A Virtual Volume on Vitry

October 31 was Philippe de Vitry’s birthday! He would have turned 727 if he were, I dunno, Cthulhu or an elf or something. Happy Birthday, PdV!

In related news, this month saw the three-year mark of an international symposium on Vitry that was held at Yale on November 6–7, 2015. (On the one hand, it’s hard to believe it’s been three years. Then again, my daughter, who kicked emphatically in utero through the whole motet concert, turned two-and-a-half in September, so I guess it has been that long.)Screenshot 2018-11-20 10.41.52

My co-organizer Karen Desmond and I decided not to do a conference volume, but rather encouraged the participants to submit articles to journals appropriate to the wide range of work that was presented. The result has been that indeed a wide range of work on Vitry has recently come out in a range of books and journals. Mission accomplished!

But there are nice things about edited volumes as well, so I though it would be fun to assemble a bibliography of work stemming from the conference, which can act as something of a virtual conference volume. Here it is, with links where they are available. I’ll update this post as new things come out. (Famous last words.)

  • Margaret Bent and Kevin Brownlee, “Icarus, Phaeton, Haman: Did Vitry Know Dante?” forthcoming in Romania.
  • Karen Desmond, “Arts old and new,” Chapter 4 of Music and the moderni, 1300-1350: The ars nova in Theory and Practice (Cambridge, 2018), 115–59.
  • Karen Desmond, “‘One is the loneliest number . . .’: the semibreve stands alone,” Early Music 46, no. 3 (forthcoming), pre-print freely available here.
  • Karen Desmond and Anna Zayaruznaya, Editorial to the Vitry issue, Early Music 46, no. 3 (forthcoming), pre-print freely available here.
  • Elina G. Hamilton, “Philippe de Vitry in England: Musical Quotations in the Quatuor principalia and the Gratissima Tenors,” Studi Musicali, Nuova serie 09, no. 1 (2018), pp. 9–46.
  • Jared C. Hartt, “The Problem of the Vitry Motet Corpus: Sonority, Kinship, Attribution.” Music Theory and Analysis 4 (2017), 192–228, linked here.
  • Anne Walters Robertson, “A Musical Lesson for a King from the Roman de Fauvel,” in Music and Culture in the Middle Ages and Beyond: Liturgy, Sources, Symbolism, ed. Benjamin Brand and David J. Rothenberg (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 242-62.
  • William Watson, “Philippe de Vitry, Levi ben Gershon, and the Consonant Whole Tone.” Music Theory and Analysis 5 (2018): 28–57. https://doi.org/10.11116/MTA.5.1.2
  • Anna Zayaruznaya, “New Voices for Vitry,” Early Music 46, no. 3 (forthcoming), pre-print freely available here. and see the related blog post.
Screenshot 2018-11-20 10.41.20

Read Panna’s new book for free!

Upper voice coverThis morning I got some surprising and very welcome news about my book Upper-Voice Structures and Compositional Process in the Ars nova Motet, which was technically released last month by Routledge. Thanks to a partnership with ReadCube, the entire book is available online, without strings and without login. You can’t download it, but you can read it in full for the next 60 days by clicking here!

The representative from the press wrote: “Those you share the links with will be able to read the full book online and there are no restrictions on how many people you can send the link to” (emphasis original). So please help me spread the word!

I won’t say much about what the book is about—I think the title pretty much says it all. This is not interdisciplinary medieval studies work like my first, and it’s also much shorter than The Monstrous New Art. It presents a pretty straightforward thesis about how the outcomes of music analysis and interpretation can differ depending on the analyst’s point of departure. There is also much more music theory here than in my previous book:  the biggest takeaway on that front concerns the terms “color” and “talea,” which come out of the book meaning something a bit different from what we have tended to think.

I say that Upper-Voice Structures and Compositional Process in the Ars nova Motet was “technically published” because it hit a bit of a snag in production:

At least they got my last name right!

This issue is getting worked out and a new print run is in the works. But even once out it will be expensive, so I hope this ReadCube thing helps mitigate that somewhat. If you do read it, let me know what you think!