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Revista de Estudios Musicales

(Mendoza, 1949-1954)

Prepared by Ana Uribe Law
Online only (2024)

Revista de Estudios Musicales [RVE] was published by the Musicology Department within the Instituto Superior de Artes e Investigaciones Musicales of the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina. Printed semiannually, a total of 7 issues were published, usually ranging from 230 to 300 pages each. Issues 5 and 6 were published together as a single issue between 1950 and 1951, making it unusually long at 583 pages. An ordinance given on 10 May 1948 by Dr. I. Fernando Cruz, rector of the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, is printed in the first issue of the journal and states that “scientific, methodic and systematic research on the origins and evolution of folkloric Argentinian and American[1] music, its typical expressions, remote junctions and European influences” became a necessity that could only be achieved through the conception of a new conservatory and musicological department adjunct to the university. To achieve this, the renowned German/Uruguayan musicologist Francisco Curt Lange (1903-1997) was entrusted with the creation of this new musicological department. Simultaneously, he founded the Revista de Estudios Musicales, for which he would serve as editor to showcase Latin American musicological research on folkloric and academic music during a period when research tended otherwise to be centered on European music.

Born in Leipzig and educated in Germany, Francisco Curt Lange had been active in Uruguay for over 20 years and was a leading music scholar in Latin America. His work on Latin American music is well known; of note here are the previous journals he established and edited: the Boletín Latino-Americano de Música (Montevideo 1935, 1937, 1941, Lima 1936, Bogotá 1938, and Rio de Janeiro 1946) and the short-lived Música Viva (Montevideo, 1942). In his introduction to the Revista de Estudios Musicales, Lange he describes the evolution and trajectory of musicological studies in Europe and Latin America, the role of Argentina in the development of Latin American music and the evident growth of music institutions and conservatories as compared to other countries. Through this, he details the purpose and study proposal of the Instituto and its connection to the Buenos Aires Conservatory, demonstrating his efforts to connect the city of Mendoza with the capital city of Buenos Aires and its larger activities.

Each issue is divided into three large sections: (i) “Temas argentinos y latinoamericanos”; (ii) “Temas universales,” which was interchangeable with “Temas europeos”; and (iii) “Informaciones.” The first section usually contains two large articles pertaining to Argentinian or Latin American music, usually current research topics, while the second section concentrates on two or three articles relating to the repertoire of European music research. The “Informaciones” section mainly aimed to showcase music events and activities done within the Instituto and Musicology department as well as across Argentina. Some of the larger themes explored revolve around Latin American popular music, Argentinian nationalistic musical pride, indigenous musical research, and musical archives during the colonial period, all demonstrating a trend found in contemporary Latin American journals towards shifting the musicological narrative towards subjects outside of Europe.

Amongst the Revista de Estudios Musicales contributors are the Argentinian composer Josué Teofilo Wilkes, Jesuit father and researcher Pedro J. Grenón S. J., Mexican musicologist Vicente T. Mendoza, Peruvian composer Rodolfo Holzmann, Salvarodan composer and musicologist María Mendoza de Baratta, Texan musicologist and teacher Lota May Spell, Polish-Canadian ethnomusicologist Mieczslaw Kolinski, and Francisco Curt Lange himself.

Many interesting articles journals are directly related to the work of Lange. His monumental research on the American pianist, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, in Brazil is captured in the two-issue article “Vida y muerte de Louis Moreau Gottschalk en Rio de Janeiro” (August 1950, December 1950-April 1951). Although technically not finished (the 1951 piece stated that the work would be continued in later issues), the article and its annexed images, photographs, letters, and sheet music manage to encompass the significance and legacy of Gottschalk in Brazil. Other articles written by Curt Lange include both the introductions to Grenon’s article on Argentinian instrumental music (December 1950-April 1951) and Mendoza’s article “Música indígena otomí. Investigación musical en el Valle del Mezquital (1936)” (December 1950-April 1951); “Estudios brasileños (Mauricianas)” (April 1950) a short appreciation on Brazilian music manuscripts within the National Library of Rio de Janeiro and the attempt to create a national library solely dedicated to music; and “La música eclesiástica argentina en el período de la dominación hispánica (una investigación)” (December 1954). He also provides the translation to all articles originally published in English, including those by Lota M. Spell, Leo Schrade, Henry Jolles, José Subirá, Homer Ulrich, Alvin Johnson, Otto Kinkeldey and Michael M. Winesanker.

The inclusion of indigenous music research is evident through Vicente T. Mendoza’s article “Música indígena otomí. Investigación musical en el Valle del Mezquital (1936).” Spanning two issues, it details how the Mexican Otomí tribe viewed and understood music, and as such expressed cultural identity, as well as their fascination towards erotic music and dance. Additionally, Mendoza offers an extensive exploration of the tribe as a community, through which their musical activities are intertwined. The rich cataloging of Otomí songs along with their respective lyrical and music transcription attest to Mendoza’s effort to preserve the music and culture of the Otomí group. Other research articles on indigenous music can be found in the April 1950 issue, which includes María Mendoza de Baratta’s article “Ensayo sobre música indígena de El Salvador (Cuzcatlan),” Luis A. Delgadillo’s “La música indígena y colonial en Nicaragua,” and Julio Fonseca’s “Referencias sobre música costarricense.”

The first issue of Revista de Estudios Musicales mainly focuses on Argentinian and Latin American subjects, the only issue in which the section “Temas argentinos y latinoamericanos” has more than two articles. An appreciation of Argentinian, Peruvian, Mexican and Bolivian indigenous and popular music research is presented through the work of J. Luis Trenti Rocamora, Josué T. Wilkes, Rodolfo Holzmann, Rubén M. Campos and Antonio González Bravo. To contrast, Bonifacio Gil’s article in the third issue, “Mosaico folklorico de Extremadura” (April 1950), was commissioned by Francisco Curt Lange to showcase folkloric examples from the autonomous community in Spain. 

The focus on Argentinian music history can be assessed through articles written by Rodolfo Barbacci, “Documentación para la historia de la música Argentina 1801-1885” (December 1949) and Pedro Grenon S. J. “Nuestra primera música instrumental” (December 1950-April 1951). Both articles are chronologically complemently and demonstrate how musical documentation evolved in Argentina from the sixteenth- to the nineteenth century. The Argentinian composer Josué Teófilo Wilkes’ contributions stand out by attempting to view Argentinian music within the nation’s regions and through patriotism. His three articles “La música vernácula y el estado” (August 1949), “La antigua tonada tucumana. Por esta calle a lo largo y la seudo Vidala de la virgen generala. Estudio crítico” (April 1950) and “La rítmica especifica del cantar nativo. Noticia preliminar” (August 1950) all focus on Argentinian music during the early twentieth century and its place within the nation. He particularly investigates the legacy of vidala music from Tucumán and the study of classical vocal genres (e.g. Medieval, Classical and Gregorian) during and after the colonial period.

Other notable articles are Lota M. Spell’s research on the cathedral of Mexico, “La música en la catedral de México en el siglo XVI” (August 1950) and Rubén M. Campos’ “La música popular de México” (August 1949). Similarly, the collection of articles on J. S. Bach by Leo Schrade, Henry Jolles, José Subirá, Homer Ulrich, Alvin Johnson, Otto Kinkeldey, and Michael M. Winesanker provide new perspectives on the German composer.


This RIPM index was made from a copy of the journal held by the Library of Congress.


[1] American in this case meaning the two continents that are known as North and South America.