Music theory and music history at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in the early years of its existence
Source document: Musicologica Brunensia. 2009, vol. 44, iss. 1-2, pp. -24
ISSN1212-0391 (print)2336-436X (online)
License: Not specified license
The Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (commonly known as JAMU) was established in 1947. Ludvík Kundera was its rector from 1948 to 1961. His goal was to form a faculty consisting of prominent experts. From 1953 to 1963 music history and folk music were taught by Jiří Vysloužil. In his teaching he paid particular attention to 20th century music. As contemporary Western music was entirely unknown in Czechoslovakia at that time, he had to deal with a lack of professional literature and sheet music. For this purpose he developed a peculiar method of exchange between Universal Edition Vienna and the newly established library of JAMU: the former received scores of compositions by Janáček and Russian editions of Tchaikovsky, the latter scores of the leading representatives of 20th century music. These activities resulted in Vysloužil's book, Musicians of the 20th Century (1964), an essential text of Czech professional literature. Vysloužil also insisted on the formation of the Department of Music Theory, established early in 1960, and was appointed its head. The Department became an important foundation for many activities, such as the publication of JAMU Collections (seven of them were published) and of a special series of JAMU Papers, beginning with Vysloužil's paper on Ludvík Kundera. At the same time Vysloužil produced his papers on folk music studies, in particular the edition and arrangement of Janáček's legacy in the book Leoš Janáček on Folk Song and Folk Music (1955) and the three-volume monograph Folk Music in Moravia and Silesia (1957, still in manuscript).