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"Historical Landmarks of Contemporary Composition in Bahia (MHCC-UFBA)" is a research project that has been developed by the Graduate Music Program of the Federal University of Bahia since August 2000.The project has been partially sponsored by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) through research and technical-support grants.

Its main objectives are: to identify musical works with historical value in the trajectory of the Composition School of the Federal University of Bahia, to provide stylistic information about those works and thus to provide stimulus for their performance. With this aim, the project has undertaken two series of electronic editions which are available in PDF format for download. The first series is named after the project and produces critical score editions supplied with analytical commentaries. The second series, called "Theoretical Landmarks of Contemporary Composition in Bahia" is dedicated to theory essays and critical commentaries.


In its first phase (8/2000 - 7/2003), the project covered the period between two major composition events in Bahia: the Holy Week of 1966, landmark of the creation of the Composers Group of Bahia and the didactic project "ENTROncamentos SONoros", developed in 1972 with the objective of forming and informing audiences of contemporary music.

The edited composers are: Ernst Widmer, Jamary Oliveira, Lindembergue Cardoso, Milton Gomes, Antônio José Santana Martins (Tom Zé), Rinaldo Rossi and Alda Oliveira. Besides the works included in the two events aforementioned, the publications include works that received awards in composition contests between 1966 and 1972. From the e-books of this phase, those corresponding to the 6 surviving works of the Holy Week of 1966 (one of the works Pilatus, by Nikolau Kokron seems to be permanently lost) are also available on paper.


The second phase, initiated in August 2003 for 3 more years of studies, was projected for those works composed for the "Conjunto Música Nova" of the Federal University of Bahia. Created in 1973 by Piero Bastianelli and Ernst Widmer as a support group for the composers, this chamber ensemble inspired and stimulated a great number of Brazilian composers. They premiered many works in major national composition forums (such as the Biennials of Brazilian Contemporary Music and the Bahia Art Festivals), and sponsored several composition competitions of Latin American and national scope. Research concentrated upon works of composers from Bahia made for the ensemble in its first decade of existence (1973 - 1983). The selection includes awarded works and those which were nationally and internationally made public by the "Conjunto Música Nova".

The series "Theoretical Landmarks of Contemporary Composition in Bahia (MTCC-UFBA)" was initiated during this phase. It focuses on editions of unpublished theoretical, philosophical and critical texts, written by the Composers Group from Bahia. These editions are supplied with critical commentaries, thus providing a reflection upon the ideological aspects that directed the artistic production of the Group.


During the third study phase in development between March 2007 and February 2010, we will advance one more chronological stage (1984-1989). This will determine once again the progressive growth of the body of theoretic knowledge on the music discourse of the composers at the Federal University of Bahia. It also enlarges the MHCC and MTCC-UFBA series in number of works and composers as well, intensifying the participation of collaborative scholars. During this phase we bejun a new series of publications: the composers web-catalogues.

As a historical landmark for the beginning of this period, we considered the loss of two founding members of the Composers Group of Bahia: Walter Smeták and Rinaldo Rossi, who died in 1984. Two polemical and influent figures, both in building compositional thoughts (Smeták) and in disseminating new music at UFBA. Another double loss serves as a closing historical landmark for the period: Lindembergue Cardoso and Ernst Widmer died respectively in May 1989 and January 1990. Founding members of the Group, they had also leaded the artistic and intellectual production at UFBA. Therefore, in 1984 and in 1989, UFBA lost important constructive sources of compositional thoughts in the Music School.


The fourth and last phase of this project has been developed since March 2010, to be finished in February 2015. During this period, works of the decade 1990-1999 will be studied. The “Historical Landmarks” and the “Theoretical Landmarks” series will progress and the “Web Catalogues” series will be enlarged with three new volumes: the catalogues of Fernando Cerqueira (2011), Agnaldo Ribeiro (2013) and Jamary Oliveira (2014).

Ilza Nogueira
Research Coordinator
Professor of the Federal University of Paraíba


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