• Education

    Thomas Forrest Kelly on the history of musical notation

    For most of human history, music was not “written down.” Music was an experience confined in time and space; there was no way to make a record of which notes should be sung when and how. One reason we don’t know how earlier forms of music sounded is because of the absence of adequate systems of notation. Beginning in the 11th century, systems for the recording of pitch and rhythm began to develop. In that development, the possibilities for musical composition and performance were transformed, as were the conception of what music is and the social placement of musical practices. Thomas Forrest Kelly’s book Capturing Music: The Story of Notation…

  • Education

    Christopher Page on The Christian West and Its Singers: The First Thousand Years

    In 2010, I had the great privilege of interviewing singer, conductor, and scholar Christopher Page. He had recently written The Christian West and its Singers: The First Thousand Years. Page is Professor of Medieval Music and Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge. Since that interview, Page has given a number of lectures at Gresham College in the City of London. “The Christian Singer from the Gospels to the Gothic Cathedrals” (6 lectures) may be heard here. “Music, Imagination, and Experience in the Medieval World” (6 lectures) may be heard here.

  • Education

    “The Christian Singer from the Gospels to the Gothic Cathedrals” — Six Lectures

    In 2015-2016, conductor and musicologist Christopher Page gave a series of lectures titled “Music, Imagination, and Experience in the Medieval World.” They were sponsored by Gresham College, which was founded in 1597 and has been providing free lectures within the City of London for over 400 years. In 2016-2017, Page gave a series of lectures that explored an earlier era of the Church’s experience with music. Titled “The Christian Singer from the Gospels to the Gothic Cathedrals,” these six lectures presented material from Page’s 2010 book The Christian West and its Singers: The First Thousand Years (Yale University Press). Recordings of these six lectures are presented below. An interview with…

  • Education

    “Music, Imagination, and Experience in the Medieval World” — Six Lectures

    Christopher Page is Professor of Medieval Music and Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy, and a Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge. He was the founding director (in 1980) of the British ensemble Gothic Voices. That group’s first CD, A Feather on the Breath of God, featured sacred vocal music written in the 12th century by the German abbess Hildegard of Bingen. That recording did a great deal to alert many music lovers to Hildegarde’s compositions, and to the voice of one of the singers in the ensemble, a then-little-known soprano with a pure, clear voice named Emma Kirkby. In 2015-2016, Page gave a series of lectures…

  • Education

    Workshop on chanting the Psalms

    PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION Here is a link to download a single-page guide to “Singing a plainchant tone.” Chanted examples of Psalms for the Fifth Sunday after Easter are here. Below are the slides used in our workshops on learning to chant the Psalms from the St. Dunstan’s Plainsong Psalter. Psalm 23, set to Anglican chant by Charles Hylton StewartChoir of St John’s Anglican Church in Elora, Ontario, directed by Noel Edison.