Annual Meeting of IAML Germany in Lübeck

Martina Falletta

Thursday, October 26, 2023

The annual meeting of IAML’s German national branch was held in Lübeck, Germany, on 19-22 September 2023. The University of Music Lübeck and the Library of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck served as hosts, and the event was organized in an exemplary fashion by Torsten Senkbeil, Martin Blank, and Arndt Schnoor.

Lübeck’s old town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. The famous Holsten Gate formed part of the city’s fortifications, seven church towers make the silhouette of the Altstadt unmistakable, and the brick buildings surrounded by water are home not only to the famous marzipan.

Before the actual start of the conference, Martin Bierwisch (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany) offered a workshop on the dating of musical sources, in particular 19th-century printed music editions. Speaking in the beautiful Scharbausaal of the Library of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck, he presented various aids including reference works, publishers’ directories, and online resources, while highlighting especially thorny problems through more detailed case studies. To mention but one memorable example, the plate number 179 occurs in diverse editions of the Schott publishing house on no fewer than four occasions. These include songs by Dalberg, a fugue by Mozart, variations by Gelinek, and a serenade by de Call. But how could a single plate number be used several times for altogether different editions? Since Schott gradually took over a number of other publishers, confusion was inevitable. In fact, Schott’s registers list about 1,100 works for the plate numbers running from 1 to 500. Using the Lübeck publisher Friedrich Wilhelm Kaibel as an example, Martin Bierwisch also demonstrated how one can gain a quick overview of a publisher’s activities and lay out a first directory of his output.

As usual at such IAML meetings, the first plenary session was dedicated to regional topics. The opening talk by Andreas Dreibrodt (City Library of Neumünster) invited the participants on an imaginary journey exploring the music libraries of Schleswig-Holstein. Wolfgang Sandberger introduced the audience to the Brahms Institute at the University of Music Lübeck, and Arndt Schnoor offered a guided tour allowing all an insight into the complex structure and diverse collections of the music department of the City Library of Lübeck (RISM siglum: D-LÜh RISM Catalog | RISM Online).

Two contributions by Desiree Mayer and Martha Stellmacher (both SLUB Dresden/NFDI4Culture) addressed the question “What services does NFDI4Culture offer for research data in the field of music?”, citing a number of practical examples for the use of research data in musicology. They also surveyed the various options to present research data in a form easily comprehensible and reusable for other actors. The FAIR principles reflect precisely these ideals: Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse, emphasizing that the full potential and meaning of any data can only unfold once it becomes findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable for all. One of the main goals of NFDI4Culture is to support this process of sharing one’s research data, thus also fostering the transparency of scholarly projects.

One of the highlights of the Lübeck meeting was the insightful exchange regarding music bequests as organized by the working group “Music Departments at Research Libraries.” Three different groups discussed at three (spatially separated) stations how one should go about handling such bequests. On the basis of which criteria should an estate be accepted by the library? In what detail should its contents be described? Where and how can such a collection be made available to the public?

Last but not least, an invitation was extended to the 2024 meeting in Frankfurt am Main. “Ei vergesse es net” - Save the date: See you next year from September 17 to 20 in Frankfurt am Main!

Image courtesy of Martina Falletta.

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