[Le Studium Conferences] International conference : Musical life and civic identity in Renaissance France (c.1500-c.1650).

Date: 8 February 2024 to 9 February 2024

Lieu: Site CESR (Centre d'Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance) salle Rapin

Organisateur : Dr Alexander Robinson, LE STUDIUM Guest Research Fellow/MSCA Post-Doctoral Fellowship (University of Cambridge - UK) in residence at the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance (CESR)/CNRS, University of Tours - FR, and Prof. Philippe Vendrix, (DR

Résumé : 

Vie musicale et identité urbaine dans la France de la Renaissance (ca.1500–ca.1650)

This conference forms part of the EU-funded Avignon Music project "Music, Religion and Civic Identity in Renaissance Avignon" led by Alexander Robinson (H2020-MSCA-IF-2021 – Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships 2022-2024) under grant agreement no 101063276.

France’s remarkable place in the history of music during the Renaissance period is undeniable. Indeed, its composers – both those who were born there or those who worked in this region – encompass some of the era’s most celebrated names, like Du Fay, Ockeghem, Josquin, Mouton, Janequin, and Lassus. No less important was France’s contribution to the evolvement of certain genres such as the chanson. Yet there is another side to France’s musical history from this time: that of the urban environment. What was the music that characterised everyday life in France during the Renaissance period? What music, for example, was heard on the streets or in the country’s smaller ecclesiastical establishments? Who were the musicians responsible for making such music? Equally, how was music used by French towns and cities in the construction of their civic identity? What role did music play in the popular politics of this time?

This conference will explore such questions with the aim of extending current knowledge of France’s musical life between c.1500 and c.1650. Although previous musicological work has already been done for certain French cities at this time (like Paris, Lyon, and Toulouse), the situation for many cities and towns remains almost completely unexplored or still often relies on the scholarship of nineteenth-century local historians. In an attempt to address this lacuna, this conference will encompass 15 papers given by scholars based in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the USA. The papers will address a wide range of subjects: these will include questions relating to the minstrels and musicians who contributed to urban musical culture in French cities during this period; the personnel connected to certain cities’ sacred institutions (cathedrals, collegiate churches, confraternities, and so on); the use of music in civic festivals, among them processions and ceremonial entries; and ways in which surviving music from Renaissance France raises questions of identity.

The conference will be supplemented by a concert reconstruction of the music heard in Maria de’ Medici’s Avignon entry of 1600, performed by three internationally renowned French early music groups: Ensemble Clément Janequin, Les Sonadori, and Les Sacqueboutiers. This concert will take place at the Espace Joséphine Baker – Chapelle Du Conservatoire Tours (37000) on Friday 9 February, 2024.


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