Liber Amicorum cover
Print Publications
Liber Amicorum: Festschriften for music scholars and nonmusicians, 1840–1966

Edited by Zdravko Blažeković and James R. Cowdery
(RILM Retrospectives no. 5)
New York: RILM, 2009. ISBN 1-932765-04-2; 978-1-932765-04-5

Price: $115
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In spite of their widely acknowledged importance, music Festschriften have been far from accessible to researchers. RILM has now addressed this need with an abstracted and indexed bibliography of 3881 essays on musical topics from 715 Festschriften dedicated to music scholars and others published before RILM’s regular bibliographic coverage began in 1967. Reflecting the currents of history from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century—the advent of ethnomusicology, the rise and fall of Nazism, and the heyday of serialism, to name just a few—this compilation provides vivid insights into the histories of cultures, disciplines, institutions, and prominent individuals.

Liber amicorum completes a dyad with RILM’s Speaking of music: Music conferences, 1835–1966, a similarly structured retrospective bibliography of conference proceedings. These two unique book genres—Festschriften and conference proceedings—comprise uncommonly important collections of scholarly essays in the histories of academic disciplines, presenting groundbreaking research directly to colleagues and mentors.

During the preparation of this volume, RILM editors worked directly with the original publications; the 4596 records represent books from 40 countries, in 31 languages. A special effort was made to capture music scholarship in the context of other disciplines; consequently, music scholarship most likely to have remained hidden in fields such as archaeology, linguistics, theology, philosophy, and medicine is brought to light.

Starting with a book issued in 1840 for the 400th anniversary celebrations of Johannes Gutenberg’s development of the printing press, the volume comprehensively documents music culture through Festschriften dedicated to scholars and others. A volume documenting Festschriften for composers and performers is in preparation.

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