Scholars on Post-War Reform of the International Musicological Society


The publication describes in detail a little-known episode from the history of the International Musicological Society, a fragment of correspondence between Higini Anglèse and Jacques Handschin in June 1949, on the eve of the first post-war IMS congress. In the difficult conditions of the post-war period, aggravated by internal contradictions between members of the Society, Anglèse offers a brief program of immediate steps, including points on expanding publishing activities and developing transatlantic cooperation between musicologists. The reaction of Handschin, who was disappointed in the effectiveness of the Society’s work and disagreed with changes in its organizational structure, looks rather dry and skeptical. Analysis of the correspondence between scholars helps to understand which Anglèse’s ideas were implemented to one degree or another and how this influenced the development of musicology in the second half of the 20th century. The article also shows that the critical position of Handschin and some of his colleagues in relation to the activities of the Society — despite the fact that in 1949 they were in the minority — was taken into account subsequently, at the Fifth Congress (1952). However, by that time Handschin had distanced himself from IMS, concentrating his energies on collaboration with the American Institute of Musicology in Rome.


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