MUSIKEON BOOKS: THE PROJECT
Musikeon Books is the publishing imprint of Musikeon, the company we founded in 2003, and which has given us the opportunity to offer musicological services and products throughout the Spanish-speaking world, as well as to promote specialist musical training programmes on both sides of the Atlantic.
After years of cooperation in building a collection together with the publisher, Nortesur (Nortesur Musikeon), devoted principally to offering Spanish translations of texts written in other languages, we have decided to plough all our experience into this initiative by focusing on brand new texts written to precise and, in some cases, unorthodox guidelines.
Musikeon Books will release publications that approach music in line with the latest tendencies in contemporary musicology. They will be penned by artists and researchers of international renown. The idea is not simply to produce fine texts; we want our books to have the power to influence the world around us by contributing unconventional viewpoints and playing an active part in the issues faced by music, as well as the place it occupies in people’s lives.
Furthermore, we will put into practice a conceptual reworking of the relationship between author and publisher, with both working closely together in producing and distributing each book, a team-up that will bring financial terms unimaginable under a typical publishing set-up. Our catalogue will feature a selection of books in which we firmly believe, and we will gradually add to this from a standpoint of absolute confidence in the genuine need for each title.
Another characteristic of this project is the guarantee that all our books will be available in the key international libraries. We personally take charge of directly mailing copies to an inventory of leading institutions, thus assuring the dissemination of their content and the circulation of the names of the authors of our books, not only in Spanish-speaking countries but also in universities and libraries worldwide.
This outreach is indispensable if we want our books to help change a world in which, for sure, there is much that must be transformed. Among other things, it is still necessary to fight actively to achieve gender equality, which is neither upheld in our language nor as a normal part of many workplace environments. A book is a means to playing an active part in this struggle. So too, a website such as this one can hold one or two surprises in this sense.
We aim to provide maximum publishing quality, ruling out the increasingly more common digital printing option in favour of offset processes, and with conscientiously professional design for covers as well as inside pages, all in line with the strict house presentation criteria enshrined in the style manual we are making public.
We do all this with a firm belief in the worth of books printed on paper, accepting that while the electronic book is an excellent medium, it involves a different dimension when it comes to accessing knowledge. The traditional book form is already a technologically perfect object, and we believe wholeheartedly in its current value. In the words of Umberto Eco, who died just as we were finishing this project: “The book is like the spoon, scissors, the hammer, the wheel. Once invented, it cannot be improved.”
In launching this adventure through the publication of an actual style manual, Escribir sobre música is a declaration of intent as much as it is a means to ensure the coherence of our future releases. The aim of Musikeon has always been to be the kind of tool that stimulates creation and collective thought. In the Ibero-American world, the lack of shared criteria for writing on music has repeatedly led to the incorporation of rules that emerged in English-speaking countries. Our hope is that Escribir sobre música will become, over the years, the starting point of the long journey we wish to take alongside our friends on either side of the Atlantic.