2018: “Musical heritage in Girona: cataloguing and study of musical sources preserved in the cathedral, the Diocesan Archive and Girona Museum of Art.”

Under the sponsorship of the Subdirectorate General for Heritage of the Government of Catalonia in 2007 we placed order in the collection of volumes Inventaris de Fons Musicals de Catalunya, published as a co-edition in 2010 and 2011 and as a UAB publication in 2012:

1.— Josep Maria Gregori i Cifré. Inventaris dels fons musicals de Catalunya. Volum 1: Fons de la catedral-basílica del Sant Esperit de Terrassa. Barcelona: Departament de Cultura i Mitjans de Comunicació de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 2007. – Arxius i documents. Eines de recerca, 2, (566 pàgs).

2.—Francesc Bonastre i Bertran i Josep Maria Gregori i Cifré, with la col·laboració d’Andreu Guinart i Verdaguer. Inventaris dels fons musicals de Catalunya. Volums 2/1 – 2/2: Fons de la Parròquia de Sant Pere i Sant Pau de Canet de Mar. Barcelona: Departament de Cultura i Mitjans de Comunicació de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 2009. Archives and documents. Research tools, vols. 5/1 – 5/2, (pp. 1,014).

3.— Marta Grassot i Radresa. Inventaris dels fons musicals de Catalunya. Volum 3: Fons V. Bou, J. Pi i P. Rigau i del Centre Cultural i de la Mediterrània Can Quintana de Torruella de Montgrí. Barcelona: Departament de Cultura i Mitjans de Comunicació de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 2009. Archives and documents. Research tools, 6, (pp. 439).

4. Josep Maria Gregori i Cifré i Neus Cabot i Sagrera. Inventaris dels fons musicals de Catalunya. Volum 4: Fons del Museu-Arxiu de Santa Maria de Mataró. Barcelona: UAB - Departament de Cultura i Mitjans de Comunicació de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 2010. Archives and documents. Research tools, 7, (pp. 362).

5. Olga Niubó i Sala. Inventaris dels fons musicals de Catalunya. Volum 5: Fons Ramon Florensa de l'Arxiu Comarcal de l'Urgell. Barcelona: UAB - Departament de Cultura i Mitjans de Comunicació de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 2011. Archives and documents. Research tools, 8, (pp. 200).

6. Josep Maria Gregori i Cifré i Carme Monells i Laqué. Inventaris dels fons musicals de Catalunya. Volum 6: Fons de l'església parroquial de Sant Esteve d'Olot i Fons Teodoro Echegoyen de l'ACGAX. Barcelona: UAB, 2012, (pp. 1,218).

7. Josep Maria Gregori i Cifré i Elena Salgado Cobo. Inventaris dels fons musicals de Catalunya. Volum 7: Fons de la basílica de Santa Maria de Castelló d’Empúries. Barcelona: UAB, 2013, (pp. 221).

8. Francesc Bonastre i Bertran, Josep Maria Gregori i Cifré, Montserrat Canela i Grau. Inventaris dels fons musicals de Catalunya. Volum 8: Fons de Catedral de Tarragona. Barcelona: UAB, 2015, (pp. 865).

9. Josep Maria Gregori i Cifré i Anna Romeu i Solà. Inventaris dels fons musicals de Catalunya. Volum 9: Fons de la basílica de Santa Maria d’Igualada de l’Arxiu Comarcal de l’Anoia. Barcelona: UAB, 2016, (pp. 522).

The production of the catalogues that we have carried out over these first few years has consolidated the systematization of a methodology for processing the music collections, which now awaits incorporation in the standards for archiving and document management.27 The description system includes the digitization of the musical incipits allowing the paleographic characteristics of the manuscript to be viewed just as they appear; also, the agility and east of execution is incomparable to the slow process of introducing the musical incipits in Finale or alphanumerical translation systems.

The production of each printed volume of the IFMuC collection is completed with a methodological presentation accompanied by an introductory essay outlining the personality of the collection, its history and the main musical contributions it contains for an understanding of the history of music in Catalonia. This essay which precede the inventory, contains a historiographical chapter with data extracted from the documentation preserved in the historical archive that the collection belongs to. This helps to complement the historical aspects of the parent institution that has generated the existence of the music collection (choir masters, organists, escolanies and cobles of minstrels or musicians) as well as the bibliographical profiles of the composers represented, many of which were unknown until the publication of the catalogues.


3.2. Objectives and benefits

In the context of the management of European musical heritage there has, for several years, been an increasing interest in the creation of databases in order to provide access to descriptive information about the collections of musical manuscripts conserved in archives, museums and libraries. The aim of the IFMuC project is to make digital libraries of collections of musical manuscripts in order to make it as easy of possible for the public to be able to access these major volumes of knowledge.

Within the field of Catalan musical heritage, there are large volumes of scores conserved in manuscript form in numerous archives, and which are often very hard to access. Hence the urgent need to construct this digital platform in order to facilitate free access, in the first phase, to catalographic records of the collections of “authored works”, “anonymous works”, “choral books” and “printed scores” and, in the second phase, to the digitized music repertoire itself.

The IFMuC’s expectations were fulfilled by the immense musical richness generated in the past, and that had been conserved in archives, museums, libraries and musical documentation centres, being systematically returned to today’s society. The project has generated benefits in many different areas:

  • Scientific: through the promotion by the national and international scientific community of new research studies (masters projects and PhD theses) on authors, repertories, styles and epochs from the history of Catalan music that were unknown until now.

  • Artistic: through access by national and international performers to catalographic records of these repertories and materials that were unknown until now and the free access that they will have to digitalised manuscripts in the future.

  • Social: all of national and international society will benefit from the dissemination of these repertories by musical performers and managers through their concert schedules and discographic recordings.

  • Educational: teaching of music history will be able to include in its curricula the discovery of ancient repertoires that were unknown until now.

The capacity of the project to generate benefits to society and to the people revolves around the decided commitment to recover the historical memory of society and facilitate access to the musical culture of our country by the public. Universal access to this new digital platform will also facilitate rediscovery and knowledge of the many gaps that still appear on the historical map of Catalan music.

The IFMuC’s mission is guided by the desire to restore a systemic indebtedness, an indebtedness that we view as a duty, and not just a scientific one, but also a moral and humanistic one: working to disclose the rich results of such a promising project as this one, not just for researchers, performers of ancient and classical music in general and pedagogues, but also for today’s society as a whole, which now more than ever is seeking to rediscover its roots and, with them, its musical past.

We are therefore convinced that the transformational aspirations of the project will be seen in the training of new educators and, through them, the education of new generations, who will benefit from both the cultural knowledge derived from the project and the artistic and emotional quality of the old unknown repertoires, and knowledge of them will lead to a greater awareness of the artistic value of the legacy of our forebears.

We would also like to say that the capacity for cultural transformation of this project lies firmly in the quality of the cultural, artistic and emotional lives of the people who make up our society today. Since Classical Antiquity it has been well known that music, among its other virtues, is able to transform people precisely because it helps them to become emotionally aware and to manage their emotions from a noble and healthy viewpoint. The challenges of transforming a society are achieved thanks to personal transformations, experiential and emotional, of its members. In this sense, we believe that the inclusion of the compositional legacy of many hitherto unknown Catalan authors in the social and educational fabric will help to develop new levels of culture, awareness and love for Catalan music, and by extension for all music, in children, adolescents, young people, university students, music students, amateur and professional musicians, scientists and scholars of music and music history, and through them, the whole of society.


Josep Maria Gregori i Cifré
Professor of Musical Heritage at the UAB
Director of the IFMuC project


1 Hispaniæ Schola Musica Sacra, III (1894), p. xlvi.

2 Loose sheets from the magazine La Ilustración Musical Hispano-Americana (Barcelona, 1888-1896). Only the first 128 pages were published, 1888.

3 Por Nuestra Música. Barcelona: Printed by Henrich y Cª, 1891.

4 Diccionario biográfico-bibliográfico de efemérides de músicos españoles. Madrid: Printed by A. Pérez Dubrull, 1868-1881, 4 vols.

5 Diccionario biográfico y bibliográfico de músicos y escritores de música españoles, portugueses é hispanoamericanos antiguos y modernos, acopio de datos y documentos para servir á la Historia del arte musical en nuestra nación. Barcelona: Typeset by V. Bergós y Feliu, 1897. Contains letters A-G.

6 Barcelona: Juan Bta. Pujol y Cª, 1894-1897. The 8 volumes contain music by A. de Cabezón, R. de Ceballos. C. de Morales, F. Guerrero, J. Ginés Pérez, T. de Santa Maria, T. L. de Victoria.

7 Tomæ Ludovici Victoria /Abulensis/ Opera Omnia, /ornata a Philippo Pedrell. Ed. Breitkopf und Härtel. Leipzig, 1902-1913.

8 Valls: Printed by E. Castells, 1918-1922, 4 vols.

9 F. Pedrell published the Músichs Vells de la terra series in it between 1904 and 1910.

10 The collection of materials consisted of over 40,000 documents in 1936. Prominent collaborators included Joan Amades, Higini Anglès, Josep Barberà, Pere Bohigas, Palmira Jacquetti, Joan LLongueras, Francesc Pujol, Joan Puntí, Joan Sala, Baltasar Samper and Joan Tomàs.

11 Quoted by Francesc BONASTRE in “Les primeres col·leccions de música a la Biblioteca de Catalunya: els fons Carreras i Dagas i el fons Felip Pedrell”, within the Conferències en el centenari de la Biblioteca de Catalunya (1907-2007). Barcelona: Biblioteca de Catalunya, 2008, p. 32. Mínima, 14.

12 The task anticipated the writing of a “monumental illustrated catalogue with critical commentaries and musical illustrations”. See PEDRELL, Felip. Catàlech de la Biblioteca Musical de la Diputació de Barcelona. Barcelona, 1908, vol. I, pp. 9-15.

13 Barcelona: Institut d’Estudis Catalans – Biblioteca de Catalunya, 1935.

14 MONTALT, Maria Rosa. “Cent anys de patrimoni musical a la Biblioteca de Catalunya, 1908-2008”, 2n Congrés Internacional de Música. Barcelona: Consell Català de la Música, 2013, p. 626-631.

15 These included Miquel Querol, Josep Romeu, Francesc Baldelló, Marius Schneider, Santiago Kastner, Joan Tomàs, Emili Pujol, P. José Antonio Donostia and Josep Subirà.

16 Such as the Cancionero Musical de Palacio and the Opera Omnia by Morales, Guerrero and Victoria, and the studies of vihuela players Luys de Narvàez and Alonso Mudarra.

17 Llibre Blanc del Servei de Música. La política musical. Barcelona: Departament de Cultura i Mitjans de Comunicació, 1982, p. 16 and 63.

18 ESTER-SALA, Maria – VILAR, Josep M. “Una aproximació als fons de manuscrits musicals a Catalunya”, Anuario Musical, 42 (1987) and 44 (1989); “Els fons musicals de Catalunya: un patrimoni a revalorar”, Lligall, 5 (1992).

19 Professor of the Departament d’Art at UAB, between 1973 and 1978.

20 One of the first pieces of research whith which Francesc Bonastre began his contributions to the study of the Baroque (“La Capella Musical de la Seu de Tarragona a mitjan segle XVIII”, Boletín Arqueológico (1976-77), ed. IV, no. 133-140, pp. 259-270) and my Bachelor’s degree dissertation focussing on the study and transcription of an eithteenth century cathedral master (La producció musical conservada de Joan Crisòstom Ripollès († 1746): catalogació i transcripció, UAB, June 1977).

21 The descriptive methodology in the first catalogue of the collection of Tarragona cathedral (1977) served as a model for the first catalogues of musical manuscripts published in Spain from the nineteen eighties.

22 BONASTRE, Francesc. “L’Institut de Documentació i d’Investigació Musicològiques Josep Ricart i Matas”, Estudis oferts a Josep Ricart i Matas en la commemoració del centenari del seu naixement (1893-1993). Barcelona: Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi, 1993, pp. 85-91.

23 The ICCMU, Complutense Institute of Music Studies, was created in 1989.

24 GREGORI, Josep Maria. “La catalogació dels arxius musicals de Catalunya, una de les línies de recerca de l’IDIM de la UAB”, I Congrés de Música a Catalunya. Barcelona: Consell Català de la Música, 1994, pp. 863-865.

25 For a description of this process see the articles by GREGORI I CIFRÉ, Josep Maria. “La catalogació dels arxius musicals de Catalunya, una de les línies de recerca de l’IDIM de la UAB”, I Congrés de Música a Catalunya. Barcelona: Consell Català de la Música, 1994, p. 863-865; “El inventario de los fondos musicales eclesiásticos de Catalunya, un proyecto en marcha desde la Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona”, Memoria Ecclesiae, XXXI (2008), 483-497; “Els Inventaris dels Fons Musicals de Catalunya, el projecte de la UAB per a la recuperació del patrimoni musical”, 2n Congrés Internacional de Música. Barcelona: Consell Català de la Música, 2013, p. 621-625; “Fondos Musicales en Catalunya: el proyecto IFMuC de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona para la recuperación del patrimonio musical catalán”, in M. NAGORE and V. SÁNCHEZ (eds.) Allegro cum laude. Estudios musicológicos en homenaje a Emilio Casares. Madrid: Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales, 2014, p. 127-134; “Catalonia project report”, Early Music, 43 (2015), 367-368; “El nou web al servei del patrimoni musical de Catalunya”, Revista Catalana de Musicologia, VIII (2015), 23-35; “IFMuC: un proyecto universitario para la recuperación del patrimonio musical de Catalunya”, Cuadernos de Investigación Musical, 1 (2016), 12-26; and with Aurèlia PESSARRODONA, “Unearthing Catalan Musical Heritage: the IFMuC Project”, Fontes Artis Musicæ, 64, núm. 4 (2017).

26 GREGORI I CIFRÉ, Josep Maria. “El Cens IFMuC dels Fons Musicals de Catalunya”, Lligall, 38 (2016), p. 136-168.

27 With the collaboration of Marta Grassot i Radresa, head of the CEDOC, we are preparing the guide Guia pel tractament i descripció de documents musicals/Guía para el tratamiento y descripción de documentos musicales (Guide for the processing and description of musical documents).

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