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PASEV: Patrimonialization of Évora’s Soundscape – 1540-1910

This project intends to open and explore new perspectives on the cultural manifestations in the city of Évora and their term, through the study and analysis of the diverse musical activity during the chronological period between 1540 and 1910; it pretends to contribute to an effective patrimonialisation of Évora’s soundscape, which is very rich.

Évora was one of the most important Portuguese musical centers, with an activity that was, until the end of the Ancien Regime, dominated by more than twenty religious institutions – secular and monastic-conventual – inside and outside walls. A central core, around the Giraldo Square, which included the Cathedral, with the Chapel and the Choir Boys College, involving also the collegial church of Santo Antão and S. Tiago Church, and even five convents, alongside another institutions such as the Espírito Santo Jesuit College. Outside walls we can find the monastery of São Bento de Cástris, Cartuxa, and Santo António da Piedade, among others. Music in these institutions was a constant during the day , constituting an interesting effect that refers to the disembodied voices through sounds spreading through the streets (also such as bells). In this setting, flourished a group of polyphonic composers of superlative quality during the 16h and 17th centuries.

A certain artistic-cultural cosmopolitanism, confirmed by the circulation of foreign musicians, has  also  been  verified  in  Évora,  a  city  of  manifest  political  and  religious  importance.  In  the  19th  century ,  given  the historical circumstances associated to the victory of Liberalism, local corporations such as the Eborense Circle (1837) or the Civilizing Society União Eborense (1839) emerged. The notion of soundscapes that has been gaining relevance in the international musicology allows the understanding of the musical reality based on a wide-ranging contextual perspective, contrary to the approach focused only on one composer , or some other restrict aspect. It allows also to rebuild contexts, circuits and transits, and to map the presence of both music and musicians.

A further aim of the project is the elaboration of a digital platform that gathers the information in several formats and allows the creation of thematic roadmaps, so that the user can travel through the city following a certain theme, such as the church organs, or religious historical circuits, like for example the procession of Senhor Jesus dos Passos.

Project’s Website