Philippe de Vitry: An International Symposium

CFP: Philippe de Vitry: An International Symposium, Yale University, 6–7 November, 2015
Philippe de Vitry: An International Symposium

6–7 November, 2015

CFP Deadline: January 10th
Yale University

As a renowned composer, music theorist, poet, and public intellectual Philippe de Vitry (1291–1361) left an indelible mark on fourteenth-century French culture and on the history of musical styles and notation broadly writ. This symposium will be the first to focus on this important figure. We welcome papers on any aspect of Vitry’s work and its reception as well as the social and political contexts in which he worked.

Possible paper topics might include:

• Vitry’s music: his cultivation of an individual style, his approaches to form, and the concomitant thorny issues of attribution

• Vitry as poet: the ballades exchanged with Jean de le Mote, his reputation and friendship with Petrarch, the Chapel de Trois fleurs de lis, 15th-century reception of his motet poetry

• Vitry and the church: his bishopric of Meaux, the papal court at Avignon, calls for crusade in the 1330s and -40s,

• Historiography: the modern reception of Vitry as music theorist, composer, and poet

• Vitry and the ‘ars nova’ as concept and practice

• Vitry’s circle (Jehan des Murs, Levi ben Gerson, Pierre Bersuire, etc.)

Professor Andrew Wathey (Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Northumbria University) will deliver a keynote entitled “Vitry at Meaux.”

There will be few formal presentations; Papers of 5,000-6,000 words will be pre-circulated to participants approximately two months before the conference, and most of the time will be spent on discussion. It is hoped that a volume of collected essays on Vitry will follow the conference.

Abstracts of c. 300 words should be sent to the conference organizers by January 10, 2015.  Speakers will be notified of acceptance in early February. It is not yet clear what level of financial support will be available to attendees, but we hope to have this information by late Spring. We also hope that the proximity of the conference to the AMS annual meeting in Kentucky the following weekend will allow those coming from far away to combine trips.


Karen Desmond, McGill University (

Anna Zayaruznaya, Yale University (