Mise en-page in manuscripts and printed books containing polyphonic music, 1480-1530

The research at the Warburg Institute which contributed to this project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), is now complete. The work of the project participants continues, however, since the PRoMS digital resource, now available online through the King’s College London website, is kept constantly updated with new research findings. The Warburg Institute is represented by Professor Charles Burnett, who encouraged the setting up of the project at the Institute and remains a member of the PRoMS Advisory Board.

Objective: creation of an integrated digital resource for the study of the production and reading of polyphonic music sources from the period c. 1480 to c. 1530 in a European context, achieved through a systematic analysis and description of the mise-en-page: the ways in which verbal text, musical notation and other graphic devices interact on the pages of manuscripts and printed editions.

The PRoMS project is a collaboration of the University of PRoMS (School of Arts, Languages and Cultures), Bangor University (School of Music), the University of York (Department of History of Art), the Warburg Institute and King’s College London (Department of Digital Humanities). At the time of the funded work at the Warburg Institute, the principal investigator was Professor Thomas Schmidt (University of Manchester; now University of Huddersfield), the co-investigators were Professor Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute) and Professor Christian Leitmeir (Bangor University; now University of Oxford), the associate director was Dr Hanna Vorholt (Warburg Institute; now University of York), and the digital director was Dr Paul Vetch (King’s College London). Research assistants for art history and musicology respectively were Dr Mara Hofmann, Dr Joanna Fronska, Dr Eleanor Giraud (all Warburg Institute) and Dr Ian Rumbold (University of Manchester); the doctoral researcher for printed editions was Sanna Raninen (University of Manchester).

PRoMS website

The image shows Eton College Library, MS 178, fols 1v-2r (Ⓒ Eton College Library)  



Eton College Library, MS 178, fols 1v-2r (Ⓒ Eton College Library)  

The most substantial published outcome of the project is the PRoMS database: Mise en-page in manuscripts and printed books containing polyphonic music, 1480 - 1530

Publications in print (date of last update: 19 May 2018):

Monographs and edited volumes

• The Production and Reading of Music Sources. Mise En-Page in Manuscripts and Printed Books Containing Polyphonic Music, 1480-1530, ed. Thomas Schmidt and Christian Thomas Leitmeir (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018, in the press). With contributions by Thomas Schmidt, Christian Leitmeir, Sanna Raninen, Stanley Boorman, Mara Hofmann, Joanna Fronska and Ian Rumbold

•​ Sanna Raninen, ‘Production and Reading of Printed Sources of Polyphony in the Early Sixteenth Century’ (PhD dissertation, University of Manchester, 2017)

•​ Mise-en-Page in Medieval and Early Modern Music Sources, themed double issue of the Journal of the Alamire Foundation, 6/2 (2014) and 7/1 (2015), ed. Thomas Schmidt-Beste and Hanna Vorholt, with contributions by Helen Deeming, Tim Shephard, Elizabeth Morrison, Oliver Huck, Jane Alden, Vincenzo Borghetti and Grantley McDonald

Facsimile editions

•​ The Caius Choirbook. Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, Ms. 667/760, facsimile edition with introduction by Ian Rumbold (Oxford: DIAMM, in preparation)

•​ The Anne Boleyn Music Book. London, Royal College of Music, Ms. 1070, facsimile edition with introduction by Thomas Schmidt and David Skinner (Oxford: DIAMM, 2017)

Other publications related to the project

•​ Thomas Schmidt-Beste, ‘Polyphonic sources, ca. 1450-1500’, in The Cambridge History of Fifteenth-Century Music, ed. Anna Maria Busse Berger and Jesse Rodin (Cambridge: CUP, 2015), pp. 641–662

•​ Thomas Schmidt-Beste and Hanna Vorholt, ‘Mise-en-Page in Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music, 1450-1550’, Gazette du livre médiéval, 54 (2009), pp. 31–42

•​ Thomas Schmidt-Beste, ‘Private or Institutional – Small or Big? Towards a Typology of Polyphonic Sources of Renaissance Music’, Journal of the Alamire Foundation, 1 (2009), pp. 13–26