The present-day Department of Music History ASCR, p. r.. i. (Kabinet hudební historie) continues the activities of the musicological department founded in 1962 within the framework of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (CSAS) under the name of the Institute for Musicology. The predecessors of the Department were Institute of Czech music history (Ústav pro dějiny české hudby), from 1959 founded and led by Mirko Očadlík (1904–1964) at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague, and the Cabinet for studies of contemporary music and marxistic musicology, founded around the same time as the Union of Czechoslovak Composers under the authorisation of musicologist and music aesthetic Antonín Sychra (1918–1969) and led by composer and music theorist Václav Kučera (*1929). The first head of the newly-founded academic institute was established musicologist and aestheticist Jaroslav Jiránek (1922–2001), and his assistants during this period were Karel Risinger (1920–2008) and musicologist Vladimír Lébl (1928–1987). From an original staff of seven, the Institute quickly expanded to around 30 academics by 1970. The initial idea was to divide research tasks in main musicological disciplines into several branches: historical (led by Miroslav Černý (1924–2011)), aesthetical- (led by Václav Kučera), and theoretical (led by Karel Risinger). This idea was later realised in the form of specialised teams for concrete research tasks. They founded one of the most important and well-equipped musicological libraries in the Czech Republic, along with the specialised academic journal Hudební věda, which has been continuously published from 1964 until today. In the 1960s, the Institute occupied one of the historical spaces in Valdštejn Palace in Prague Lesser Town. For a number of years, an acoustic sound laboratory and sound archive also functioned there. It was originally located in the ground floor of 7 Břehová street in Prague Old Town, where the Department of Musicology (earlier Katedra dějin hudby) was also located, and later in of the basement of a building in Vojtěšská street in Prague 1.

The Institute for Musicology was from the very beginning oriented towards source research in the sphere of music history in Czech lands during different historical periods, research on music theory and aesthetics, history and theory of the field of musicology, and also research in the field of popular music and psychology of music. From 1970, it also became the residence of the worldwide bibliographical database Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale (RILM). In the first years of the Intitute's existence, the highly-esteemed teamwork project Průvodce po pramenech k dějinám hudby. Fondy a sbírky uložené v Čechách (The Guide to Music History Sources: Archives and Collections in Bohemia, Prague 1969) was realised; the authors were Jaroslav Bužga, Jan Kouba, Eva Mikanová and Tomislav Volek; in addition, a number of monographic works featuring different composers (V. Lébl: Vítězslav Novák – život a dílo [Vítězslav Novák: Life and Work], 1964), electronic music (V. Lébl, 1966), music and sound in film (Milan Kuna, 1969), folksongs and popular music (Vladimír Karbusický, 1967; Josef Kotek, 1969), attempts for new theoretical conceptions of music (K. Risinger: Hierarchie hudebních celků [Hierarchy of Music Structures], 1969) and other topics were produced.

In the years between 1972–1990 the Institute, undergoing the consequences of normalisation measures, lost its independeence and was incorporated into the Institute of Theory and Art History of the CSAS; some of its personnel were also forced to leave. The heads of the musicology department were Josef Bek (1934–2005), followed by Jiří Bajer (1925–2005) and Petr Vít (*1944). For a number of years the Department occupied the former building of Albatros publishing house at the corner of Národní třída and Na Perštýně street in Prague 1. In spite of ideological and personal obstacles throughout the publication process, the research continuity remained preserved, along with the solid academic quality of most of the published titles. An earlier team project, Dějiny české hudební kultury 1890–1945 (History of Czech Musical Culture, I-1972, ed. J. Jiránek and V. Lébl; II-1981, ed. J. Jiránek and J. Bek), was completed and other projects were realised through joint cooperation with collaborators from other institutes including Hudba v českých dějinách (Music in Czech History, 1983, 21989, authors of single chapters: Jaromír Černý, Jan Kouba, Jiří Sehnal, Zdeňka Pilková, Petr Vít, Vladimír Lébl, Jitka Ludvová, ed. V. Lébl) and a three-volume overview of earlier developments and the state of the field, Hudební věda I–III (1988, ed. V. Lébl and Ivan Poledňák). Additionally, some other large-scale team projects were realised in cooperation with other institutions and external collaborators. Here a critical edition of Antonín Dvořák's documents and correspondence (Antonín Dvořák. Korespondence a dokumenty [A. Dvořák: Correspondence and Documents],10 volumes, 1987–2004, ed. Milan Kuna and others) must be mentioned along with several other publications, for example Encyklopedie jazzu a moderní populární hudby (I-1980, 21982, II-1986, III-1987, IV-1990, Antonín Matzner, Ivan Poledňák, Igor Wasserberger and others) and Základy hudební sémiotiky [Introduction to the Semiotics of Music]I–III (1992, Jiří Fukač, J. Jiránek, I. Poledňák and Jaroslav Volek). From among other individual academic publications from the musicological section published in the 70s and 80s, the catalogue of musical manuscripts of the national library in Prague (Václav Plocek: Catalogus codicum notis musicis instructorum qui ... in Bibliotheca Universitatis Pragensis servantur, I–II, 1973) must be mentioned, along with Mozart a Praha [Mozart and Prague] (Tomislav Volek, 1973), Nauka o harmonii XX. století (The Theory of 20th Century Harmony, K. Risinger, 1978), Hudební neoklasicismus (Musical Neoclassicism, Josef Bek, 1982), Hudba a výtvarné umění (Music and Art, Jarmila Doubravová, 1982), Česká hudební teorie 1750–1850 (Czech Music Theory 1750–1850) and its ensuing part Česká hudební teorie novější doby 1850–1900 (Czech Music Theory of the Newer Age 1850–1900, Jitka Ludvová, 1985 and 1989), Konstanty, dominanty a varianty Schulhoffova skladebného stylu (Constants, Dominants and Variants in Schulhoff's Composition Style, Oldřich Pukl, 1986), Estetické myšlení o hudbě. České země 1760–1860 (Aesthetical Thought in Music: The Czech Lands 1760–1860, Petr Vít, 1987), Česká symfonie 1945–1980 (The Czech Symphony 1945–1980, Jaromír Havlík, 1989) and others.

Several music sources were also published, for example Antonín Laube. Due Sinfonie (ed. Jaroslav Havlík, 1981), symphonies by J. J. Neruda, A. Kammel and Josef Mysliveček (ed. Zdena Pilková, included in the complete collected edition The Symphony 1720–1840, New York 1984), Melodie velikonočních slavností a her ze středověkých pramenů v Čechách I–III (The Melodies of Easter Celebrations and Plays from Medieval Sources in Bohemia, vol. I–III, ed. Václav Plocek, 1988), J. D. Zelenka - Benedictus Dominus (ed. Jana Vojtěšková, Stuttgart 1989). Several archival recordings were also realised.

Around 1980, members Marta Ottlová and Milan Pospíšil of the musicology department Institute of Theory and Art History of the CSAS were at the forefront of the renowned Plzeň (Pilsen) symposia and interdisciplenary meetings on 19th century issues, held annually from 1980 until the present day in the buildings of the Education and Research Library in Pilsen. With Ottlová and Pospíšil's redaction, the Institute of Theory and Art History published some of the symposium proceedings: Historické vědomí v českém umění 19. století (Historical Consciousness in the Czech Art of the 19th Century, in Uměnovědné studie III, 1981), Průmysl a technika v novodobé české kultuře (Industry and Engineering in Czech Modern Culture 1988), Proudy české umělecké tvorby 19. století: Sen a ideál (Movements in Czech 19th Century Artistic Production: the Dream and the Ideal 1990), Proudy české umělecké tvorby 19. století: Smích v umění (Movements in Czech 19th Century Artistic Production: Laughter in Art 1991) a Umění a civilizace jako divadlo světa (Art and Civilisation as the World Stage, 1993).

In 1990 the Institute of Musicology (Ústav pro hudební vědu, ÚHV ČSAV, later AVČR) under the leadership of Ivan Poledňák (1931–2009) regained its independence and moved to the building at Puškinovo náměstí 9 in Prague 6, where its successor – the Department of Music History, Institute of Ethnology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, p.r.i. – resides until this day. The number of workers was reduced in relation to severe personnel cuts throughout the entire Academy of Sciences during the 90s, from 17 to 13 people. After Ivan Poledňák's resignation from the function of director and his departure from ÚHV (1997) and after Milan Pospíšil's shorter stint as accredited director, Ivan Vojtěch (*1928) was nominated in 1998 as the new (and final) director of the Institute.

During the 90s, there was continuing interest in questions of psychology, aesthetics and semiotics (Ivan Poledňák, Marek Franěk, Petr Vít, Jarmila Doubravová), popular music (Ivan Poledňák, Josef Kotek, Aleš Opekar), Czech medieval music (Jana Vozková née Novotná, Markéta Kozinová, Jiří Kozina), music theory (Jitka Ludvová), 18th century music history (Tomislav Volek, JanaVojtěšková, Marek Franěk), 19th century music history (M. Ottlová, M. Pospíšil, J. Ludvová) and 20th century music history (M. Kuna, J. Ludvová, J. Havlík, Miroslav Pudlák). New ethnomusicological themes (Zuzana Jurková) also appeared. One important achievement was (among others) organising the international musicological congress of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Antonín Dvořák ; the congress took place in Dobříš, Prague in September 1991, and was prepared by Marta Ottlová and MilanPospíšil (c.f. Antonín Dvořák 1841–1991. Report of the International Musicological Congress Dobříš 17th –20th September 1991, 1994). An additional achievement was a large-scale international conference on French opéra-comique and its European reception, realised in cooperation with a then-partner institute in Bayreth/Thurnau in 1999 (c.f. proceedings Le rayonnement de l'opéra-comique en Europe au XIXe siècle. Actes du colloque international de musicologie tenu à Prague 12–14 mai 1999, ed. M. Pospíšil, A. Jacobshagen, F. Claudon and M. Ottlová, Praha 2003).

Despite its intial optimistic preparation, the ambitious lexicographical project Akademická hudební encyklopedie (Academic Music Encyclopaedia) was unfortunately never realised. Results from source research by institute staff from the 80s and 90s were published in book publications such as Hudba na hranici života. O činnosti a utrpení hudebníků z českých zemích v nacistických koncentračních táborech a věznicích (At the Border of Life: On the Activities and Hardships of Musicians in Czech Lands in Nazi Concentration Camps and Prisons, Milan Kuna, 1990), Dějiny české populární hudby a zpěvu I–II (History of Czech Popular Music, Josef Kotek, 1990, 1994), Dokonalý antiwagnerián Eduard Hanslick. Paměti, fejetony, kritiky (Perfect Antiwagnerian Eduard Hanslick: Memoires, Essays, Reviews, ed. Jitka Ludvová, 1992), and Bedřich Smetana a jeho doba (Bedřich Smetana and His Time, Marta Ottlová and Milan Pospíšil, 1997).

Published musical editions include: Böhmische Violinsonaten I–II (ed. Z. Pilková and Sonja Gerlach, München 1991), F. X. Brixi: Missa Dominicalis in C (ed. M. Franěk, 1991), J. J. Ryba: Missa pastoralis bohemica (ed. M. Kuna, Stuttgart 1994) and others. The extensive reconstruction and critical edition of Antonín Dvořák's first opera, Dimitrij op. 64 (ed. M. Pospíšil, 1991), remained, however, in manuscript.

After the end of Ivan Vojtěch's directorship, the Institute of Musicology was incorporated into the Institute of Ethnology ASCR on January 1 2003 due to administrative reasons as the Department of Music History. The head and simultaneous assistant director EÚ until 2013 was Jarmila Gabrielová, who particularly developed and supported Dvořák research focused on preparing Nové vydání díla Antonína Dvořáka (The New Dvořák Edition, NDE), with the cooperation (which continues until the present) Jan Kachlík, Tereza Kibicová, Petra Kolátorová, Markéta Štědronská, Ludmila Šmídová, později Helena Matějčková, Jan Pirner a Markéta Kratochvílová. Additionally, research on the music of Baroque and Classical periods continues, emphasising bohemical aspects (Michaela Freemanová, Milada Jonášová, Tomáš Slavický, Václav Kapsa), special hymnological (T. Slavický) and Mozart research (M. Jonášová), research on German music culture in Czech lands during the 19th–20th centuries (Jitka Bajgarová), folkloristic activities and works by Leoš Janáček (Jarmila Procházková), and compositions of Miloslav Kabeláč and other 20th century Czech composers (Pavel Kordík).

Among other rich activities, the intitiation and organisation of the extensive international conference to mark the 100 year anniversary of the death of Antonín Dvořák, which took place between September 8–11, 2004 in Prague under the name The Work of Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904). Aspects of Composition – Problems of Editing – Reception (c.f. conference proceedings of the same name, ed. J. Gabrielová and J. Kachlík, 2007) stands out. Also of note is another international musicological conference to mark the 250th anniversary of W.A. Mozart's birth, realised in Autumn 2006 (c.f. proceedings Böhmische Aspekte des Lebens und des Werkes von W. A. Mozart, ed. M. Jonášová a T. Volek, 2011), and the conference titled K otázkám monografického pojetí skladatelské osobnosti a výkladu jejího díla (to mark the lifetime jubilee of composer Karel Husa, September 2011; c.f. proceedings of the same name, ed. J. Bajgarová, 2013) and Czecho-German conference Mosty a propasti. Česko-německé hudební vztahy v meziválečném Československu / Zwischen Brücken und Gräben. Deutsch-tschechische Musikbeziehungen in der ČSR der Zwischenkriegszeit (November 2011). Among the booksfrom in recent years were notable publications Hudební spolky v Brně a jejich role při utváření „hudebního obrazu" města 1860–1918 (J. Bajgarová, 2005), V kontextu tvorby. František Hrabal 1933–2003 (ed. I. Vojtěch, 2006), Janáčkovy záznamy hudebního a tanečního folkloru I (ed. J. Procházková, 2006), Josef Hutter – Hudební myšlení II (ed. J. Gabrielová, 2006), Arnold Schönberg – Stile herrschen, Gedanken siegen. Ausgewählte Schriften (ed. I. Vojtěch and others., Mainz 2007), Vítězslav Novák a symbolismus. Údolí Nového království, op. 31, 1903 (P. Kordík, 2007), Vojenská hudba v kultuře a historii českých zemí (ed. J. Bajgarová, 2007), Hledání autenticity. Dvořákovy Moravské dvojzpěvy a historie jejich vydávání (J. Kachlík, 2009), Hudebníci hraběte Morzina. Příspěvek k dějinám šlechtických kapel v době baroka (V. Kapsa, 2010), and the catalogue of music collections of the Brothers Hospitallers in Bohemia and Moravia (Fratrum misericordiae artis musicae collectiones in Bohemia et Moravia reservatae, M. Freemanová, 2013) see more in the academic database ASEP.

Ústav pro hudební vědu při ČSAV, in: Československý hudební slovník osob a institucí II, author of the entry Bohumír Štědroň, Státní hudební vydavatelství, Praha 1965, p. 822;
Vladimír Lébl, Ivan Poledňák and others.: Hudební věda I, Státní pedagogické nakladatelství, Praha 1988, p. 248–250;
Ivan Poledňák, Milan Kuna and others.: Ústav pro hudební vědu Akademie věd České republiky 1962–1994, ÚHV AV ČR, Praha 1994;
Personal entries at www.ceskyhudebnislovnik.cz; also The New Grove Dictionnary of Music and Musicians (eds. S. Sadie – J. Tyrrell, 29 vol., Macmillen Publishers Limited, London etc. 2001) etc.

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