Sources of Identity: Makers, Owners and Users of Music Sources Before 1600

Sources of Identity: Makers, Owners and Users of Music Sources Before 1600

4-6 October 2013, University of Sheffield, UK

Manuscript and print sources have traditionally had a central role in establishing and examining musical texts. However, they also have much to reveal about the meanings and purposes assigned to music by the people who commissioned, made, owned and used them. In this context, the ‘use’ of music sources extends beyond their role in live performance, to encompass also their use as gifts and as objects for collection and display. Aspects of noble, bourgeois, artistic and professional identities rested on the ways in which musical texts were selected, presented, distributed and used in this expanded sense. This conference turns the spotlight onto the people involved in music manuscripts and prints, asking what the sources with which they are connected can tell us about the various motives lying behind their investment in music.

Invited speakers will include Jane Alden (Wesleyan), Julie Cumming* (McGill), Honey Meconi (Rochester), Marica Tacconi* (Penn State), and Rob Wegman (Princeton). (*Funding allowing.) An anthology of essays deriving from the conference will be published in the Brepols series ‘Epitome musical’; it will be the subject of a proposal and selection process running parallel to that for the conference.

Conference website:

Proposals (250 words) for 20-min papers, paired papers and themed sessions should be sent to Catherine Haworth ( by 30 April 2013.

Queries can be addressed to the conference organisers, Lisa Colton( and Tim Shephard (

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