All Souls College, Oxford
Hilary Term, 2023
Led by Dr Margaret Bent (Convenor, All Souls College, Oxford) and Matthew Thomson (University College Dublin)
The seminars are all held via Zoom on Thursdays at 5 p.m. GMT. If you are planning to attend a seminar this term, please register using this form. For each seminar, those who have registered will receive an email with the Zoom invitation and any further materials a couple of days before the seminar. If you have questions, please just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday 26 January, 5pm GMT
Julia Craig-McFeely (DIAMM, University of Oxford)
The Sadler Sets of Partbooks and Tudor Music Copying
Discussants: Owen Rees (University of Oxford) and Magnus Williamson (University of Newcastle)
The digital recovery of the Sadler Partbooks has revealed considerably more than simply the notes written on the pages. Surprisingly more in fact. It has led to a re-evaluation of pretty much everything we thought we knew about the books and their inception, and indeed the culture of music copying in England in the mid- to late-16th century. This paper examines the question of who was responsible for copying Bodleian Library Mus. e. 1–5. Some tempting speculations are explored, and some new paradigms proposed.
Thursday 16 February, 5pm GMT
Martin Kirnbauer and the project team Vicentino21: Anne Smith, David Gallagher, Luigi Collarile and Johannes Keller (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis / FHNW)
Soav’ e dolce – Nicola Vicentino’s Intervallic Vision
The musical ideas and visions that Vicentino sets out in his writings L’antica musica ridotta alla moderna prattica (Rome 1555) and the Manifesto for his arciorgano can only be concretely traced on the basis of a few, mostly fragmentary, surviving compositions. However, the research carried out within the framework of the SNSF-funded research project “Vicentino21” (https://www.fhnw.ch/plattformen/vicentino21/), with the aim of creating a digital edition of Vicentino’s treatise, now provides concrete findings. Using the example of the madrigal Soav’ e dolce ardore (III:51, fol. 67), questions concerning Vicentino’s musical visions and the edition will be discussed.
Thursday 9 March, 5pm GMT
Emily Zazulia (University of California at Berkeley)
The Fifteenth-Century Song Mass: Some Challenges
Discussants: Fabrice Fitch (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and Sean Gallagher (New England Conservatory)
Love songs and the Catholic Mass do not make easy bedfellows. The earthly, amorous, even carnal feelings explored in fifteenth-century chansons seem at odds with the solemnity of Christian observance’s most central rite. Recent scholarship has attempted to bridge this divide, showing how some of these genre-crossing pieces conflate the earthly lady with the Virgin Mary, thereby effacing the divide between sacred and secular. But a substantial body of song masses survives whose source material is decidedly not amenable to this type of interpretation—masses based on songs that are less “My gracious lady is without peer” and more “Hey miller girl, come grind my grain”—or, as we shall see, worse. This paper turns an eye toward these misfit masses, surveying the corpus for a sense of what there is—the Whos, Whats, Wheres, and Whens—as a first step toward the Hows and Whys of these puzzling pieces. One particularly tricky example, the mass variously referred to as Je ne demande and Elle est bien malade, suggests that it may be time to replace prevailing sacred–secular interpretative models with a new approach.