First publication, in German, in co-edition with Violaine Trentesaux Mochizuki (Marquartstein-Institut) of “Die MRAD-Methode”, the manuscript of the Catholic priest and talented Swiss ethnomusicologist Ivar Schmutz-Schwaller (1935-1999)
December 2021 - The Laus Plena Foundation publishes, in German, in co-edition with Violaine Trentesaux Mochizuki (Marquartstein-Institut), “Die MRAD-Methode”, the manuscript of the Catholic priest and talented Swiss ethnomusicologist Ivar Schmutz-Schwaller (1935-1999), who died without having published the precious result of a lifetime of research.
The pubblication is proposed still in the context of the "Musicological Conference on Syriac Musical Traditions" organized by the Foundation with the Haute Ecole de Musique of Geneva (HEM) in March 2021.
Following the Second Vatican Council, Ivar Schmutz-Schwaller was in search of the compositional principles of Christian sacred melodies, which he said had been forgotten in recent centuries. He carried out very in-depth studies of the Syriac sacred music repertoire, among the oldest compositions of the Church. Shortly before his death, he said he had finished his work.
The publication of this manuscript, made possible thanks to the great work carried out by Violaine Trentesaux Mochizuki, his former student, makes it possible to finally make this complex text accessible to researchers. Much additional work will be needed, starting from translations into English and French, will be needed to make this treasure more accessible.
Nuri Iskandar, former director of the Aleppo Conservatory, and one of the leading experts in Syriac music, affirms that the method developed by Ivar, whom he had known during the long stay of the later in Aleppo, was the most refined and precise he had known so far. During his stay in Aleppo, Ivar had explained to him some of the principles of the methodology he developed. Nuri Iskandar reiterated this statement during the "Musicological Conference on the Syriac Musical Traditions", expressing his great admiration for the "Maestro" Ivar Schmutz- Schwaller.
Not only does Ivar Schmutz Schwaller propose a methodology of transcription of Syriac chants of great precision, which takes into account the rhythm - one of the central aspects for Syriac chant - but he also claimed to have found the key to the compositional principles applied by the Fathers of the Church.
In various articles published by Ivar, which can be found on the site dedicated by Violaine Trentesaux Mochizuki and from the Marquartstein-Institut to Ivar Schmutz-Schwaller, he explains how the rhythms are vectors for the announcement of the theological truths that the words of the Syriac songs contain, making chanting a true mean of evangelization.
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