I’m delighted to inform readers that my review article “Editing Early English Music” has recently appeared in Musicology Australia, the journal of the Musicological Society of Australia. In it, I compare two recent editions of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century music with connections to English composers, sources or musical styles: Reinhard Strohm’s Fifteenth-Century Liturgical Music, 6: Mass Settings from the Lucca Choirbook and David Fallows’s Secular Polyphony 1380–1480. I explore some of the difficulties faced by editors assembling a repertoire of musical compositions under the label of “English” and their different approaches to music editing. A complimentary copy of the article is available for the first 50 readers. If you have institutional access Musicology Australia you might like to follow this link instead.
I also authored a short review for the same issue of Musicology Australia on Margaret Bent’s recent book, Magister Jacobus de Ispania, Author of the Speculum Musicae. Bent has put forward in her book a fascinating new hypothesis concerning the origin of one of the most important music theorists of the early fourteenth century, proposing he can be identified with one of the founders of Oriel College, Oxford: James of Spain. My thoughts on Bent’s hypothesis and other interesting aspects of her book can be read in this complimentary copy here or by institutional subscribers to Musicology Australia here.
Last month I was very pleased to receive an offprint of a chapter of mine that develops and expands on a paper that I originally gave at the Early Music Editing: Principles, Techniques, and Future Directions conference held in Utrecht, 3-5 July, 2008. The abstract of the original paper read:
This paper seeks to establish a prima facie case for a new edition of the repertoire of music from the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century which is today referred to as the music of the ars subtilior. Although most of this body of compositions has been published in monumental editions in the 1970s and 1980s, these editions leave much to be desired both as sources of further scholarly enquiry and also as editions to be used for performance. This paper will detail some of the existing problems of published editions (including misreadings, errors, incomplete realisations) and how they might be avoided in a future edition using new technologies. In particular it will focus on cases within the scribal record of the ars subtilior that embody significant variants, including erasures representing scribal revision and/or scribal alteration of notational process. The emerging paradigms embodied by new technologies offer significant opportunities to move beyond Lachmannian and Bédierian theories of text criticism to principles of editing which preserve multiple local variants and empowers readers with a choice of readings.
Continue reading “Scribes and Editors at Work and at Play”