Lay summary
The present project seeks to highlight the production, circulation and reception of the Catholic musical repertoire in Switzerland and the Alpine region from the beginning of the print age until the end of the ancien régime (1500-1800). In doing so, methodological tools will be developed that may in future be extended to other areas of Europe.Printing entreprises in Switzerland showed a varied picture that had discontinuous but international impact. Music printing was often directly sponsored by the church authority. Switzerland and the Alpine region represented a privileged point of interchange between the repertoire of (Northern) Italy and the German-speaking world. Specific networks of exchange arose in connection with the study voyages of the clerics, and most importantly between different houses of the same order. The usage of the music depended on its adaptability to functional-liturgical contexts that often showed a markedly local character. Due to the proximity of different confessions in the Confederation, there was also a Protestant reception of Catholic sacred music. The present project is a contribution to recent revisions of music historiography, which had up to now uncritically reflected national and confessional differences.Particular stress is laid on methodology and on data exchange capabilities. The different research threads all start from the study of musical sources. Research will be extended to lost prints documented in historical inventories of music collections. Archival documents will also be examined concerning the printing presses and the modes of transmission and reception of the sacred repertoire. For data collection, two online databases are developed in collaboration with the Swiss office of the 'Répertoire International des Sources Musicales' (RISM, www.rism-ch.org). The first will provide a database of 'Printed Sacred Music in Europe, 1500-1800'. This will comprise the data collected in the still ongoing project 'Bibliografia della musica sacra pubblicata in Italia fra il 1500 e il 1725 circa' (Venice, Fondazione Cini). The second, already launched database, the 'Historical Music Inventory Database, 1500-1800', collects data from music inventories from church institutions of the Alpine region. Swiss music prints in Swiss libraries will be digitised. The music of some of the sources will be transcribed, applying and enhancing the performance of Aruspix, a new software application developed by the University of Geneva and McGill University (Montreal) that facilitates philological work on early typographical music prints.