Music, Theory, and Their Sources | Newberry

Music, Theory, and Their Sources

The “Harp of Melody” from a fourteenth-century collection of musical treatises (VAULT Case MS 54.1)

Friday, June 19, 2020Tuesday, June 30, 2020
(This program continues for multiple sessions)
Friday, June 19; Tuesday, June 23; Friday, June 26; Tuesday, June 30

12-2 pm CDT


Organized by Ryan Taycher, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs

The study and performance of early music (pre-1700) requires us to recreate and represent past musical practices through consulting a variety of sources available to us today. The theme of the conference seeks to encourage an interdisciplinary exploration of the ways in which we engage with these sources of and for early music and the degrees of mediation intrinsic to them. This symposium highlights perspectives from disciplines such as music theory and analysis, musicology, performance practice, the history of music theory, codicology, art history, and digital humanities that take into consideration the sources for music and music theory, broadly construed.

This virtual conference will consist of a lecture-performance, a keynote address, and six scholarly paper sessions, all held over Zoom. Registrants will receive links to each Zoom meeting 1 hour before the start of the session.

Many of the sessions include precirculated material, either short papers or recorded presentations. Please come to the session prepared to discuss the material with the speakers. Links to precirculated materials are being distributed by email several days in advance of the session. If you have registered for the conference and have not received an email with the material, please check your spam folder. If you still have not received it, contact Ryan Taycher at

This conference is co-sponsored by the Early Music Analysis Interest Group of the Society for Music Theory and the Graduate Council of the University of Chicago.

Conference Schedule

Note: All times listed below are CDT.

Complete Schedule PDF

Friday, June 19

12-1 pm

Lecture-Performance: “Rediscovering the Renaissance Violin”

David Douglass, The Newberry Consort (Live Presentation)

1-2 pm

Session 1: Complex Counterpoint

“Mean Counterpoint and Temperamental Choices in the Early Baroque”
Evan Campbell, SUNY-Potsdam (Live Presentation)

“Mensural Rhythm and Misaligned Lovers in Machaut’s Motet 5”
Henry Burnam, Yale University (Precirculated Paper)

Tuesday, June 23

12-1 pm

Session 2: On Kings and Queens

“Performing the Harp of King David:
An Exegetical and Visual Study of Jacobus Senleches’s La harpe de melodie”
Rachel McNellis, Library of Congress (Precirculated Paper)

“Call to Swarms: Charles Butler’s Bee Song and Colonial Music Theory”
Patrick Fitzgibbon, University of Chicago (Live Presentation)

1:15-2:30 pm

Keynote Address: “Back to the Source”

Rob C. Wegman, Princeton University (Live Presentation)

Friday, June 26

12-1 pm

Session 3:(Re)transmission

“The Spanish Lux aeterna
Miriam Wendling, KU Leuven (Live Presentation)

“Re-Instrumentation in Komm, süßes Kreuz
Cella Westray, Northwestern University (Precirculated Recording)

1-2 pm

Session 4: The Diatonic Accidental

Una nota super A: hodie mi, sed heri fa
Liam Hynes-Tawa, Yale University (Precirculated Paper)

“Gesualdo’s Transgressive Diatonicism”
Kyle Adams, Indiana University (Live Presentation)

Tuesday, June 30

12-1 pm

Session 5: Practical Theory, Theoretical Practice

“Vitriacan Practice as Theory”
Anna Zayaruznaya, Yale University (Precirculated Paper)

“(Re-)Reading Music Theory for Guidance on Tempo in the Josquin Generation”
Brett Kostrzewski, Boston University (Precirculated Recording)

1-2 pm

Session 6: Theoretical Discourse in Early Modern England

“Seventeenth-Century Music Theory and Margaret Cavendish’s Discourse on Materialism, 1650–1670”
Yujin Jang, University of Pittsburgh (Live Presentation)

“Complicating the Modal Paradigm with the Music of William Byrd”
Megan Kaes Long, Oberlin Conservatory (Precirculated Recording)

Cost and Registration Information 

This event is free and open to the public, but registration in advance is required. To register, complete this online registration form. Zoom links will be sent for each session on the morning of the day it occurs.