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Curt Sachs and his Contribution to the Museology of Music

Abstract : Curt Sachs is a constant reference for organologists and musicologists. But he is also a pioneer, often forgotten, in musical museology. In September 1933 he was forced to leave Berlin. He was then welcomed at the Musée d'Ethnographie in Paris to "collaborate in the classification of instruments with André Schaeffner". He remained there until his departure for New York in July 1937. During these four years Sachs prepared an exhibition on the history of dance; he translated his book Welgeschichte des Tanzes into French, he wrote a book on the instruments of Madagascar (1938), and he published in the ICOM journal, Museion, “Relevance, Function, and Museographic Tasks and Techniques of Musical Instruments Collections”. Our contribution underlines that this “manifesto”, devoted to the missions of museums of instruments and to the ethics of restoration, proposes principles for a museographic program, even in its technical aspects. Sachs' philosophy takes account of the visible and the audible of musical objects and he builds a theory that inspire us at a time when so many museums have evolved their museographic concepts. Many of these proposals go beyond an aesthetic concept of Western music, reflecting the concerns of a universalist musicologist with prospective views at a crucial moment in the development of musical museology.
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Contributor : Florence Gétreau <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 2, 2018 - 11:06:49 PM
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Florence Gétreau. Curt Sachs and his Contribution to the Museology of Music. Klang, Gedanke, Instrument. Curt Sachs und die Musikwissenschaft heute, Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Sep 2006, Berlin, Germany. pp.99-109. ⟨halshs-01616569⟩



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