Music, performance, and preservation: insights into documentation strategies for music theatre works

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This article encourages further discussion of certain concepts and practices for the music theatre creations by the composer Constança Capdeville (1937-92) in keeping with the time and context of her compositions. Her music theatre works incorporate by a certain hybridism as they juxtapose various artistic expressions such as dance, music, and theatre. Throughout the 1970s, the performance concept as understood today was not fully recognized, either by composers or by the performers, who collaborated with Capdeville within the context of the Portuguese music scene. In this regard, the composer António de Sousa Dias believes this stemmed from the tendency to connect the term with performance art or with certain positions linked to happenings or free improvization, which were not the main concern of Capdeville. Given the difficulty in classifying her musical works, we here discuss some etymological issues around the performance and re-performance concepts. Capdeville’s music theatre works combine different artistic expressions leading us to reflect on documentation strategies including interdisciplinary approaches from fields such as (digital) philology, computer science, archiving research and performing arts documentation, detailing here some perspectives and practices currently applied for preserving such artistic productions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-340
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal Of Performance Arts And Digital Media
Issue number3
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Digital technologies
  • Music theatre
  • Musicology
  • Performance art documentation


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