"Philippe de Vitry in England: Musical Quotation in the Quatuor principalia and the Gratissima Tenors," Studi Musicali, Nuova serie 9, no. 1 (2018), pp. 9–46.
Abstract (English & Italiano)
The music treatise Quatuor principalia, compiled in England during the first half of the fourteenth-century, is known to us through eight manuscripts, making it one of the most widely circulated treatises in late-medieval England. Unlike other English treatises of the time, this treatise incorporates a high number of contemporary theoretical ideas and musical examples from continental Europe. Of particular interest to modern scholarship is the mention of Philippe de Vitry as composer of two motets, Cum statua/Hugoand Vos quid admiramini/Gratissima.The use of Vitry's motets as examples, specifically to explain a still new notational device called the punctus, suggests author who was confident that his English readers knew this music well. Gratissimais found in Durham, Cathedral Library, C.I.20 while Hugois not extant in any manuscript from England. Further investigation reveals that there are multiple versions of Gratissimatenors, making a clear understanding of the passage in Quatuor principaliaa more complex matter. This paper takes as a starting point the quotations from Quatuor principaliato provide a musical perspective that considers the readers of its text within England before suggesting that perhaps these motets were also known by their tenors alone. A study of the text of the motet O vos omnes/Locus iste (also found in the Durham manuscript) suggests reasons to attribute the piece to Vitry, and hints at further possible connections among English musicians, Philippe de Vitry, Guillaume de Machaut, and Jehan de Mote.
Il trattato di musica Quatuor principalia, compilato in Inghilterra nella prima metà del XIV secolo, sopravvive in otto manoscritti e quindi è uno dei trattati più diffusi nell’Inghilterra del tardo Medioevo. A differenza di altri trattati inglesi dell’epoca, questo trattato incorpora molte idee teoriche contemporanee e esempi musicali dall’Europa continentale. Di particolare interesse per gli studiosi moderni è la citazione che Philippe de Vitry è stato compositore di due mottetti: Cum statua/Hugo e Vos quid admiramini/Gratissima. L’uso dei mottetti di Vitry come esempi, in particolare per spiegare quello che era un nuovo concetto di notazione, cioè, il punctus, suggerisce che il trattato fosse stato scritto da un autore che era sicuro che i suoi lettori inglesi conoscessero bene questa musica. Gratissimasi trova à Durham (Biblioteca della cattedrale, C.I.20), mentre Hugo non è presente in nessun manoscritto proveniente dall’Inghilterra, rendendo la comprensione della sua menzione nel trattato un problema complesso. Questo articolo usa le citazioni del Quatuor principalia come punto di partenza per fornire una prospettiva musicale che consideri i lettori del testo in Inghilterra e, inoltre, suggerisce che questi mottetti fossero conosciuti esclusivamente solo dai loro tenori. Uno studio del testo del mottetto O vos omnes/Locus iste (che si trova anche nel manoscritto di Durham) fornisce ragioni per attribuire la composizione a Vitry, e suggerisce ulteriori collegamenti tra Vitry, Guillaume de Machaut, Jehan de Mote, e musicisti inglesi.
"The Unique Patroness: Louise Hanson-Dyer and Her Letters to the Library of Congress, 1936-52," Notes, vol. 73, no. 4 (June, 2017), pp. 631–657.
The Australian-born Louise Hanson-Dyer (1884–1962) was known in her day to be an equal to her contemporaneous music patronesses, compared most regularly to her more well-known American equal, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1864–1953). The publishing house she founded, l’Oiseau-Lyre, specialized in producing publications of early music, and is still considered to be the cornerstone for editions of medieval and renaissance music today. Hanson-Dyer’s audio recordings featuring the same music provided the first widely-available sound reconstructions of music from the distant past. Although she supported many composers and performers through financial donations, she is singled out as a unique patroness in her obituary by Fontes Artis Musicae owing to the nature of her contribution to the world of music publishing. Among the Music Division Old Correspondence at the Library of Congress are preserved forty-one letters between Hanson-Dyer and staff of the Music Division. The discourse within the letters reveals a professional and personal relationship developed between the owner of l’Oiseau-Lyre and members of the Library of Congress—a relationship that was an essential part of her business to provide copyright protection for her unusual publications. This article retells the difficulties and triumphs of an ambitious enterprise through letters that crossed the Atlantic prior to and immediately following the Second World War. They reveal how nothing was too difficult for Hanson-Dyer, who ignored geographic barriers, gender stereotypes, cultural misunderstandings, and societal restrictions to provide informed, scholarly editions and recordings to an international community of music scholars and enthusiasts.
"Walter of Evesham's De speculatione musicae: Authority of Music Theory in Medieval England," Musica Disciplina (2014), pp. 153–166.
Editor's Note to Issue
This issue contains papers from the conference “The Gothic Revolution: music in Western Europe 1100–1300,” organized by Rob C. Wegman, and held at Princeton University, November 2011. While 14 papers appear here (sometimes revised or expanded), others have been (or will be) published elsewhere.
“Twin Treatises on Music: Exploring Anglo-Bohemian Connections of Kepler and Fludd in the Struggle for Modernity,” in Renaissance Music in the Slavic World, ed. Philippe Vandrix et al. (Turnhout: Brepols, December, 2019), pp.195–208.
In the essays collected in this volume, leading scholars from Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Poland, as well musicologists from Western Europe, take on the challenge of fulfilling a historiographical and cultural gap in music history by restoring the place of the countries of Central Europe that, as Milan Kundera put it succinctly, ‘vanished from the map of the West’. The opportunity to consider ‘other’ renaissances enlarges the historiographical perspectives of Renaissance musicology, going beyond the traditional focus on the Franco-Flemish or Franco-Italian axis, and opens new scenarios on unexplored Renaissance music. What was it that happened on a cultural and musical level on the Dalmatian coast — influenced by the economic boost of a powerful Venice? The same question emerges when considering Habsburg Prague and its renewed, central role in the European political theatre, and as a reaffirmed capital that inaugurated a period of economic and cultural renaissance for the Bohemian Kingdom. How did the secularization process evolve in these territories, caught between the religion wars following the Counter-Reformation in the West, and the Turkish threat on the East? What peculiar features does the musical production of these territories reveal? The preference accorded to the expression Renaissance Music is not to be intended as a shortcut. The intention of the contributing scholars is to focus on, and to handle independently, the endogenous cultural production without considering it only as a phenomenon of importation or as the mere imitation of an existing model.In this way, borders reveal a dialectical function in the context of musical Humanism, revealing here, maybe for the first time, an authentic European dimension.
"And in England, There are Singers: Grafting Oneself into the Origin of Music," Music, Myth and Story in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. Samantha Bassler and Katherine Butler (Suffolk: Boydell/Bewer, March 2019), pp. 46–59.
Myths and stories offer a window onto medieval and early modern musical culture. Far from merely offering material for musical settings, authoritative tales from classical mythology, ancient history and the Bible were treated as foundations for musical knowledge. Such myths were cited in support of arguments about the uses, effects, morality and preferred styles of music in sources as diverse as theoretical treatises, defences or critiques of music, art, sermons, educational literature and books of moral conduct. Newly written literary stories too were believed capable of moral instruction and influence, and were a medium through which ideas about music could be both explored and transmitted. How authors interpreted and weaved together these traditional stories, or created their own, reveals much about changing attitudes across the period.
Looking beyond the well-known figure of Orpheus, this collection explores the myriad stories that shaped not only musical thought, but also its styles, techniques and practices. The essays show that music itself performed and created knowledge in ways parallel to myth, and worked in tandem with old and new tales to construct social, political and philosophical views. This relationship was not static, however; as the Enlightenment dawned, the once authoritative gods became comic characters and myth became a medium for ridicule. Overall, the book provides a foundation for exploring myth and story throughout medieval and early modern culture, and facilitating further study into the Enlightenment and beyond.
"The Queen is a Doctor of Musicology?" American Musicological Society Blog, Musicology Now, Dec. 7, 2016.
"Gothic Revolution: Music in Western Europe 1100-1300," in Early Music, 40/1 (2012), pp. 159–160.