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Musica Brasilis - making available Brazilian music scores - IAML 2018


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Brazilian music scores are difficult to find and access. Most of them has never been edited or is out of print. Many music editors have stopped sheet music edition.

Music manuscripts by Antonio Carlos Gomes (1836 – 1896) have recently been registered on UNESCO’s Memory of the World list, but only two of them are recorded on RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales) database. Works by Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887 – 1959) have been edited by Max Eschig, a fact that contributed to making him worldwide renowned. What about their predecessors and followers?

The main Brazilian music libraries are located in Rio de Janeiro, capital of the country for almost 200 years. The National Library, the greatest in Latin America, keeps 250.000 items - among which 50.000 are music scores -, and Alberto Nepomuceno Library (BAN / UFRJ) more than 30.000. Relevant collections belong to the National Archive, Banco do Brasil’s Library, MIS (Museum of Image and Sound) and IMS (Instituto Moreira Salles). Online public catalogs are not available in most cases. Some 0,5% of all scores have been digitized and it is very hard to obtain onsite copies.

Web availability is a contemporary way to bridge the gap between musicians and scores. There are presently some initiatives that focus this goal, among which MUSICA BRASILIS ( and SESC Partituras ( A major challenge concerns interoperability, as well as compliance with W3C standards.

Musica Brasilis has recently joined the National Library and UNESCO to start a major initiative to digitize and edit 5.000 Brazilian classical music works, among which all written by Carlos Gomes, as well as by other prominent composers, such as José Maurício Nunes Garcia (1767 – 1830), Henrique Oswald (1852 – 1931), Alberto Nepomuceno (1864-1920), Camargo Guarnieri (1907 – 1993) and Almeida Prado (1943 – 2010). Contemporary composers will be invited to contribute to the initiative, which aims to fill the gap of digital preservation of born-digital scores.

The digital scores will be published in compliance with Linked Open Data (LOD) principles.

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Musica Brasilis - making available Brazilian music scores - IAML 2018

  1. 1. MUSICA BRASILIS making available Brazilian music scores Dr. Rosana Lanzelotte IAML 2018
  2. 2. Brazilian music is pop!
  3. 3. Is Brazilian music pop?
  4. 4. Carlos Gomes (1836,1896): Memory of the World UNESCO Main operas • Il Guarany (Milan, 1870) • Fosca (Milan, 1873) • Salvador Rosa (Genova, 1874) • Maria Tudor (Milan, 1879) • Lo Schiavo (Rio, 1889) • Condor (Milan, 1891) • Colombo (Rio, 1892) The only non-European successful as an opera composer in Italy Two (2) records on RISM database (Italian archives)
  5. 5. National Library: the largest archive in Latin America 250.000 ITENS (Music Division) 50.000 music scores Rare manuscripts Editions – legal deposit since 1917 Digitized scores - 0,5% of the total number Mainly manuscripts Presently closed for renovation Onsite copies difficult to get Impossible to order online OPAC - Proprietary software Portuguese only No web accessibility for disabled
  6. 6. BAN Library – Federal University (UFRJ) c. 50.000 music scores Founded on 1848 SCHEDULED VISITS only Onsite copies difficult to get Impossible to order online OPAC - Only manuscripts are listed Proprietary software Portuguese only No web accessibility for disabled Digitized scores - a/bibliotecadigital.html 33 scores only Manuscripts
  7. 7. Web availability of Brazilian music scores (2006) 440,319 scores (134,326 works) 16.482 composers Only 118 Brazilian composers listed 11 scores (out of 200) by Carlos Gomes 2682 scores 274 Brazilian composers 14 scores by Carlos Gomes (2009) 1456 scores 576 Brazilian composers since 18th century 74 scores by Carlos Gomes
  8. 8.
  9. 9. Score filtering by time period, author name, title and instrumentation
  10. 10. New large scale web availability initiative Implementation Open software W3C compliance LOD (linked Open Data) compliance Content curation 5,000 digitized scores from 10 libraries 500 new editions (OSESP) Classical composers of all times Practical editions FAIR Principles Findable Acessible Interoperable Reusable
  11. 11. Contemporary composers Born-digital scores No preservation policy
  12. 12. INTEROPERABLE OPEN ARCHIVES LOD compliance New records for RISM database MUSICA BRASILIS 5000 digitized scores 10 libraries www 500 new editions (OSESP) Born digital scores DIGITAL NATIONAL LIBRARY
  13. 13.