Tag Archives: Romania

Le fonds Brăiloiu

Established in 2009 by the Archives Internationales de Musique Populaire at the Musée d’Ethnographie in Geneva, Le fonds Brăiloiu is an open-access collection of 3028 recordings by the Romanian ethnomusicologist Constantin Brăiloiu (1893–1958) and his colleagues. The collection has also been issued by VDE-Gallo as Collection universelle de musique populaire/The world collection of folk music: Archives Constantin Brăiloiu, 1913–1953, a set of four CDs.

Above, Brăiloiu records Gheorge Musuleac in Romania in 1928. Below, one of Brăiloiu’s 1941 recordings of the Serbian flute player Milan Trandafir.

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Filed under Ethnomusicology, Europe, World music

Music on money

Like postage stamps, musical subjects depicted on money represent a type of iconography that is controlled by governmental organizations; their didactic goals are minimal, and their political role is paramount. Most often they involve the celebration of a national composer whose work embodied and enacted a national character—but their symbolism occasionally misfires.

For example, the above Romanian  50,000 lei banknote pictures George Enescu on the front alongside some recognizable musical images, but the depiction of a Bucegi-Mountains rock formation known in Romania as The Sphinx, which appears to be a reference to the character of the Sphinx in the composer’s opera Oedipe, was judged to be sufficiently puzzling to merit a redesign omitting the image.

This according to “Music on money: State legitimation and cultural representation” by Marin Marian-Bălaşa (Music in art XXVIII 1–2, pp. 173–189.

Related article: Enescu and makam

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Filed under 20th- and 21st-century music, Iconography