Music blog

11 March 2014

Plainsong and Medieval Music Study Day at the British Library

The British Library is delighted to host this year's Annual Study Day of the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society, on Saturday 29 March 2014.

Open to all with free admission, this day will provide a major showcase of some of the important and exciting work currently being undertaken on the British Library's important collections of medieval and Renaissance music manuscripts.


The first session of the morning, starting at 10.30, will be devoted to Tudor manuscripts. David Fallows will present some of the exciting new discoveries he has recently made about the famous Henry VIII Book (Add. MS 31922, shown above). Thomas Neal will talk about Royal MS 8 G.vii, A Burgundian manuscript in early Tudor England, and Louise McInnes will speak about the Windsor carol book (Egerton MS 3307).


Before lunch, four speakers from the Old Hispanic Office Project at the University of Bristol will discuss various aspects of the liturgy and chant of the Iberian Peninsula in the early medieval period. Surprisingly, one of the largest collections of early Spanish chant manuscripts is found in the British Library, and this presentation by Emma Hornby, Elsa De Luca, Raquel Rojo Carrillo and Kati Ihnat will centre on some of these manuscripts.

In the afternoon, William Flynn will talk about an important but little-studied British Library manuscript of Hildegard of Bingen's writings, and two leading liturgical experts, Magnus Williamson and Matthew Cheung Salisbury, will give presentations about some of the sources of the Sarum Rite to be found in the Library's collections.

The day will conclude with an opportunity to see some of the manuscripts under discussion earlier in the day. Doors open at 10 for a prompt 10.30 start, and the event will finish by 4.30. The Study Day will take place in the Foyle Suite at the British Library Centre for Conservation, towards the back of the main Library building at 96 Euston Road. Lunch will be available in the Library's restaurant and café.

Attendance is limited to 60 people, and anyone wishing to attend is asked to register your intention to attend here:

For further details, and to download the programme for the day, please visit the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society website at Founded in 1888, the PMMS exists to promote the performance and study of liturgical chant and medieval polyphony, through the publication of editions, facsimiles and scholarly articles, and through educational and liaison events. This Study Day will also include the Annual General Meeting of the Society. New members are always welcome, and can join on the day. Membership includes a subscription to the Society’s twice-yearly journal and discounts on many of the Society's publications.



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