Constança Capdeville's personal archive: difficulties in describing and documenting performative practices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Archiving music theatre works implies describing interactions, interventions and interpretations by creators, performers, musicologists, users and archivists. An in- depth understanding of music theatre, a performative genre that appeared in Europe throughout the 1960s, allows composers and performers to solidify the founding concepts of this performative genre and create new performance, production and pedagogical challenges. This article aims to discuss conceptual practices and methodologies between musicology and archival science to preserve music theatre works within a holistic perspective. This approach assists archivists’ work regarding the processing of existing documentation in creations involving collaborative practices, with particular impact on institutions dealing with performance preservation. It also contributes to boosting the access and intelligibility of music theatre works. In this article, I will approach as a case study the personal archive of the composer Constança Capdeville (1937-1992), the greatest figure associated to the music theatre genre in Portugal. Based on the problems inherent in Capdeville’s music theatre works, especially in archival contexts, I will reflect on possible approaches to archival description, also reflecting on specific tools that may assist the archiving of musical performances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-63
Number of pages23
JournalArchival Notes
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2023


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