In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviewed by:
  • Noter, annoter, éditer la musique: Mélanges offerts à Catherine Massiped. by Cécile Reynaud and Herbert Schneider
  • Darwin F. Scott
Noter, annoter, éditer la musique: Mélanges offerts à Catherine Massip. Edited by Cécile Reynaud and Herbert Schneider. ( Hautes études médiévales et modernes, 103.) Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France; Geneva: Librairie Droz, 2012. [xvi, 752 p. ISBN 9782717725087 (BNF); 9782600013680 (Droz). i95.] Music examples, illustrations, bibliography, index.

For decades the scholarship, dedication, and influence of Catherine Massip—librarian, musicologist, teacher, and administrator extraordinaire—have identified her as a force majeure for the collection, preservation, editing, and study of French music and a champion of the trove of music sources housed in the libraries and archives of France. Following her retirement in 2010 after twenty-two years as director of the music department at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (henceforth BNF), an array of colleagues, former students, and friends from the ranks of librarians, musicologists, and musicians assembled to pay her collective homage with a volume of essays to celebrate a stellar career of accomplishment—a festschrift filled with heartfelt gratitude, admiration, and appreciation.

Lauding Massip as one of the BNF’s “grandes figures” (p. xii), the congratulatory preface by the library’s general director Jacqueline Sanson (2007–14) and the introductory portrait by coeditors Cécile Reynaud (chief curator at the BNF’s music department) and Herbert Schneider (emeritus professor of musicology at Saarland University) capture the essence of Massip’s epic contributions. Her impact on the field is fully verified in the volume’s final pages by an exhaustive bibliography of her voluminous published output as author and editor of monographs, essay collections, library and exhibition catalogs, music editions, articles, encyclopedia entries, reviews, and recording notes. An overture and finale frame the essay collection with special tributes: William Christie, founder of the ensemble Les arts florissants, fondly recounts his long professional association and deep friendship with “notre chère Catherine” (p. 4), while Marcelle Benoit shares (from recently rediscovered documents) the evaluation she prepared as a member of the examination jury during Massip’s dissertation defense at the Sorbonne, noting her admiration for Massip’s methods and great intellectual precision.

A pupil of Norbert Dufourcq, Massip quickly established herself as an authority on seventeenth-century French music with her published thesis, La vie des musiciens de Paris au temps de Mazarin( 1643–1661): Essai d’études sociale(La vie musicale en France sous les rois Bourbons, 24 [Paris: A. et J. Picard, 1976]), and her dissertation, revised and published as L’art de bien chanter: Michel Lambert, 1610–1696(Publications de la Société française de musicologie, troisième série: t. 6 [Paris: Société Française de Musicologie, 1999]). Upon employment in the BNF’s music department in 1976, her expertise expanded to encompass the sources of eighteenth-century French music and eventually a vigorous agenda for acquiring, documenting, and promoting the legacies of nineteenth-and especially twentieth-century composers, musicians, and dancers active in France, with a surge of interest during the 2000s in the life and work of Hector Berlioz. Massip’s recognition as an uncontestable research authority coupled with her relentless dedication to service led to prominent roles within many academic and library-based music organizations and initiatives from the late 1980s through 2013, [End Page 548]including membership on the advisory board of the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles (CMBV), terms as president of the Société française de musicologie, the International Association of Music Libraries, and Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale (RILM), as well as vice president of Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM).

To mirror the sweeping range of Massip’s acumen, the editors have employed a comparably broad thematic and chronological scope flavored by the multiple French contexts of the title words to craft a volume of specialized essays that address microcosms of music’s written historical record, be they the practices of composition, notation, revision, transmission, and publication conveyed by the primary sources; the description, history, or analysis of the music and its social milieu; texts created or appropriated for musical setting and the special correlations...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 548-556
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.