The Anatomy of Polyphonic Music around 1500

International Conference | Cascais, Portugal | 27-30 June, 2018

The Anatomy of Late 15th- and Early 16th-Century Iberian Polyphonic Music is a three-year project launched in 2016 and based in CESEM-Centre for the Study of Sociology and Aesthetics of Music at the Lisbon Nova University. It aims at providing a comprehensive account of Iberian repertories of the period between around the 1470s and 1520s, with special emphasis on the following areas:

– Analysis of the music in search for stylistically defining markers and patterns;
– Examination of the possible differences/similarities between Portuguese and Spanish repertories;
– Establishment of a philology of the works through the study of the sources, their texts, and their distribution;
– Research of new avenues for analysis, including computer-aided methodologies.

Please see <> for complete information.

With the project reaching its midpoint as of now, we are ready to share the findings, ideas and difficulties we have encountered so far. To that end, we are organising an international conference to be held in Cascais – a charming coastal town 30 Km west of Lisbon – on 27-30 June 2018. We would like to invite colleagues working in the music from the aforementioned period to join us in the discussion.

This conference will examine the identity of music repertories from around 1500. We understand repertories here as a group of musical works coherently linked together via cultural, geographical or institutional associations.

Although the conference stems from a project dissecting Iberian music, we are also interested in researching the methodologies and contexts regarding analysis and source studies on repertoires. For this reason we would be delighted to hear from current research with similar scope and methodological concerns, irrespective of the geographical or cultural area.

Moreover, as the project aims at providing elements that allow re-evaluating the position of Iberian polyphony within the wider European canvas, we would be especially interested in proposals dealing with exchanges and cross-fertilisation between specific repertories of various geographical and cultural areas.

With this in mind, we welcome papers developing any of the following topics in relation to repertories from the 1470s to the 1520s:

  1. Repertories and Styles:

– Structural and syntactic patterns that characterize a repertory
– Stylistic differences in regional repertories
– Stylistic markers as aids for ascertaining authorship and origin
– Analytical tools for the identification of stylistic markers

  1. Repertories and Contexts:

– Genre boundaries
– Cross-influences and exchanges within a pan-European context
– Formation of repertories

  1. Repertories and Sources:

– Sources as creators and repositories of repertories
– Interrelations between sources
– Processes of transmission and dissemination
– Philology of works and repertories

Abstracts for 20-minute papers (max. 250 words) and short biographies (max. 150 words) should be sent to <> by 15 January 2018. Participants will be informed of whether their abstracts have been accepted by 15 February 2018.

Since, in principle, we do not wish to have parallel sessions, so that participants are able to attend the whole event, there will be room for thirty papers, including presentations by the project team members. However, the format of the conference may be adjusted depending on the number and relevance of the proposals received.

Keynote speakers will include Agnese Pavanello (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis) and David Burn (KU Leuven). There will also be a concert by the Portuguese ensemble Polyphonos, and a concluding discussion panel on the conference main topics.

We intend to publish a volume containing a number of papers presented at the conference, which will go through a process of selection, peer review, and editing, as per academic standard.

This conference is co-hosted by the FCT-Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology through the project PTDC/CPC-MMU/0314/2014, CESEM at the Lisbon Nova University, and the Fundação Dom Luís I, Cascais.

Organizing committee: João Pedro d’Alvarenga, Esperanza Rodríguez-García, Nuno Raimundo (CESEM), and Isabel de Alvarenga (Fundação Dom Luís I).

More information soon at <>