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Revista de Música

(Havana, 1960-1961)

Prepared by Gabriel Caballero
Online only (2018)

Revista de Música [RVA] was a trimestral publication edited by the Departamento de Música de la Biblioteca Nacional “José Martí” in La Habana, from January 1960 to October 1961. Argeliers León Pérez, Cuban composer and musicologist, and also Director of the National Library at the time of publication, states that the journal’s mission was to promote musicological knowledge in the country and to put its efforts into everything that would promote culture and strengthen national values in post-Revolution Cuba. Emphasis was given to works of investigation on Cuban music, but it did not neglect those of elsewhere, as the journal also intended to create liaisons with the rest of the countries of the American continent. Each issue contains three to five articles, with a “Noticias” [News] section in the last three, which gives account of the musical activities in Cuba, including those of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Cuba and the Orquesta de Cámara Nacional. The numbering is consistent throughout its issues and is only reset at the beginning of a new year. Biographical sketches of its collaborators, usually before the first article or towards its end, appear on every issue. These include professors, folklorist, composers, musicologists, and choreographers.

The political, economical, and social changes that affected music during the first year after the Revolution are detailed in Antonia Henriquez’ article which serves as an introduction to the journal’s first year of publication. Similarly, María Teresa Linares (musicologist and ethnographer) describes the events of the second year after the Revolution at the beginning of the second year of publication. Argeliers León, the journal’s editor, contributes with an essay and an analysis of Amadeo Roldan’s piano music. Two notable articles related to the history of the printing press in Cuba are Josefina Gonzlez’ on El Regañon de la Habana (renamed El Nuevo Regañon de la Habana in its second era), a satirical newspaper from the early nineteenth century and Zoila Lapique Becali’s on El Filarmónico Mensual. Gonzalez offers a compilation of correspondence sent to the satirical newspaper from its readers which illustrates the degree to which general audiences were engaged with the press while Lapique Becali presents her historical investigation on Cuba’s first musical newspaper. Dance is covered by Ramiro Guerra in his article on folk dances and their relationship to religious fertility rituals; in Manuel Ángel Márques essay of the “tumbas francesas,” dances of French-African descent inherited via Haiti; and in Jorge A. Gonzales notes on the history of ballet in Cuba. It is also worth noting that the importance and many activities of the Teatro Nacional de Cuba are discussed throughout the journal, whether in the news section or throughout its articles.

RIPM’s copy of RVA was obtained from the Library of Congress.