Música: Album-Revista Musical (Madrid, 1917)

Música: Album-Revista Musical

(Madrid, 1917)

Prepared by Francisco Giménez
Online only (2012)

Música: Álbum-Revista Musical [MAR] was published in Madrid from 1 January to 15 December 1917. The journal’s publication run consists of twenty-four bi-monthly issues, each containing between twenty and twenty-four pages. From the outset, the journal’s content may be described as “varied,” with the intended readership being the general public. MAR’s directors were the composer and musicologist Jesús Aroca y Ortega (1877-1935), for the music section, and the writer Emiliano Ramírez Ángel (1883-1928) for the literary section. Both influenced the aesthetic position of the publication in showing particular interest in the history of music and a strongly marked nationalist spirit that defended customs and valued traditionalism (casticismo), and in reacting negatively to modern music.

Each issue of MAR consists of two parts: one consisting of texts that aim to “collect the palpitations, the fruits and the aspirations of the current ‘renaissance’ of Spanish music”; and the other, a sheet music section, which comprises sixteen pages of compositions by well-known Spanish composers (such as Manuel de Falla, Joaquín Turina, Jesús Guridi, Amadeo Vives, and Tomás Bretón), and some lesser-known younger composers. The priorities of the journal are reflected in its subtitle “álbum-revista musical.” In fact, the content summary published on the journal’s cover page lists only the compositions included in the issue. Among the published compositions are fragments of zarzuelas, transcriptions for piano of orchestral scores and early compositions of Spanish music, and an abundance of songs and dances for piano.

The journal’s covers contain photographs of Spanish musicians, who, in turn, usually contribute an article for the same issue. In the journal’s first section authors deal with the core subjects related to Spanish music (symphonic music, zarzuela, opera, nationalism and modern music), and focus on the activities of the theaters and the Conservatory in Madrid. Only gradually is there an increase of information about musical life in the Spanish provinces. Photographs of musical ensembles, singers, and performers, as well as engravings of historical figures and caricatures are often included to enrich articles.

Música: Álbum-Revista Musical offers indispensable information about the concerns of the Spanish musicians, the musical activities in Madrid and Spanish provinces, and about the distribution and consumption of music in Spain in the early 20th century.