NEH banner [Return to Query]

Products for grant RQ-50546-11

Recovering Lost Voices: A Digital Workshop for the Restoration of Renaissance Polyphony
Richard Freedman, Haverford College

Grant details:

The Lost Voices Project (Web Resource)
Title: The Lost Voices Project
Author: Richard Freedman
Abstract: Focusing on a neglected but important repertory of polyphonic songs from mid-sixteenth-century France, this unique project puts old books before a diverse audience of modern scholars and musicians in ways that will prompt renewed understanding of these cultural artifacts and their meanings. It is dedicated to sixteen sets of books expertly crafted by the Parisian printer Nicolas Du Chemin between 1549 and 1568. In them, we can trace changing literary tastes, musical fashions, and above all the impact of the relatively new medium of printing on musical culture of the day. Here readers will find facsimiles of all sixteen sets of books, plus modern transcriptions, scholarly commentaries, and tools for research. There are also links to related projects sponsored by the CESR, including a broader database of the sixteenth-century chanson repertory, a project devoted to the reconstruction of pieces with missing voice parts, and another devoted to the study and editing of the literary texts of the chansons themselves. All of this has been assembled under a number of headings designed to encourage researchers, students, and performers to explore the rich world of the chanson at mid century. We invite readers to make productive use of these resources, and to tell us about what you have learned from them.
Year: 2014
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: The home page for the interactive web project on the sixteenth century music books published by Nicolas Du Chemin, with analysis, reconstruction, and commentary.

“The Renaissance Chanson Goes Digital:,” Early Music 42 (2014), 567–78. (Article)
Title: “The Renaissance Chanson Goes Digital:,” Early Music 42 (2014), 567–78.
Author: Richard Freedman
Abstract: The sixteen volumes of four-voice Chansons nouvelles published in Paris by Nicolas Du Chemin between 1549 and 1568 contain some 380 chansons by composers like Clément Janequin, Claude Goudimel, Etienne Du Tertre and two dozen of their contemporaries. Yet the full richness of the Du Chemin series remains largely unexplored by musicologists on two counts: large portions of it have never appeared in modern notation or score, and the final five books of the series survive in an incomplete state (with two of four original voice parts missing). The Lost Voices Project explores the missing voices through the stylistic profile of the corpus as a whole. A thesaurus of musical devices provides a common vocabulary for a searchable database of thousands of analytic observations about the complete pieces. These in turn provide the foundation for dozens of reconstructions of the missing parts. All of this material is presented in a dynamic interface (using the Music Encoding Initiative standard and other open-source tools) that permits users to sort and display the results of their searches, from individual analytic observations to entire pieces (including dynamic presentation of variant readings, emendations, and alternative reconstructions). Users accounts provide space for private notes and public discussions about individual works. Downloadable facsimiles, engraved modern editions of the complete chansons, and MP3 recordings of the set round out the project.
Year: 2014
Primary URL: http://
Access Model: Subscription
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Early Music
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Musicology Now (American Musicological Society News Blog) (Blog Post)
Title: Musicology Now (American Musicological Society News Blog)
Author: Holomon, Kern D.
Abstract: Report on The Lost Voices Project and its novel approach to collaborative work in musicology.
Date: 9/26/2014
Primary URL:
Blog Title: Lost Voices
Website: Musicology Now

“Music, Technology and Digital Scholarship.” (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: “Music, Technology and Digital Scholarship.”
Author: Freedman, Richard
Abstract: Putting new media in the service of old scores, the digital environment offers much that will advance the study, teaching, and performance of music. There are on-line image archives, research databases, digital editions, tools for computational analysis, and even social media sites devoted to the serious study of music, in all its richness. But what good are such tools? And how do they relate to the peer-reviewed journals, books, and monuments with which they jostle for attention and resources? I would like to offer some perspectives on the promise and peril of the digital domain for the study of music, highlighting some current accomplishments and pointing out some challenges for the years ahead. Along the way we will pause to consider the long history of transformative intersections of music and technologies of writing and reproduction. And we will reflect on the how these new modes new tools might enable new kinds of disciplinary collaborations, new relationships among teaching and research, and new models of intellectual property and publication.
Date: 11/3/2015
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. Digital Dialogues Series Speaker. Includes link to view complete video of the presentation.
Conference Name: Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. Digital Dialogues Series Speaker