NLB And COMPASS Embark On Initiative To Preserve Singapore's Music Heritage

Release Date : 13 Nov 2009

MusicSG expected to benefit enthusiasts of Singapore's rich and diverse music traditions

Singapore, 13 November 2009 – In the first-of-its-kind collaboration between the National Library Board (NLB) and the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS), locally published musical works will be archived in a digital format with the aim of preserving and promoting Singapore's music heritage. The non-profit venture to create the music archive was inked today by NLB and COMPASS, best known for their expertise and best practices in archiving knowledge and copyright guardianship, respectively.

Initiated by NLB, MusicSG aims to encourage Singaporean artistes and composers and other music industry players to submit locally published musical works to the newly created depository. The works could include scores, lyrics and recordings published in Singapore or by Singaporeans overseas.

In addition to archiving Singapore's musical works, MusicSG intends to raise the awareness and to deepen an appreciation of Singapore's music heritage with avid music followers and the general public.

Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive of the National Library Board (NLB) said, “NLB is proud to partner COMPASS in this meaningful project that aims to preserve Singapore's music heritage. We firmly believe that MusicSG will not only serve as a comprehensive repository of Singapore music but will also act as a social glue that brings past and present generations closer together through the love and appreciation of Singapore music. This joint effort supports our Library 2010 vision to promote a knowledgeable and engaged society through a comprehensive range of information services and resources that are relevant to the community. We believe that knowledge is not only about books. Libraries should also play a role in engaging users to discover the arts in an environment that inspire learning, creativity and innovation. We hope that MusicSG will be to music lovers what the library is to avid readers and that it ignites curiosity about Singapore music heritage beyond our shores.”

MusicSG will also provide support to researchers and individuals pursuing studies in music and its related subjects. NLB on its part will work with COMPASS to ensure that intellectual property rights are respected and that copyright statutes are correctly adhered to.

Said Dr Edmund Lam, Chief Executive Officer of the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS), “We are extremely elated to be able to collaborate with NLB to support the establishment of MusicSG. We have an estimated 22,000 of local musical compositions in various music genres written by some 1000 members of COMPASS. The project is very timely as it will ensure our music history is properly preserved and easily accessible by present and future generations for education and enjoyment.”

An advisory committee chaired by Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive of NLB has been formed to oversee the project. The committee includes renowned Singaporean music makers such as Mr Mark Chan and Mr Vernon Cornelius, as well as members from professional bodies such as Ms Barbara Wong, General Manager of Recording Industry Association and Mr Yusnor Ef, President, Persatuan Penyanyi dan Karyawan Muzik Melayu Singapura (PERKAMUS). Please refer to Annex for the list of advisory committee members.

MusicSG hopes that donors will come forward to support this public initiative by donating music materials related to Singapore, as well as musical works created, composed or performed by Singaporeans particularly from the '40s to the '80s. These include vinyls; cassettes; CDs; VCDs; DVDs; posters; programme notes; pictures; photos, and newspaper and magazine clippings.

“I am happy that the two years I spent exploring the concept with NLB is finally bearing fruit, and to have played a leading role in sparking interest in the NLB to undertake this project. As an artiste and composer, I will certainly be honoured to deposit my works with MusicSG and to also encourage my colleagues in the industry to do likewise. In fact, I would like to see MusicSG being the catalyst for other Asian countries to start archiving their own music heritage and even form partnerships with leading archiving institutions around the world,” said Mr Mark Chan, a member of the MusicSG advisory committee.

“Any effort to make Singaporean composers and Singaporean music more visible to the music lovers is a worthy one. This effort by NLB and the cooperation with COMPASS is a truly innovative one and it is my hope that this will make Singaporeans aware of the vast body of high quality musical works created by our treasured musicians, past and present. I also hope that people around the world will make use of this service as a valuable resource,” commented Professor Jeremy Monteiro, board member of COMPASS.

No comments: