Musicanada (periodical)

Musicanada was a classical music journal issued from May 1967 to December 1970 by the Canadian Music Centre, and from November 1976 to Winter 1988–89 by the Canadian Music Council.

Musicanada was a classical music journal issued from May 1967 to December 1970 by the Canadian Music Centre, and from November 1976 to Winter 1988–89 by the Canadian Music Council.

Under the Canadian Music Centre, 1967–70

In its first phase, edited by Keith MacMillan and published separately in French and English in Toronto, Musicanada comprised 29 issues of 15–20 pages each. It achieved a consistency and informational density possibly unprecedented in a Canadian music periodical. A house organ of the Canadian Music Centre, its essential concern was composers and their works. Each issue (nos. 7 and 26 excepted) contained a short interview with a leading composer, giving him or her the opportunity to pronounce on fundamental aesthetic and technical matters.

Interviewees, listed in order of appearance, included: Murray Adaskin, Clermont Pépin, Jean Papineau-Couture, Harry Somers, Srul Irving Glick, John Beckwith, Harry Freedman, John Weinzweig, Serge Garant, Bruce Mather, Godfrey Ridout, Violet Archer, R. Murray Schafer, István Anhalt, Roger Matton, Alexander Brott, Talivaldis Kenins, Norma Beecroft, Otto Joachim, Barbara Pentland, Udo Kasemets, S. C. Eckhardt-Gramatté, Gilles Tremblay, Oskar Morawetz, Jacques Hétu, Lorne Betts and Robert Turner.

Most issues also listed new scores received at the centre and contained a news section titled Here and There. Some issues carried up-to-date lists of composition contests. Other special lists included Rachel Cavalho’s “Canadian piano music for teaching” in issue 12; a survey of recordings of Canadian works in issue 26; and a comprehensive list of works written for the centennial celebrations in issue 7. In addition to the aforementioned, contributors to the first phase of Musicanada included: C. Laughton Bird, Marcelle Corneille, Stephen Freygood, Helmut Kallmann, George Little, Joseph Macerollo and Sir Ernest MacMillan.

Musicanada was discontinued in 1970 when the centre committed itself to the publication of a series of monographs on Canadian composers and was unable to finance both projects.

Under the Canadian Music Council, 1976–89

Musicanada was revived — in title but not in format — with issue 30, published in Ottawa in November 1976 under the Canadian Music Council. Guy Huot, the council's executive secretary, was appointed editor. He was succeeded from issue 59–60 (January 1988) to the final issue (62, Winter 1988–89) by Myra Grimley Dahl.

This second phase was planned as a quarterly, although it produced only three issues in some years and none in 1987. It offered its contents in French and English in the same issue and covered Canadian musical life more broadly than did its predecessor, containing regional reports, festival news, book and record reviews, competition results and a variety of short features. Some issues were built around a particular topic, e.g., orchestras (no. 51), composition (no. 52), youth and music (no. 54), concert hall acoustics (no. 55), religious music (no. 56) and music in the electronic age (no. 57).

The list of new compositions received at the Canadian Music Centre was a notable carry-over from the previous Musicanada but was dropped as of issue 49 for financial reasons.

Other Publications

In 2001, the Canadian Music Centre published the book Musicanada 2000: A Celebration of Canadian Composers, edited by Timothy Maloney and featuring articles in French and English.

Neither magazine described above should be confused with MusiCanada, which published three issues in French (in October and December 1922, and February 1923), or with Music Canada, a pop music journal published monthly in Toronto by J. Cee Productions from September 1970 to December 1971, and its successor, Music Canada Quarterly (1972–76).

Musicanada was also the name of a 1975 National Film Board documentary focusing on musicians such as Maureen Forrester, Glenn Gould and Gilles Vigneualt, as well as a series of elementary school music textbooks.


Further Reading

  • Timothy Maloney, ed., Musicanada 2000: A Celebration of Canadian Composers (Montréal: Editions Libre, 2001).

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