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Il Progresso musicale

(Rome, 1876)

Prepared by Elvidio Surian
Online only (2020)

Il Progresso musicale [PMU] was published in Rome in nine issues from 15 July to 30 December 1876: bimonthly in July-August, October; monthly in September, November, and December. It was printed throughout in a triple-column format, consisting altogether of 48 pages numbered continuously. A certain Gioacchino Muzzi is the sole director-proprietor and editor of the journal. As stated in the opening page, publication of the journal was proposed and very much solicited by numerous bandmasters as a complement to La Banda: pubblicazione mensile in partitura, also published by Muzzi. As a result PMU reports throughout on performances by military and civic bands in various Italian cities. A necessary reform of military bands is thus discussed in an article published on pages 17-18.

Among the features of interest of the journal are the rubrics “Cronaca cittadina”, which regularly reports mainly on operatic performances that took place in Rome in 1876; and “Pandemonio”, consisting of various short notices of music events in various Italian and European cities, citations of new operas on which composers are working, new journals published, and monuments erected in honor of celebrated musicians.

Noteworthy of attention are the series of articles on the transfer of Bellini’s ashes from Paris to Catania and on Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen. Of particular interest are the articles by organologist and musicologist Charles Meerens (1831-1909) that provide information on the fixed standard of pitch (the Diapason normal) established in Paris in 1858 and on his simplified method of notation.

The rubrics and the majority of the articles are not signed. As stated on page 41, starting in January 1877 PMU was merged into La Palestra musicale di Roma, the official periodical of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia.