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Preservation and research of Spanish traditional music on both sides of the Atlantic

A young scientist will compare the Spanish folk music collections of the CSIC in Barcelona and of the Library of Congress in Washington (EUA). The researcher, Ascension Mazuela-Anguita, has been granted the Alan Lomax Postdoctoral  Fellowship to compare both collections.


Emilio Ros-Fábregas and Ascension Mazuela-AnguitaBetween 1944 and 1960, the former Spanish Institute of Musicology (which is now the Department of Historical Sciences: Musicology at the Institución Milá y Fontanals of the CSIC [Spanish National Research Council] in Barcelona) launched the “Misiones Folklóricas” project.

Several researchers gathered throughout Spain more than 20.000 folk songs directly from the inhabitants of many locations, even the most remotes villages. More than 4,000 people from nearly 3,000 Spanish locations participated, singing and playing this repertory of oral tradition. The goal was to collect and preserve a musical heritage which, researchers thought then, it was at risk of disappearing.

This collection is now preserved in the Fondo de Música Tradicional CSIC-IMF of the CSIC in Barcelona containing more than 20.000 songs on paper, informants cards, some recordings (on tape and phonograph cylinders) and diverse documentation. Curiously, at the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the Library of Congress of the USA holds a collection of Spanish traditional music and photos of the same period collected by the ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax during his trip to Spain in 1952-53.

Now Ascension Mazuela-Anguita, a postdoctoral research assistant at the CSIC’s Institución Milá y Fontanals, Barcelona, has been awarded the Alan Lomax Postdoctoral  Fellowship to study and compare both collections. The grant will allow her to stay eight months in the John W. Kluge Center in Washington to do the research. Preliminary results have been the finding of coincidences in both collections, since some locations and people who informed the repertory are the same.

The collections include pictures of the people who performed the songs for the researchers, as well as recordings in tapes or wax cylinders, music sheets and other documents with the lyrics or information relative to the  musicians.

Ascensión Mazuela-Anguita has collaborated in the cataloguing of the Fondo de Música Tradicional CSIC-IMF. Since 2013, the songs have progressively been digitized and introduced in an online database, a project led by the CSIC researcher Emilio Ros-Fábregas. Public access to this collection has been facilitated through the webpage  http://musicatradicional.eu

These preserved songs of oral tradition are lullabies, work songs, play-songs, etc. Everybody is invited to share, on a Facebook page of the Fondo, information, personal experiences or activities related to the repertoire of this collection of traditional music.

Fondo de Música Tradicional CSIC-lMF: http://musicatradicional.eu
   

Preservation and research of Spanish traditional music on both sides of the Atlantic

A young scientist will compare the Spanish folk music collections of the CSIC in Barcelona and of the Library of Congress in Washington (EUA). The researcher, Ascension Mazuela-Anguita, has been granted the Alan Lomax Postdoctoral  Fellowship to compare both collections.

Between 1944 and 1960, the former Spanish Institute of Musicology (which is now the Department of Historical Sciences: Musicology at the Institución Milá y Fontanals of the CSIC [Spanish National Research Council] in Barcelona) launched the “Misiones Folklóricas” project. Several researchers gathered throughout Spain more than 20.000 folk songs directly from the inhabitants of many locations, even the most remotes villages. More than 4,000 people from nearly 3,000 Spanish locations participated, singing and playing this repertory of oral tradition. The goal was to collect and preserve a musical heritage which, researchers thought then, it was at risk of disappearing.

This collection is now preserved in the Fondo de Música Tradicional CSIC-IMF of the CSIC in Barcelona containing more than 20.000 songs on paper, informants cards, some recordings (on tape and phonograph cylinders) and diverse documentation. Curiously, at the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the Library of Congress of the USA holds a collection of Spanish traditional music and photos of the same period collected by the ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax during his trip to Spain in 1952-53.

Now Ascension Mazuela-Anguita, a postdoctoral research assistant at the CSIC’s Institución Milá y Fontanals, Barcelona, has been awarded the Alan Lomax Postdoctoral  Fellowship to study and compare both collections. The grant will allow her to stay eight months in the John W. Kluge Center in Washington to do the research. Preliminary results have been the finding of coincidences in both collections, since some locations and people who informed the repertory are the same. The collections include pictures of the people who performed the songs for the researchers, as well as recordings in tapes or wax cylinders, music sheets and other documents with the lyrics or information relative to the  musicians.

Ascensión Mazuela-Anguita has collaborated in the cataloguing of the Fondo de Música Tradicional CSIC-IMF. Since 2013, the songs have progressively been digitized and introduced in an online database, a project led by the CSIC researcher Emilio Ros-Fábregas. Public access to this collection has been facilitated through the webpage  http://musicatradicional.eu. 

These preserved songs of oral tradition are lullabies, work songs, play-songs, etc. Everybody is invited to share, on a Facebook page of the Fondo, information, personal experiences or activities related to the repertoire of this collection of traditional music.

                                                                                                                 

A young scientist will compare the Spanish folk music collections of the CSIC in Barcelona and of the Library of Congress in Washington (EUA). The researcher, Ascension Mazuela-Anguita, has been granted the Alan Lomax Postdoctoral Fellowship to compare both collections.