Eton, Eton College Library, MS 178, fol. 1v-2r (Ⓒ Eton College Library)

This AHRC-funded project, a collaboration of  the University of Manchester with Bangor University (School of Music), the University of York (Department of History of Art), the Warburg Institute (School of Advanced Studies, University of London) and the Department of Digital Humanities (King’s College London) presents the first integrated resource for the study of the production and reading of polyphonic music sources from the period c.1480 to c. 1530 in a European context. This will be achieved through a systematic analysis and description of the mise-en-page: the ways in which verbal text, musical notation and other graphic devices interact on the pages of manuscripts and printed editions of that time.

Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Handschriftensammlung, ms. 11883, fol. 64r (Ⓒ Österreichische Nationalbibliothek)

The online resource will include: a metadata resource containing mise-en-page information on all extant manuscripts (c.300) and editions (c.80) of Western polyphony from c.1480 to c.1530; an illustrated terminological glossary; and the presentation and analysis of a number of selected sources covering a broad range of differing formats, layouts, functions, repertories, languages and levels of decoration.

The online resource will be complemented by an international conference in 2013 with a proceedings volume, and a book containing a selection of case studies with a series of chapters on overarching thematic issues.

We are also holding workshops and staging performances in collaboration with the Cappella Pratensis (currently the only professional vocal ensemble consistently singing from reproductions of original sources).