Polyphony in Medieval Paris

This is the event for everyone interested in medieval music and music history! The new book Polyphony in Paris, focuses on the history of medieval music in thirteenth-century Paris, the ways in which music was created and the contexts in which it was performed.

Page showing a music sheet

Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 29.1, Folio 147r, dated ca. 1240.

Welcome to the launch of Catherine A. Bradley's new book Polyphony in Medieval Paris. The Art of Composing with Plainchant.

About the book

Book cover (music sheet)Polyphony associated with the Parisian cathedral of Notre Dame marks a historical turning point in medieval music. Yet a lack of analytical or theoretical systems has discouraged close study of twelfth- and thirteenth-century musical objects, despite the fact that such creations represent the beginnings of musical composition as we know it. Is musical analysis possible for such medieval repertoires? Catherine A. Bradley demonstrates that it is, presenting new methodologies to illuminate processes of musical and poetic creation, from monophonic plainchant and vernacular French songs, to polyphonic organa, clausulae, and motets in both Latin and French. 

This book engages with questions of text-music relationships, liturgy, and the development of notational technologies, exploring concepts of authorship and originality as well as practices of quotation and musical reworking.


Catherine A. Bradley is Associate Professor at the Department of Musicology, UiO. She completed her undergraduate and masters degrees at the University of Oxford and received her Ph.D. from The University of Cambridge in 2011. 

Susan Rankin holds a personal chair in the University of Cambridge as ‘Professor of Medieval Music’. She was educated at the universities of Cambridge, King’s College London and Paris. Her scholarly work engages with music of the middle ages through its sources and notations and through its place and meaning within ritual.

Ildar Garipzanov is Professor of History at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, UiO. His academic interests are late antique and early medieval history in general (c. 300–1000), and more specifically, Carolingian history, the history of the Viking Age, and late antique and early medieval cultural history.

Published Feb. 19, 2019 10:52 AM - Last modified Oct. 11, 2019 2:20 PM