Indian Recordings (Schomerus 1929), Series 15/2

New publication in the series “The Complete Historical Collections 1899–1950”

Like the majority of Felix Exner’s collection (published as Series 15/1 in 2016), the Phonogramme made by Hilko Wiardo Schomerus were recorded in Madras (Chennai), although some 25 years later and presumably in another location. Since then, they have been preserved in the Phonogrammarchiv, but unlike Exner’s Phonogramme, which were studied by Kirste (1908) and Felber & Geiger (1912), they have not been described in the scholarly literature or edited before. The CD publication features 30 sound recordings from 1929, chiefly recitations of classical Tamil poetry. Today, these recordings are of great historical interest, as can be read in the detailed introduction. Alongside Schomerus’ professional career, his commitment to Tamil culture and his interests, which repeatedly took him to that part of the world, the documents unearthed also allow insights into his contact with the Phonogrammarchiv, his itinerary and his research methods. Thanks to the meticulous study of the texts, numerous references to contemporary issues and Schomerus’ painstaking method of working came to light. Further information concerns the biographical data of those reciting.
The transcriptions are linked to mp3 files, and the original protocols have been included as digital image files on the data disc; transcriptions of Schomerus’ German translations in the protocols have also been provided. In this publication, the sources (i.e., the sound recordings and the original protocols) are thus presented alongside the commentaries, which contain references to similar research projects as well as reflections on the value of sound recordings for modern research.

Published with the support of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

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