The collections of the Theatre Department at the National Museum in Prague contain a set of sources that allow us to see how Bohuslav Martinů participated in preparing productions of his stage works. This is a collection of the composer’s correspondence and comments on stage direction written on the occasion of the first Prague performance of the four-part opera Hry o Marii (The Plays of Mary), H 236 in 1936. The text publishes full transcripts of all of these sources with critical commentary. This involves two letters from Bohuslav Martinů addressed to Josef Munclinger, one letter from the management of the National Theatre in Prague to Bohuslav Martinů, and two lists of the composer’s comments on stage direction.
In 2017 the National Museum – Czech Museum of Music obtained a rare set of memorabilia for the singer Emmy Destinn (1878–1930) from the estate of her friend Hilda Schueler-Mosert (1888–1965). The two women met in ca. 1905, and they remained in contact until Emmy Destinn’s death. Hilda Schueler, a German sculptress and painter, was forced to flee Germany with her husband in 1942 because of their Jewish origins. After the war, they settled in Sweden. The set of material contains letters, programmes and posters, newspaper clippings, photographs of the two women, and phonograph records. The items were donated by Hilda Schueler’s grandchildren, who live in Sweden.
The present harp collection of the National Museum – Czech Museum of Music contains Erard pedal harps from various periods of that famed Parisian company’s activity. In creating musical instruments, Sébastian Erard built upon the work of G. Cousineau and C. Groll and became the most successful manufacturer of double-action pedal harps with a fourchette (fork) mechanism (mécanique à fourchettes et à double mouvement). Erard’s work as an instrument maker influenced not only the historical development of the harp, but also the work of other instrument makers. In Bohemia, the Czech harp maker Alois Červenka (1858–1938) built upon Erard’s work with great success. The Erard harps in the collection of the Czech Museum of Music document the Czech socio-cultural context in which the harps of the French instrument maker were used from the late nineteenth century until the middle of the twentieth.
The manuscript fragment in the collection of the National Museum Library in Prague under shelf mark 1 D a 3/52 is a sheet of paper with writing on both sides, containing two strata of inscriptions. The first stratum consists of accounting records, one of which is dated to 1356. That is also the terminus post quem for the other stratum of inscriptions, namely the musical notation of two liturgical plainchants in two-voice organ paraphrases. This involves the introit Salve, sancta parens and the Kyrie magne Deus. The discant is written in black mensural notation on a staff, while the tenor, which quotes the plainchant melody, is partially written in musical notation on the same staff, partially notated by letters for note names, and partially only indicated by syllables of text of the original plainchant. This notation documents the transition from practise without notation to the written notation of music for keyboard instruments, and it significantly supplements the material found in treatises from the milieu of the ars organisandi, which are available to us from fifteenth-century manuscripts.
The music library of the Elizabethan Nuns in Prague contains a collection of music that was copied by cantors of the Studnička family from the village Suchomasty near Beroun. The first cantor in Suchomasty from 1769 was Josef Jan Jakoubek (1751–1810), the uncle of Jakub Jan Ryba, and after his departure for Mníšek pod Brdy in 1785, his successor was František Vincenc Studnička (1764–1826). František Ladislav Studnička (1797–1864) carried on the family tradition, followed by Otomar Studnička (1845 – after 1900), who later went to Prague and took the family music collection with him. He worked as a teacher at a public school in Libeň, then at the Saint Wenceslas Prison in Prague’s New Town. From 1884 he continued his work as a teacher at the prison in Pilsen-Bory. In 1889 he donated the family music collection to a convent of the Elizabethan Nuns. That material was integrated into the convent’s collection, and it was still being used in the twentieth century.
One Moment! Moderation as Technology in the 20th Century. Female agents connect media technology. They intervene decisively in the production process of stable landlines, of television images, audio channels, programmed computers, announced and chaired broadcasts. Women bypassed insufficient technical infrastructures, devices and studio environments, helped improving systems of producing media, and in this capacity moderated major shifts in the ways audiences watch, listen, browse and consume mediated images of the ‘world’ on the outside of receiver and the screen. Asa historiographic figure, female intervention was pioneering more flexible CVs- of individuals, of machines and of infrastructures - and shaped the courses of history.