Research Focus

The Department of Music History focuses on researching music sources from the 14th – 20th centuries and publishing critical editions of musical landmarks from this period. 

The research on music in the Czech lands during the 17th to 18th centuries focuses on issues of hymnology, instrumental and sacred music of local composers, music at aristocratic courts in Bohemia, musical life in Prague, the reception of Italian opera of the 18th century in the Czech lands and the dissemination of W. A. Mozart’s work by Prague-based copyist workshops.

Long-term and systematic attention has been paid to the research of music sources related to the work of Antonín Dvořák. The outcome of this attention has formed the basis for preparing an edition of Dvořák’s collected works, which shall encompass the composer’s complete oeuvre including authentic versions, adaptations, unfinished pieces and works surviving only in fragments. The New Dvořák Edition is conceived as a scientific critical edition, but it shall also serve as a valuable resource for music practice.

Research at the Department of Music History has also focused on Leoš Janáček: hitherto unknown literary and music sources from his estate are currently being processed. Other important composers whose legacy is subject to scholarly interest include Otakar Ostrčil and Miroslav Kabeláč. Systematic research has been done in the area of music organisations and institutions in Bohemia and Moravia throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, with special attention paid to the multi-national aspects of music culture.

From 2005–2011 the Department participated in a research project of the Ethnological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, “Cultural Identity and Cultural Regionalism in the Process of Forming the Ethnic Picture of Europe” (AV0Z 90580513). The current project has been scheduled for the period up to 2016 thanks to a grant from Institutional Support of Long-Term Development of Research Institutions (RVO 68378076).

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