Exploring Music and Reform at MedRen 2017

Greetings from London, where I’m wrapping up a year of archival research for my dissertation! In early July, I presented some of this work at MedRen, the annual musicological conference dedicated to Medieval and Renaissance music, which this year was held in Prague. My paper, entitled “Negotiating Edward VI’s Reformation: Music and Religious Change in the Parish Churches of London, 1547–1553,” was in many ways a preview of part of my first dissertation chapter, which looks at parish musical practices in the transitional period between the reigns of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I in England’s capital city. This year, MedRen celebrated the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his “95 Theses,” so many of the sessions were devoted to music and the Reformation, which was particularly exciting for those (myself included) who study religious reform. Prof. Stefano Mengozzi also gave a paper at MedRen, so Michigan was well represented this year. The organizers did an amazing job—the conference venue was the beautiful Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia (http://www.ngprague.cz/en/objekt-detail/convent-of-st-agnes-of-bohemia/), and we heard concerts by three wonderful Czech groups: the Tiburtina Ensemble (http://www.tiburtina-ensemble.com), Schola Gregoriana Pragensis (http://www.gregoriana.cz/sgp), and Societas Incognitorum (http://societasincognitorum.cz/)—check them out if you have a chance! Finally, I must express my gratitude to the musicology department, which funded my trip to this fantastic conference.

-Anne Heminger

prague-small-2

A medieval tile mosaic from St. Vitus Cathedral.

Anne Heminger is a sixth-year PhD candidate in Historical Musicology working with Stefano Mengozzi. Her dissertation, “Confession Carried Aloft: Music, Sound, and Religious Identity in London, 1540–1560,” investigates the intersections between music, officially sanctioned orthodoxy, and the religious heterodoxy that marked English life under Edward VI and then Mary I.

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