Magazine article Musical Opinion

Birmingham Conservatoire to Receive Funding to Create Digital Version of 15th Century Work

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Birmingham Conservatoire to Receive Funding to Create Digital Version of 15th Century Work

Article excerpt

The work of 15th century musical theorist, composer and lawyer Johannes Tinctoris will be brought to life by a worldleading project to be carried out at Birmingham Conservatoire, which is part of Birmingham City University. Professor Ronald Woodley has secured more than £400,000 of Arts and Humanities Research Counci (AHRC) to complete a unique online edition of the whole corpus of Tinctoris's writings www. earlymusictheory.org which will also be made available as a permanent resource on DVD.

The corpus of twelve Latin treatises by Johannes Tinctoris (c. 1435-1511) is widely acknowledged as one of the most significant and comprehensive sources for late medieval musical notation and compositiona process, as well as a central focus for important recent research on musical aesthetics and reception at this crucial turning-point in western European culture. Their content demonstrates not only an exceptiona technical command of the intellectually demanding musical notation and theory of the time, but aso an intimate acquaintance with contemporary compositional practice, derived from an indepth knowledge of the composers of his day and their music, both in northern Europe, where he began his career, and in Italy, where he was employed during the 1470s and '80s at the Aragonese royal court in Naples.

For the first time many of Tinctoris's Latin texts will be fully translated into English, which will further enable the detailed significance of the writings to be appreciated and explored by both scholarly readers and performance-based musicians in the early music community beyond academia.

An additional outcome will be the production of a new notation software package which will make available a wide spectrum of medieval and Renaissance musica notations for the first time to scholars, students, editors, publishers and performing musicians in a flexible and user-friendly application to a high professional level of historical and typographical accuracy. …

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