When I was in Italy during January earlier this year doing research for a production of Tosca, we visited Bologna where there is a very cute musical instrument museum. Opened in 2004, it’s called the International Museum and Library of Music.
In fact the museum is spread over two locations, one in the old town centre, and the other half of the collection housed in the convent of San Giacomo Maggiore, which is also home to the G.B. Martini music conservatory.
I went there to see the original manuscript of Rossini’s opera, The Barber of Seville. As it turns out, it is just a fair copy and not the original composer’s m.s., but still pretty interesting to see.
So the point of this post is not in itself about this wonderful little museum – although I did see instruments there that I have only ever read about or seen images in books – as it is about this philological statement on the importance of music at the entrance to the first gallery in the museum.
I don’t know who wrote it – interestingly the quote is not attributed in the museum either – but it is a wholly compelling statement as to the fundamental nature of music collections, archives and curation of Arti Musicali from the distant and near past.
Read it and I think you’ll be in agreement.