Ernesto Vieira (1848-1915)
From humble beginnings, Ernesto Vieira joined at the age of 12 at the National Conservatory where he completed his flute courses and harmony and has studied oboe and piano. Instrumentalist of merit, acted regularly in major orchestras and opera theaters in Lisbon. He was professor of Music Amateurs Academy and devoted himself teaching music theory, and author of manuals elementary solfeggio and theory, which remained in use in conservatories until the late 60s and were often reissued by the end of the twentieth century.
His Diccionário Musical (1890-1899) is an important contribution to the establishment of a Portuguese technical and musical terminology as part of the Western classical tradition. He left compositions for flute, some with pedagogical purpose. As a musicologist, has developed a pioneering work of systematic consultation of BNP (Nacional Library) funds, libraries of Évora and the University of Coimbra, as well as the musical archives of the cathedrals of Lisbon and Évora, while gathered an extensive personal collection of manuscripts and printed musical, theoretical and practical, of Portuguese authors of the century. XVIII and XIX, or by buying prays for supply of family and disciples of the composers themselves, and today is an important part of the musical backgrounds of the BNP.
It was the first Portuguese musicologist to overcome the mere historical and bibliographic research, linking it to the inventory and the analysis of practical music sources. He has written several articles of theoretical and historical-musical dissemination for revistas Gazeta Musical, Amphion, Gazeta Musical de Lisboa e Arte Musical, among others. In particular, left the monumental Diccionário Biographico de Musicos Portuguezes (1900), systematic survey of the work of authors and classical repertoire that is an indispensable reference for the study of any period of music in Portugal from the sixteenth to the nineteenth.
We own him an early drafting efforts in a systematic synthesis of the history of music in Portugal (1908). Without the scholarship of a Sousa Viterbo or the cosmopolitan musical culture of a Joaquim de Vasconcelos, and even showing a too focused vision of music in Portugal, which often leads to hardly sustainable value judgments about various authors and works that comes, Ernesto Vieira remains, however, by the rigor of concern in the documentary grounds for the factual statements which produces an irreplaceable informative reference for anyone studying the history of music in Portugal.