Mouton sighted at Lodi

Jason Stoessel's Research Blog

I’m currently writing a chapter on the material representation of canons in early sixteenth-century northern Italian art. The number of canons in art  suggests that they played an important role in the musico-visual culture in courts and ecclesiastical institutions of this time. Some better known examples of canons in paintings include the Agnus Dei II of Josquin’s Missa L’homme armé super voces musicales in Dosso Dossi’s Allegory of Music and Ockeghem’s Prenez sur moy in one of the intarsia of Isabelle d’Este’s grotta at the Ducal Palace in Mantua.

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Pre-print preview of new article on the Tournai Canons

We are pleased to announce the release of the pre-print version of our article on the repertoire of canons in French music from the mid fourteenth century. The article, “New light on the mid fourteenth-century chace: canons hidden in the Tournai manuscript”,  features recently discovered canons (including lead author Stoessel’s transcriptions) from the same manuscript that contains the famous Tournai Mass. It discusses the place of the Tournai canons in the contemporary repertoire north of the Alps and sets out a new framework for analysing the composition of canons in the mid fourteenth century. The article is scheduled to appear in print early next year in Music Analysis. Under the terms of Wiley’s article sharing policy, the early access version of the article can be read online at the following link. Final publication details (issue, number, year of publication and pagination) will appear in the final version.

Research for this article was supported by Australian Government through the Australian Research Council (project number DP150102135).

PhD Scholarship Opportunity in Digital Musicology

We are very pleased to announce that the University of New England is offering a targeted PhD in Digital Musicology for a project on Ludovico Zacconi’s collection of canons.  This project will run parallel with our ARC Discovery Project “The Art and Science of Canon in the Music of Early 17th-century Rome,” sharing and contributing to its approaches and methods.

PhD Scholarship Opportunity in Digital Musicology
The Art and Science of Ludovico Zacconi’s Collections of Canons

The University of New England seeks a highly motivated PhD candidate in digital musicology to research the two musical collections of canons of 17th-century singer-theorist Ludovico Zacconi (1555–1627). The candidate’s research will complement the Australian Research Council Discovery Project “The Art and Science of Canon in the Music of Early 17th-century Rome” that Chief Investigators Denis Collins and Jason Stoessel will commence in early 2018. This project will inform and inspire the candidate’s own research on Zacconi in Venice. Zacconi demonstrated a remarkable interest in the canonic repertoire of his contemporaries and his resolutions of riddle canons provide ground-base truths for understanding canonic techniques in early 17th-century music.

The canonic repertoire of early 17th-century music has attracted very little scholarly attention until now. Existing studies highlight the large number of canonic works from the period, some of their links to contemporary debates around philosophical and theological issues, and the use of artwork and symbolism in the presentation of the musical notation. Notably absent is any systematic analytical approach. Collins and Stoessel are addressing this shortcoming through innovative computer-assisted methodologies. The candidate will play his/her own distinct role in this endeavour.

Digital musicology is a cross-disciplinary approach that uses computers and information technology to enhance and to extend music research. The applicant should possess research knowledge and skills in either historical musicology (preferably in an area before 1750) and/or computer science. Applicants who have knowledge and skills in one of these domains must demonstrate a readiness to develop knowledge and skills in the other. The successful applicant must be willing to learn modern computer programming languages or demonstrate existing skills in one or more of them. They must also be willing to address research questions using machine-learning or artificial intelligence toolboxes and/or newly written software tools or scripts. Previous experience with using Unix, R, Python and/or high performance computing is desirable, although UNE provides introductory training in these technologies.

The scholarship provides a tax-free free stipend of AU$27,082 (2018 rate) for three years. It is available to domestic (Australian, New Zealand or Australian permanent residency) candidates. Postgraduate training at UNE includes international conference opportunities, and professional development and networking. The candidate will receive training in the use of online music cataloguing software according to international standards. The project will be based at Armidale in Northern NSW and involve collaboration with cross-university researchers in Brisbane, Queensland. Experts from historical musicology and computer science will jointly supervise the candidate’s research.

This project is an exciting opportunity to work at the forefront of digital musicology research in Australia. Selection of the successful candidate will be based upon merit.

When to apply

Scholarship applications are due on or before the 19 February 2018. The successful applicant would need to be prepared to start candidature as soon as possible after the closing date.

How To apply

Submit a research proposal of no more than two pages, two referee reports, certified copies of academic transcripts and curriculum vitae to AskUNE. The research proposal should set out under separate headings the aims, background, approach and methodology, and expected outcomes of the applicant’s envisaged project with reference to selected recent scholarly literature.

Applicants must request their referees to submit their written reports directly to the University using the Referee’s Report Form.

Please see the Scholarship Terms and Conditions for more information.

* Further contact details, links to AskUNE, Referee’s Report Form and Scholarship Terms and Conditions can be found by following this link.

Announcing our new project

The Australian Research Council recently announced that it will fund our new project “The Arts and Science of Canon in the Music of early 17th-Century Rome” (DP180100680) from 2018 to early 2021 under its Discovery Projects Scheme. This funding will allow us to continue and extend our research on canonic techniques started in 2015 in another ARC Discovery Project “Canonic Techniques and Musical Change, c.1330 to c.1530” that will complete in the new year (a series of publications are waiting in the wings).

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Our new project will investigate relations between major discoveries in scientific thought with musical developments in composing canons. Roman musicians were especially dedicated to all sorts of canonic techniques and used them in a multitude of compositions. Many scientists were trained in music and followed the flow of canonic compositions with great interest. The project will explore the nexus between music and science especially the ways in which the great outpouring of canonic techniques can be viewed through emerging theories of probability and combinatorics.