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Grant number like: FA-57922-14

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FA-57922-14Research Programs: Fellowships for University TeachersEmily ZazuliaConcept and Virtuality in 15th-Century Music1/1/2015 - 12/31/2015$50,400.00Emily Zazulia   University of California, BerkeleyPittsburghPA15260-6133USA2013Music History and CriticismFellowships for University TeachersResearch Programs504000504000

The notation of 15th-c. music often prescribes transformations of written material to be realized only in performance—from slowing down a melodic line to turning it backwards or upside-down, or even omitting certain notes or rests. Such elaborate instructions, which appear by turns unnecessary and confounding, challenge traditional conceptions of music writing that understand notation as an incidental consequence of the desire to record sound. My book accounts for how visual priorities complemented musical interests. Beyond the choirbook, I situate these notational practices in a culture of enigmatic writing that saw newfound interest in cryptography, emblems, and hieroglyphs. These examples attest to a widespread fascination with a semiotics of writing that balanced intentional concealment and eventual revelation. In viewing notation as a complex technology that did more than record sound, my project changes the way we think about music's literate traditions in the early Renaissance.