THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Music blog

28 February 2014

Music, Print and Culture in the 16th and 17th Centuries

The British Library and the Music Department at Royal Holloway, University of London, are pleased to announce a three-year PhD Studentship under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) Scheme, to commence 22 September 2014. The successful applicant will receive full funding (tuition fees; maintenance payment of £15,863 for 2014/15, increasing annually), plus associated expenses (£550 yearly maintenance payment from AHRC; up to £1,000 per annum from the British Library to cover travel and related costs).

Il primo libro della raccolta di Napolitane à tre voci (1570)This PhD will focus on the British Library’s holdings of 16th- and 17th-century printed music, which are among the largest in the world. About 320 items of its 16th-century printed music were digitized in 2011 by Early Music Online (EMO), a previous collaboration between Royal Holloway and the British Library. As part of this project, the catalogue records were enhanced to provide inventories, detailing every individual musical work in each volume for the first time. This has opened up the collections to in-depth exploration, and the EMO digital collection is now used by scholars and performers worldwide. The present studentship offers an opportunity to build on the work of EMO, by analysing the items already digitized and by enhancing the catalogue records for music editions that still await digitization.

This Partnership offers a collaborative supervisory team that brings together Royal Holloway musicologist Dr Stephen Rose with the Curator of Printed Music at the British Library, Dr Rupert Ridgewell. The successful candidate will profit from the academic and practical resources of both partner institutions, becoming a full participant in the international community of research students at Royal Holloway while also having the opportunity to gain first hand professional experience of curatorial work at the British Library in London, including cataloguing, digitization, conservation and exhibitions work.

The student will be allocated office space in the Library and be able to participate in the Library's rich programme of public events, study days and student seminars and to disseminate research findings to academic and non-academic audiences. The student will be expected to contribute to the re-cataloguing of 16th- or 17th-century printed music relevant to his/her research area. In the longer term, the blend of academic research and curatorial work should considerably enhance employment-related skills while inspiring a project with considerable potential for knowledge exchange and public impact.

Jardin musiqual, contenant plusieurs belles fleurs de chansons (1555?)
With the proviso that applicants must plan their research with a view to making substantive use of the British Library’s collections of 16th- and 17th-century printed music, they are welcome to shape the precise proposal according to their own interests, skills and initiative. Possible research questions may include:

• How did printers, editors and publishers shape and meet the new market for printed music in Europe in the 16th century?

• How did print allow music and musical ideas to be shared and disseminated across different regions of Europe?

• How were foreign musical works translated or adapted in the receiving nations to cater for changed cultural tastes?

• How did music-printing contribute to the identities of religious denominations in the Reformation, Counter Reformation and the religious conflicts of the 16th and 17th centuries?

• Which musical works and genres were most popular in early modern printed anthologies, and why?

• What do the formats and paratexts (e.g. dedications, prefaces, indexes) of the printed books reveal about how publishers negotiated patronage systems and the market in order to sell music?

• How was printed music owned and used, for instance by performers, institutions, collectors and antiquarians?

Applicants must have a first degree in an appropriate subject (minimum II.i), and a Master’s degree or other professional experience relevant to the scope of the project. The ability to read music notation is essential. The student will be based in London.

For full details and application forms, please see the Royal Holloway website.

 

 

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