Summer Latin in Toronto and Historical Notations at Yale

I spent six glorious weeks in what at times seems like a terrestrial civitas Dei—Toronto, of course—studying medieval Latin at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto. In addition to grinding through a variety of texts with a variety of provenances, we also spent a day every week on paleography, the apex of which was some quality time spent with a tenth-century manuscript from Tours.

I also had the privilege of attending the Historical Notation Bootcamp at Yale University, organized and led by Professors Anna Zayaruznaya (Yale University) and Andrew Hicks (Cornell University) in mid-August. The course was a three-day blitz of notations ranging from the ninth century to the fifteenth, and our work ranged from discussing music-theoretical issues to singing works representative of the notations studied. Good times were had by all.

–William van Geest


William van Geest is a third-year PhD student in Music Theory at the University of Michigan. While his research focuses on rhythmic theory in thirteenth-century France, his interests include the history of music theory and a range of music-theoretical questions. He has presented work in Canada, the United States, and Britain on rhythm and meter, the music of Anton Webern, and medieval grammar.