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Jahrbuch 6 des Phonogrammarchivs

“Old recordings in a new outfit”

Písně moravských Chorvatů

La Grande Bande, Praški fržoni

In 1910, the ethnologist František Pospíšil visited three villages in South Moravia, then still inhabited by a Croatian-speaking minority: Guttenfeld (Dobro Polje/Dobré Pole), Neu Prerau (Nova Prerava/ Nový Přerov) and Fröllersdorf (Frielištof/Frélichov). 106 years later, the recordings of songs and stories he had made with the Archiv-Phonograph were “rediscovered”. These historical recordings, preserved in the Phonogrammarchiv of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, were released in 2009 as part of the CD edition The Complete Historical Collections1899–1950 (Series 11/1: Croatian Recordings 1901–1936). In order to remind the Croats of that time and their culture, the composer Matěj Kroupa “used” the old songs to create new versions.

-- online since April 12, 2016 --

Jahrbuch 6 des PhonogrammarchivsJahrbuch 6 bestellen

Hot from the press – Volume 6 of the Phonogrammarchiv’s Yearbook!

The Phonogrammarchiv collects, documents and preserves unique audio and video recordings which were created in the course of research, without disciplinary or regional restrictions, and serve as sources for further study. How do such recordings come about, and what does it mean to include them into the archival holdings? In order to shed more light on such questions, the central theme of the present volume is devoted to methods – in field research, in archival practice and in technical safeguarding – ranging from the research idea to the methodological discussion at the desk, in the field and then in the archive, where the audio-visual findings are turned into documented sources, as it were. Progressing from the general to the specific, methods are essential in both field research and the archive. This methodological tour d’horizon looks at the Phonogrammarchiv and its holdings from a very special perspective.

Table of contents [PDF]

-- online since April 12, 2016 --

"al-hudud al-khamsa"

New FWF Project (P 28736):

Death & Life: Local Conceptions of Reincarnation Among the Druzes in the Middle East

On November 30th 2015, the board of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) approved funding for a research project submitted by the Phonogrammarchiv and dedicated to the Druze conceptions of the transmigration of the souls/reincarnation (taqammus). Funded with a total of EUR 271.645,40 over the course of three years (April 1st  2016 ­– March 31st  2019), the project will create a corpus of narrative interviews with Middle Eastern Druzes about the phenomenon of the transmigration of the souls/reincarnation (taqammus). The project thereby pursues goals that are at once anthropological, Islamological, and philological.

Scientific Abstract...

-- online since April 12, 2016 --

Henning Lucius, Gundela Bobeth and Knut SchochFortepiano by Gert Hecher



The lecture-recital, which took place on 29 October 2015 in the theatre hall of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, featured songs with piano accompaniment, composed by Viennese contemporaries of Haydn, Mozart and Schubert.

This concert, conceived and presented by Gundela Bobeth, with Knut Schoch (tenor) and Henning Lucius (fortepiano), was recorded for the next CD publication in the series Klingende Forschung – Konzertdokumentation (audio engineering: Johannes Spitzbart and Bernhard Graf). This cooperation between the Institute of History of Art and Musicology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Phonogrammarchiv has been going on since 2012.

-- online since November 6, 2015 --

Franz Lechleitner and Prince Kum'a Ndumbe III

International Symposium “African Testimonies and Oral Literature as Sources to Colonial History – Methodological Approach” and visit to the Phonogrammarchiv

The opening symposium of the three-year project “Preservation and Transmission of Africa’s Collective Memory – African Testimonies and Oral Literature in Early Colonial History” took place from 21 to 22 October 2015 in the Calasanzsaal (Piaristengasse) as well as in the Department of African Studies (University of Vienna).

In the course of the project, which is sponsored by the “Gerda Henkel Stiftung”, the Phonogrammarchiv will digitise a collection of audio cassettes with recordings from the early 1980s, featuring interviews on the colonial era; this will be possible since the “Stiftungsverwaltungskommission” of the Austrian Academy of Sciences has agreed to support the project with funds from the Philipp Politzer Family Foundation.

During the symposium, participants visited the Phonogrammarchiv in order to gain insights into the archive’s methods and approaches, both in terms of contents and technology. This was also where the agreement on the digitisation of the audio tapes was signed, the project partners being represented by Prof. DDr Prince Kum’a Ndumbe III (Fondation AfricAvenir) and Gerda Lechleitner (Phonogrammarchiv) respectively.

-- online since November 5, 2015 --

Jahrbuch 5 des Phonogrammarchivsorder Volume 5 of the Yearbook

Hot from the press – Volume 5 of the Phonogrammarchiv’s Yearbook!

Yearbook 5 heralds a new era. From now on, it will be published by the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press under the trend-setting title International Forum on Audio-Visual Research – Jahrbuch des Phonogrammarchivs. Content-wise, the focus will be twofold: on technical topics (such as recording technique, long-term preservation and re-recording), and on the content-related analysis/evaluation of audio and video sources preserved and documented in the Phonogrammarchiv. The Yearbook thus serves as an international platform for the exchange of thoughts on such topics among specialists.

The five contributions of this volume reflect this very purpose: on the one hand, there are technically-focused and content-related articles, and on the other, the inner and outer perspectives are accommodated. What all contributions share is the fact that technical and content-related matters and approaches complement, and rely on, each other.

Table of contents [PDF]

-- online since June 25, 2015 --

Kleemeyer 170 (Flötenuhr)order CD

New CD release:

Kleemeyer 170

Dittersdorf, Haydn, Martín y Soler and Pleyel on the twelve barrels of flute clock no. 170 by Christian Ernst Kleemeyer, Berlin.

Recordings and commentary: Helmut Kowar.

Complete audio edition of all extant historical barrels of the flute clock made by Christian Ernst Kleemeyer in Berlin in 1793. Recorded in 2009 within the Phonogrammarchiv’s research project on the documentation of mechanical musical instruments, total playing time: 77:38 minutes.

Cuvillier Verlag, Göttingen, published in May 2015.

Visit our Audio Publications site for a sound sample from this publication.

-- online since June 18, 2015 --

Conference review:

Jahrbuch 4 des PhonogrammarchivsLink to the conference website

“Armonie și precizie în muzica mecanică”

Between 22 and 24 May 2015, the Muzeul Ştiinţei şi Tehnicii “Ştefan Procopiu” (Iași, Romania) – with the support of the Institutul Cultural Român – held a conference devoted to the music of mechanical musical instruments, entitled “Armonie și precizie în muzica mecanică”. Helmut Kowar was invited to give two papers ("An overall view on the history and diversity of mechanical automata" and "Haydn's and Mozart's compositions for musical automata"). The conference contributions will be published in a separate volume of proceedings.

-- online since June 18, 2015 --

Series 13: Recordings in Egypt (Junker 1911) and the Archive (Stigler 1912–1913)order CD

New publication in the series “The Complete Historical Collections 1899–1950”:

Series 13:
Recordings in Egypt (Junker 1911) and the Archive (Stigler 1912–1913)

Kenzi-Dongolawi, Nobiin and Arabic – Dholuo and Luganda

Editors: Clemens Gütl, Gerda Lechleitner, Christian Liebl.
Comments by Michael Achenbach, Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst, Clemens Gütl, Daniel Ochieng Orwenjo and Birgit Pack.
OEAW PHA CD 35, 2014.

Two CD series devoted to African languages have so far been released by the Phonogrammarchiv: Rudolf Pöch’s Kalahari Recordings (1908) and The Collection of Father Franz Mayr: Zulu Recordings 1908. The present edition combines two further historical collections of spoken and sung recordings from the African continent. The first contains 14 field recordings (in Kenzi-Dongolawi, Nobiin and Arabic) made in winter 1911 during the Linguistic Expedition to Nubia, led by the famous Egyptologist Hermann Junker. The second collection includes six sound documents in Dholuo and Luganda; recorded at the Phonogrammarchiv between 1912 and 1913 at the instigation of the physiologist Robert Stigler, they feature the voices of “Kilimandjaro” Mori Duise and Simon Kasajja. The result of both international and interdisciplinary collaboration, the present publication again follows the well-established concept of the Phonogrammarchiv’s CD edition: alongside the digitised original recordings and protocols, it comprises scholarly contributions on the context and protagonists as well as modern transcriptions of the recording contents complete with English translations.

Visit our Audio Publications site for a selection of sound samples from this publication.

-- online since January 8, 2015 --