After a long process, Barcelona’s Museu de la Música has concluded the digitisation of its collection of perforated cardboard discs dating from the late 19th century and early 20th century.
The museum has one of the most extensive public collections of perforated cardboard discs in Spain, consisting of approximately 140 specimens. By digitising this collection, the museum has made the files for each of the discs and their sound recordings accessible to everyone, via its library catalogue.
The Ariston company produced these discs for an organette that was also called an Ariston. These free-reed instruments were very popular from 1876 and remained in production until 1910.
The process of conservation and digitisation by the Museu de la Música of the perforated cardboard disc collection was carried out in several stages. The first was the physical restoration of each individual medium and then a high-resolution photo of every one of the discs was taken.
The company Accenture, working altruistically and whom we would like to thank for their commitment and collaboration, created a MIDI file based on the image of the disc, which sampled the audio files with the sound of a crank organ. This process permits users to listen to the music without having to use the cardboard disc directly, enabling us to guarantee the safety and conservation of all the pieces.
The result of this long process has given us an insight into what the most listened-to melodies were in Catalonia at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, revealing an appetite for extracts from opera and zarzuelas, such as La verbena de la paloma, La Diva and La Gran Vía; national anthems such asHimno de Riego and (three times the national anthem of Spain) La Marseillaise, and lots of music to dance to such as jotas, chotis, sardanas, habaneras and waltzes.
Find more information on the Museu de la Música blog
Aleix Palau | 5 May 2020
The Museu de la Música concludes the digitisation of its collection of perforated cardboard discs
The collection, consisting of approximately 140 discs, is one of the most complete in Spain and has been digitised by the company Accenture. The sound files can be listened to online via the Museu de la Música library catalogue.