Pirateria musicale

Monday, July 11, 2022

In the series RISM d-lib a valuable publication has been put online for anyone interested in ninteenth-century music sources: the rich study by Florian Bassani entitled “La pirateria musicale in Ticino durante il Risorgimento: Studi e documenti sulle attività clandestine degli editori Ricordi e Lucca in territorio svizzero” (“Music Piracy in Ticino at the time of the Risorgimento: Studies and documents on the secret activities of the publishers Ricordi and Lucca on Swiss territory”).

In the early years of copyright, the two great competitors of the Milanese music publishing industry, Giovanni Ricordi and Francesco Lucca, maintained two clandestine outposts in Ticino, near the Italian border, where for decades they produced reprints of works whose publishing rights they did not own. This musicological study recounts for the first time the intriguing events surrounding the trademarks “Mendrisio, presso Carlo Pozzi” – Ricordi’s agency – and “Chiasso dalla Stamperia L’Euterpe Ticinese” – Lucca’s silent workshop on Swiss soil. In addition to providing insights into the hard-hitting publishing business of the time, in the midst of the Italian Risorgimento, the work presents extensive archival documentation as well as the product catalogues of the two labels; editions that can still be found in music libraries worldwide.

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