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The first organological society in Portugal, Associação Nacional de Instrumentos Musicais – ANIMUSIC, was created in January of 2010 with the main objective of establishing a working structure for the science of musical instruments. The rich historical past of this country, from prehistory to the present, is linked with the international scenery, especially noticeable in the early age of overseas’ expansion. Being aware of this strong cultural interchange along the years, ANIMUSIC was established not only to focus on national facets but also to assemble foreign enterprises, especially those that have influenced or were influenced by Portugal. On the other hand, given the diversity of areas involved, this Association provides a binding platform for the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge within an interdisciplinary strategy. ANIMUSIC thus contributes to the recognition of musical instruments in the world as part and partners of the human life since always – simultaneously products and production of evolution, where inventiveness and Art are fused.

With the common goal of protecting and promoting the existing patrimony, as well as to propel innovation and scientific research, the members of this Association have a wide variety of interests. For converging efforts and experiences, each member can participate in one or more groups which concentrate the main areas of study or activity in Organology, comprising: arts (in general), archaeology, anthropology, ethnology, classification and cataloguing of instruments, technical drawing, iconography, physics, acoustics, electronics, informatics, mechanical instruments, strings (without keyboard), keyboards, free reeds, wind instruments, percussion, regional instruments, museology, restoration, conservation and tuning.

Helping to widen the comprehension of the art/s of sound is among ANIMUSIC’s aims, namely through publications and activities. All the collected information is accessible through the internet, such as a list of specialised bibliography and links to publishers. Selected books are being reviewed (bilingually) and all the available articles, essays or shorter texts are provided, mostly in pdf format. The Association is also editing monographs and educational material, for instance small books for children on musical instruments and games. A “Guide to Cataloguing and Analytical Description of Musical Instruments” and “Norms for the preservation of musical instruments” were conceived as supporting tools and following the creation of a Database of Musical Instruments held in Portuguese collections, a project that was at the genesis of ANIMUSIC. Measuring and analytical techniques are being developed for objects, iconography and sound projection, and pioneering work regarding the acoustical properties of rocks in archaeological sites has been published in congress proceedings. Members of ANIMUSIC are also contributing to the next edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, the world reference source on this subject. There is research being carried out on classification and terminology matters, comparing Portuguese with other languages. ANIMUSIC is also engaged in practical instruction, providing courses that range from experimental archaeology to wood-cell identification. It organises and helps to organise lectures, lecture-recitals, seminars, symposia and congresses in Portugal, as well as other activities.

Besides giving support to the community in what concerns organological issues, ANIMUSIC was created due to the necessity to gather diverse efforts from different fields of knowledge. Various databases are in the genesis of this Association, projects that collect all the information regarding objects that produce or represent sound making, including regional makers and artists. This Association is searching connectivity with all people and institutions who share similar interests and goals, national and international, creating a network of contacts and interchange. Members have been present in international congresses with distinct thematic subjects, namely in organology, acoustics, museology, musicology or music archaeology. Projects are being built, in Portugal and with other countries, which foment the exchange of information and partnership in different areas of study.

ANIMUSIC is a non-governmental and a non-profit organisation built on voluntary work, working mainly with free resources. Basically all expenses depend on the income produced from each activity, having also support from other institutions involved. Members pay a symbolic registration fee and there is no payment of annual fees. The National Association for Musical Instruments is linked to the University of Évora through its President, researcher at the Unidade de Investigação em Música e Musicologia, as well as to international organological societies, such as the American Musical Instrument Society, or The Galpin Society, through its President Jeremy Montagu, co-founder and Vice-President of ANIMUSIC. The Association is registered at the ECAS (European Commission’s user Authentication Service) as a research institution with its President acting as LEAR. Connecting science and culture, ANIMUSIC is devoted to the development of organology and all related areas.