Music Education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Music Education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Susan Froscher Weiss, Russell E Murray Jr and Cynthia J Cyrus, edited by Russell E Murray
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 07/16/2010
ISBN: 978-0-253-00455-0
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What were the methods and educational philosophies of music teachers in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance? What did students study? What were the motivations of teacher and student? Contributors to this volume address these topics and other—including gender, social status, and the role of the Church—to better understand the identities of music teachers and students from 650 to 1650 in Western Europe. This volume provides an expansive view of the beginnings of music pedagogy, and shows how the act of learning was embedded in the broader context of the early Western art music tradition.

Author Bio

Russell E. Murray, Jr. is Professor of Music and Associate Chair at the University of Delaware.

Susan Forscher Weiss is Chair of Musicology, The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Cynthia J. Cyrus is Associate Dean and Professor of Musicology at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.


“To better understand music teachers and students, contributors address educational philosophy and methodology, as well as gender, social status, and the role of the Church, providing an expansive view of music pedagogy's beginnings, and showing how learning was embedded in early Western art music tradition.”

“The essays gathered in this volume confirm for us that the study of musical pedagogy in the Middle Ages and Renaissance continues to receive the proper attention it so richly deserves. These contributions present an exciting perspective about the many approaches to themes found under the large umbrella of musical instruction and study, as well as the fascinating fruits that come to bear after their in-depth exploration. This volume is not only a welcome addition to scholarship on this topic but also a telling indicator of new research to come.”
 — Journal of Musicological Research

“What is distinctive and welcome about this book is its musicological focus on pedagogy, music education, and the history of education which serves to expand the horizons of our field of study. ”
 — British Journal of Music Education

“[These essays] address the multifaceted topic of music education in Western Europe over a long span . . . and offer much new information, in part by focusing on places and social groups often previously treated as marginal. . . . One hopes that this engaging collection of essays will spur others to investigate this vast and fascinating topic. Fall 2011”
 — Early Music America

“The editors and authors of this volume have put together an important collection of essays ... [T]he volume as a whole represents a worthy attempt to treat musical pedagogy in an historical manner and ... the authors and editors are to be congratulated.”
 — The Medieval Review

“Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty.April 2011”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Reading and Writing the Pedagogy of the Past / Russell E. Murray, Jr., Susan Forscher Weiss, and Cynthia J. Cyrus

Perspective 1
1. Some Introductory Remarks on Musical Pedagogy / James Haar

Part 1 Medieval Pedagogy
2. Guido d'Arezzo, Ut queant laxis, and Musical Understanding / Dolores Pesce
3. Some Thoughts on Music Pedagogy in the Carolingian Era / Charles M. Atkinson
4. Medieval Musical Education as Seen through Sources Outside the Realm of Music Theory / Susan Boynton

Part 2 Renaissance Places of Learning
5. "Sang Schwylls" and "Music Schools": Music Education in Scotland, 1560<N>1650 / Gordon Munro
6. A Proper Musical Education for Antwerp's Women / Kristine K. Forney
7. Juan Bermudo, Self-instruction, and the Amateur Instrumentalist / John Griffiths

Perspective 2
8. The Humanist and the Commonplace Book: Education in Practice / Anthony Grafton

Part 3 Renaissance Materials and Contexts
9. Musical Commonplaces in the Renaissance / Peter Schubert
10. Music Education and the Conduct of Life in Early Modern England: A Review of the Sources / Pamela F. Starr
11. Vandals, Students, or Scholars? Handwritten Clues in Renaissance Music Textbooks / Susan Forscher Weiss

Part 4 Music Education in the Convent
12. The Educational Practices of Benedictine Nuns: A Salzburg Abbey Case Study / Cynthia J. Cyrus
13. Nun Musicians as Teachers and Students in Early Modern Spain / Colleen Baade

Part 5 The Teacher
14. Isaac the Teacher: Pedagogy and Literacy in Florence, ca. 1488 / Blake Wilson
15. Zacconi as Teacher: A Pedagogical Style in Words and Deeds / Russell E. Murray, Jr.
16. The Good Maestro: Pietro Cerone on the Pedagogical Relationship / Gary Towne

Perspective 3
17. You Can Tell a Book by Its Cover: Reflections on Format in English Music "Theory" / Jessie Ann Owens