The Other Josquin in the media

July 18th, 2011

The Other Josquin in de Volkskrant

A wrapup look at some publicity received by our happy project:

  • The July 16 edition of the national newspaper De Volkskrant contained an article on the project in its Science and Scholarship pages.
  • The project received an award from our sponsor SURFfoundation, being named "Enhanced publication of the month" at the end of our development period in June 2011; see the announcement "Enhanced publication is music to the ears of musicologists" (and the original Dutch version "Verrijkte Publicatie is muziek in de oren van musicologen").
  • On July 11 the article "Renaissance muziek verrijkt" (Renaissance music enriched) appeared in ScienceGuide.
  • Want to see Ted hopping around in front of a screenful of Renaissance music sources? The March 2011 edition of Edata & Research has just what you're looking for in the lead article on SURF's grants for enhanced publications.
  • Liked the book? Just wait for the sweet movie version. SURFfoundation's forthcoming promotional film on enhanced publications features a hardcore action-packed "The Other Josquin" segment. So many explosions and car chases.
  • American Musicological Society executive director Robert Judd is writing up a bit on CMME and The Other Josquin for the next newsletter of the AMS. When it's ready (August?) you can find it here. Thanks Bob!

Many thanks for your support and kind words. We continue to work throughout an extension in the summer months to bring more material online.

Data model - step 3

May 30th, 2011

Some time has passed ... but finally! Initial tests of integrating the InContext visualizer (see Model Citizen) are working, allowing users to browse automatically-generated RDF metadata for The Other Josquin along with the other editorial projects in CMME (coming soon to the production server).

Edit: The visualization test is now publicly available on the main CMME server. Try it here.

Data model - step 2

April 8th, 2011

After some preliminary mail correspondance on the RDF-XML produced by Zuotian, the CMME Team met up in real life with Magchiel and Max from SURF. Among others, the remaining issues on the non-informational character of an aggregation, and the use of the correct namespaces were resolved.

With renewed courage the team continues on refining their RDF-XML, preparing for an important next step: the visualisation of (the other) Josquin!


Data model - step 1

March 21st, 2011

In the later hours of the day, Ted and Marnix drafted a first version of the data model, based on the current database structure of the CMME Project. Zuotian (see Model citizen) will formalize this in RDF-XML. Next step will be to hand it over for a first test to the technical guys at SURF: Maurice and Magchiel. We can't wait!

Me me me

March 18th, 2011

One major composition which we're editing for The Other Josquin has no number in NJE; in other words, it was never even considered for inclusion or exclusion in the printed edition, and with good reason. The Missa Mi mi printed in the opera omnia of the composer Matheus Pipelare was long known from only a single source, Manuscript 21 of the Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek in Jena:

Missa Mi mi: Pipelare attribution in JenaU 21

In late 2008, however, a wonderful discovery changed that situation: two large, neatly-written choirbooks containing a wealth of early 16th-century polyphony were 'rediscovered' in the archives of Brno in the Czech Republic, having been catalogued for years as plainchant manuscripts. Marnix and Ted helped local scholars Vladimir Manas and Radek Poláček identify compositions. Among the many important findings (which will be published in due course in other venues) was the second known copy of the Missa Mi mi — but with a different composer ascription, this time to Josquin:

Missa Mi mi: Josquin attribution in BrnoAMB 15/4

So we're left here with a new problem situation, and one that is typical of Josquin research: who really composed the Missa Mi mi, why was it ascribed to two different composers, how is our picture of each affected by the new ascription? The matter is far from simple. The transmission situation, for instance, offers little help. Neither Josquin nor Pipelare had close ties to the Habsburg-Burgundian court where JenaU 21 was copied, and both were long dead when BrnoAMB 15/4 was made. Unlike many late Eastern European sources, however, the Brno manuscript otherwise gives entirely reliable ascriptions to Josquin (the other masses bearing his name there are Hercules dux ferrarie, Faisant regretz, Malheur me bat, Pange lingua, and L'homme armé sexti toni, all of which are universally regarded as 'authentic' Josquin).

The matter hinges, therefore, as so often, on stylistic evaluation, and this is where it is crucial that musical transcriptions be available, even of pieces which are almost certainly misattributed. Within The Other Josquin, we're not particularly interested in joining the endless, and endlessly circular, debates about the authenticity of the Josquin canon. Early music research was not in a state to handle these questions 25 years ago when Joshua Rifkin made his "impolitic observations" at the 1986 Utrecht symposium, and since that time the scholarly view of Josquin's style and canon of works has only grown more fragmented, while the obsession with attribution questions continues to dominate the discourse around Josquin.

Let's forget about the attribution of the Missa Mi mi for a while, then. Whoever wrote it, it's an absolutely stunning and masterly piece of music. It clearly draws upon Okeghem's classic Phrygian mass of the same name for contrapuntal-harmonic and motivic material, while updating the style with the lucid imitative and declamatory structures typical of polyphony at the beginning of the 16th century. One only wishes it were available in recording. The CMME edition is scheduled to go online by the beginning of June 2011.

Readers in Utrecht have a chance to experience part of the mass performed live next week during a performance workshop with early music expert Björn Schmelzer, director of the professional ensemble Graindelavoix. In the context of his appointment as the first Center for Humanities/Utrecht Early Music Festival Creative Fellow, Schmelzer will be working with the Utrecht University faculty/student vocal ensemble Ars Nova Trajectina (directed by one T. Dumitrescu...), sharing his unique and engaging vocal approach. Details below:

Workshop with Björn Schmelzer
Wednesday March 23, 2011
Location: Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, Utrecht, room 0.20 (Studio)