News update: Convent polyphony at Triora Musica, and research at large

Finally breaking radio silence after many weeks of boffin activity for me (Laurie) and course activity for Deborah! I certainly didn’t intend to leave off news for such a long time, but so many things converged in the spring and early summer. Some brief updates here.

Course at Triora Musica: This past week, 22-29 July, Deborah and I led our second course on convent polyphony in her beautiful home in Triora, a fabulous medieval town in the mountains of Liguria.  The week was dedicated to work on late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century music, mostly from a mid-sixteenth-century Florentine manuscript, now housed in the library of the Conservatoire Royal in Brussels. The course participants were energetic and enthusiastic research subjects, helping Deborah and me begin to understand this enigmatic repertoire.  They patiently listened while we mulled over underlay and ficta, trying out different permutations and getting a great deal of use out of their pencils and erasers.  We even had a short session on extemporised polyphony (sixteenth-century backing vocals!!).  The Saturday concert was very well attended by locals and tourists, and we treated them to a programme of chant and polyphony by Brumel, Willaert, Asola, as well as the mysterious anonymous composer(s) of the Brussels Manuscript.

Research: Where do I start? Probably with the online publication of an article in Early Music on convent polyphony in the early sixteenth century. We are really happy finally to see this out in the world, so that other musicians can see what we do, why and how. Following on from this, the research that underpins Lucrezia Borgia’s Daughter will be coming out in the December issue of the Journal of the American Musicological Society. As if that weren’t enough to have been keeping me busy, I have also been putting the finishing touches on The Book, Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara, which we hope will emerge, heavily laden with All The Research Things sometime in 2018, from Cambridge University Press. All of these, together with presentations at the University of Texas, Austin, at the Second annual conference hosted by the Historical Performance Institute of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, for the Centre for the Study of Music, Gender, and Identity at the University of Huddersfield, and the Medieval-Renaissance Music Conference in Prague, have meant that I took my eye off the website for a while. Ahem.

Now that this marathon season has finished, I can finally get down to uploading performance editions of some of the music from Lucrezia Borgia’s Daughter.  I know that many people have been very, very patient and I’m grateful! I’ll be sending out notices via the mailing list very soon.