Early Music History

Early Music History is a peer-reviewed academic journal published annually by Cambridge University Press, which specialises in the study of music from the early Middle Ages to the end of the 17th century. It was established in 1981 and is edited by Iain Fenlon.

Early Music History exists to stimulate further exploration of familiar phenomena through unfamiliar means, and to add to the growing appreciation of the value of interdisciplianary approaches and their potentialities. Another emphasis might be called the contextual. At present some music historians tend to concentrate on the internal analysis of a composition and its relation to a specific and usually narrowly defined historical frame. Indeed, much musicological writing presents by implication a formidable orthodoxy in which history is perceived as a succession of paradigms of musical language, style, and form. Some recent work has attempted explanation through exploration of a wider range of evidence, and Early Music History intends to strengthen this trend by encouraging studies that examine the economic, political, and social ramifications of research. In that musicology itself can on benefit if its vision is extended and its methods refined and broadened, the board believes that Early Music History will mark a new departure in the development of the discipline while continuing to support its traditional tasks.
— Iain Fenlon, preface to Volume I[1]
Early Music History
Early Music History
Edited byIain Fenlon
Publication details
Publication history
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ISSN0261-1279 (print)
1474-0559 (web)
OCLC no.49342621


  1. ^ Iain Fenlon (1981). "Preface". Early Music History. 1: vii–vii. doi:10.1017/S0261127900000243. ISSN 1474-0559.
1490s in music

This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the 1490s.

Accademia Fiorentina

The Accademia Fiorentina was a philosophical and literary academy in Florence, Italy during the Renaissance.

Accidental (music)

In music, an accidental is a note of a pitch (or pitch class) that is not a member of the scale or mode indicated by the most recently applied key signature. In musical notation, the sharp (♯), flat (♭), and natural (♮) symbols, among others, mark such notes—and those symbols are also called accidentals.

In the measure (bar) where it appears, an accidental sign raises or lowers the immediately following note (and any repetition of it in the bar) from its normal pitch, overriding sharps or flats in the key signature. A note is usually raised or lowered by a semitone, although microtonal music may use "fractional" accidental signs. There are also occasionally double sharps or flats, which raise or lower the indicated note by a whole tone. Accidentals apply within the measure and octave in which they appear, unless canceled by another accidental sign, or tied into the following measure. If a note has an accidental and the note is repeated in a different octave within the same measure, the accidental does not apply to the same note of the different octave.

The modern accidental signs derive from the two forms of the lower-case letter b used in Gregorian chant manuscripts to signify the two pitches of B, the only note that could be altered. The "round" b became the flat sign, while the "square" b diverged into the sharp and natural signs.

Sometimes the black keys on a musical keyboard are called accidentals (i.e., sharps or flats), and the white keys are called naturals.

Ars subtilior

Ars subtilior (more subtle art) is a musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered on Paris, Avignon in southern France, and also in northern Spain at the end of the fourteenth century. The style also is found in the French Cypriot repertory. Often the term is used in contrast with ars nova, which applies to the musical style of the preceding period from about 1310 to about 1370; though some scholars prefer to consider the ars subtilior a subcategory of the earlier style. Primary sources for the ars subtilior are the Chantilly Codex, the Modena Codex (Mod A M 5.24), and the Turin Manuscript (Torino J.II.9).

Christina, Queen of Sweden

Christina (18 December 1626 – 19 April 1689), the only surviving legitimate child of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and his wife Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg, reigned as Queen of Sweden from 1632 until her abdication in 1654. At the age of six, Christina succeeded her father upon his death at the Battle of Lützen, but began ruling the Swedish Empire when she reached the age of 18 in 1644.

Christina is remembered as one of the most learned women of the 17th century. She was fond of books, manuscripts, paintings, and sculptures. With her interest in religion, philosophy, mathematics and alchemy, she attracted many scientists to Stockholm, wanting the city to become the "Athens of the North." She was intelligent, fickle and moody. She caused a scandal when she decided not to marry and in 1654 when she abdicated her throne and converted to Roman Catholicism. Baptized as Kristina Augusta, she adopted the name Christina Alexandra.Christina's financial extravagance brought the state to the verge of bankruptcy, and the financial difficulties caused public unrest after ten years of ruling. At the age of 28, the "Minerva of the North" relinquished the throne to her cousin and moved to Rome. The Pope described Christina as "a queen without a realm, a Christian without faith, and a woman without shame." Notwithstanding, she played a leading part in the theatrical and musical community and protected many Baroque artists, composers, and musicians.

Being the guest of five consecutive popes, and a symbol of the Counter Reformation, she is one of the few women buried in the Vatican grotto. Her unconventional lifestyle and masculine dressing and behavior have been featured in countless novels, plays, operas, and film. In all the biographies about Christina, her gender and cultural identity play an important role.

Clark Gayton

Clark Gayton is an American multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer and musicians' rights advocate.

Dagger (typography)

A dagger, obelisk, or obelus (†) is a typographical symbol that usually indicates a footnote if an asterisk has already been used. It is present in Unicode as U+2020 † DAGGER (HTML † · †). The term "obelisk" derives from the Greek: ὀβελίσκος (obeliskos), which means "little obelus"; from ὀβελός (obelos) meaning "roasting spit". It was originally represented by the subtraction ( − ) and division ( ÷ ) symbols by Ancient Greek scholars as critical marks in manuscripts.

A double dagger or diesis (‡) is a variant with two handles that usually marks a third footnote after the asterisk and dagger. In Unicode, it is encoded as U+2021 ‡ DOUBLE DAGGER (HTML ‡ · ‡).

The triple dagger (⹋) is a variant with three handles and is used by medievalists to indicate another level of notation. In Unicode, it is encoded as U+2E4B ⹋ TRIPLE DAGGER (HTML ⹋).

Eddie Henderson (musician)

Eddie Henderson (born October 26, 1940) is an American jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player. He came to prominence in the early 1970s as a member of pianist Herbie Hancock's band, going on to lead his own electric/fusion groups through the decade. Henderson earned his medical degree and worked a parallel career as a psychiatrist and musician, turning back to acoustic jazz by the 1990s.

Henderson's influences include Booker Little, Clifford Brown, Woody Shaw, and Miles Davis.

Ethiopian chant

Ethiopian liturgical chant, or Zema, is a form of Christian liturgical chant practiced by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The related musical notation is known as melekket. The tradition began after the sixth century and is traditionally identified with Saint Yared. Through history, the Ethiopian liturgical chants have undergone an evolution similar to that of European liturgical chants.

Galeazzo Maria Sforza

Galeazzo Maria Sforza (24 January 1444 – assassinated, 26 December 1476) was the fifth Duke of Milan from 1466 until his death. He was famous for being lustful, cruel and tyrannical.

He was born to Francesco Sforza, a popular condottiero and ally of Cosimo de' Medici who would gain the Duchy of Milan in 1450, and Bianca Maria Visconti. He married into the Gonzaga family; on the death of his first wife Dorotea Gonzaga, he married Bona of Savoy.

Iain Fenlon

Iain Alexander Fenlon (born 26 October 1949 in Prestbury, Cheshire) is a British musicologist who specializes in music from 1450–1650; particularly Renaissance and early Baroque music from Italy.

Fenlon was born to Albert Fenlon and Joan Fenlon (née Rainey).

John, Duke of Berry

John of Berry or John the Magnificent (French: Jean de Berry; 30 November 1340 – 15 June 1416) was Duke of Berry and Auvergne and Count of Poitiers and Montpensier. He was the third son of King John II of France and Bonne of Luxemburg; his brothers were King Charles V of France, Duke Louis I of Anjou and Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy. He is primarily remembered as a collector of the important illuminated manuscripts and other works of art commissioned by him, such as the Très Riches Heures.

Kate van Orden

Kate van Orden is an American musicologist and bassoonist, currently Dwight P. Robinson Jr. Professor of Music at Harvard University. She worked at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1997 until moving to Harvard in 2013. She was editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Musicological Society from 2008 to 2010, and currently serves on the editorial boards of Early Music History, Saggiatore Musicale, Oxford Bibliographies, and The New Cultural History of Music. Her principal research interest is the French chanson, on which she has written two books.

Music of Florence

While Florence, itself, "needs no introduction" as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, the music of Florence may, in fact, need such an introduction. The city was at the heart of much of the entire Western musical tradition. It was here that the Florentine Camerata convened in the mid-16th century and experimented with setting tales of Greek mythology to music and staging the result—in other words, the first operas, setting the wheels in motion not just for the further development of the operatic form, but for later developments of separate "classical" forms such as the symphony.


Musicology (from Greek, Modern μουσική (mousikē), meaning 'music', and -λογία (-logia), meaning 'study of') is the scholarly analysis and research-based study of music. Musicology departments traditionally belong to the humanities, although music research is often more scientific in focus (psychological, sociological, acoustical, neurological, computational). A scholar who participates in musical research is a musicologist.Traditionally, historical musicology (commonly termed "music history") has been the most prominent sub-discipline of musicology. In the 2010s, historical musicology is one of several large musicology sub-disciplines. Historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and systematic musicology are approximately equal in size. Ethnomusicology is the study of music in its cultural context. Systematic musicology includes music acoustics, the science and technology of acoustical musical instruments, and the musical implications of physiology, psychology, sociology, philosophy and computing. Cognitive musicology is the set of phenomena surrounding the computational modeling of music. In some countries, music education is a prominent sub-field of musicology, while in others it is regarded as a distinct academic field, or one more closely affiliated with teacher education, educational research, and related fields. Like music education, music therapy is a specialized form of applied musicology which is sometimes considered more closely affiliated with health fields, and other times regarded as part of musicology proper.

Pope Clement VII

Pope Clement VII (Italian: Papa Clemente VII; Latin: Clemens VII) (26 May 1478 – 25 September 1534), born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 November 1523 to his death on 25 September 1534.

“The most unfortunate of the Popes,” Clement VII’s reign was marked by a rapid succession of political, military, and religious struggles — many long in the making — which had far-reaching consequences for Christianity and world politics.Elected in 1523 at the end of the Italian Renaissance, Clement VII came to the papacy with a high reputation as a statesman, having served with distinction as chief advisor to both Pope Leo X (1513-1521) and Pope Adrian VI (1522-1523). Assuming leadership in a time of crisis, with the Church nearly bankrupt, Clement VII initially sought to unite Christendom, which was then fragmenting, by making peace among the many Christian leaders then at odds. He also aspired to liberate Italy, which had become a battleground for invading, foreign armies, thereby threatening the Church’s freedom.The complex political situation of the 1520s thwarted Clement's intentions. Inheriting Martin Luther’s growing Protestant Reformation in Northern Europe; a vast power struggle in Italy between Europe’s two most powerful kings, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Francis I of France, each of whom demanded that the Pope choose a side; and Turkish invasions of Eastern Europe led by Suleiman the Magnificent; Clement's problems were exacerbated by King Henry VIII of England’s contentious divorce, resulting in England breaking away from the Catholic Church; and in 1527, souring relations with Emperor Charles V leading to the violent Sack of Rome, during which the Pope was imprisoned. After escaping confinement in Castel Sant'Angelo, Clement — with few economic, military, or political options remaining — compromised the Church's and Italy's independence by allying with his former jailor, Emperor Charles V.In contrast to his tortured Papacy, Clement VII was personally respectable and devout, possessing a “dignified propriety of character,” “great acquirements both theological and scientific,” as well as “extraordinary address and penetration — Clement VII, in serener times, might have administered the Papal power with high reputation and enviable prosperity. But with all of his profound insight into the political affairs of Europe, Clement does not seem to have comprehended the altered position of the Pope” in relation to Europe’s emerging nation-states and Protestantism.A discerning patron, Clement VII personally commissioned Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment for the Sistine Chapel; Raphael’s masterpiece, The Transfiguration; as well as celebrated works by Benvenuto Cellini, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Parmigianino, among others. Artistic trends of the era are sometimes called the “Clementine style,” and notable for their virtuosity. In matters of science, Clement VII is best known for personally approving, in 1533, Nicholaus Copernicus’s theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun — 99 years before Galileo Galilei’s heresy trial for similar ideas. Ecclesiastically, Clement VII is remembered for issuing orders protecting Jews from the Inquisition, approving the Capuchin Franciscan Order, and securing the island of Malta for the Knights of Malta.

Saint Martial school

The Saint Martial School was a medieval school of music composition centered in the Abbey of Saint Martial, Limoges, France. It is known for the composition of tropes, sequences, and early organum. In this respect, it was an important precursor to the Notre Dame School.


Scriptorium ( (listen)), literally "a place for writing", is commonly used to refer to a room in medieval European monasteries devoted to the writing, copying and illuminating of manuscripts by monastic scribes.

Tor di Nona

The Tor di Nona is a neighborhood in Rome's rione Ponte. It lies in the heart of the city's historic center, between the Via dei Coronari and the Tiber River. Its name commemorates the Torre dell'Annona, a mediaeval tower which once stood there and was later converted into one of the city's most important theatres, the Teatro Tordinona, later called the Teatro Apollo.

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