Towards a Sonic Historiography of Medieval Music: 78 rpm recordings, c. 1910-c.1950

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 12:00pm to Friday, April 26, 2019 - 11:55am
Studio at Butler, 208b Butler Library, 535 W 114th St, New York, NY 10027     map
Isabelle Ragnard

Professor Isabelle Ragnard of Paris-Sorbonne Université will discuss her research on 78 rpm records of medieval music. 250 recordings of pre-1500 music were published in the US and Europe between 1910 and the early 1950s. A critical discography of this body of material combines the description of the 78s as industrial artifacts with analysis of their accompanying materials (liner notes, labels, etc.), which constitute rich documentation that that is not only sonic and technical but also iconographic and textual. Ragnard will present her database of the recordings, which forms part of a project aiming to reconstruct the invention of medieval music in the first half of the twentieth century through "sonic historiography."

This event is made possible by the Department of Music and Studio at Butler in the Columbia University Libraries as part of the FAB-Musiconis exchange between Columbia University and Sorbonne Université, supported by the Partner University Fund, FACE (French-American Cultural Exchange) Foundation.

Isabelle Ragnard is a professor of musicology at Paris-Sorbonne Université and permanent member of the Institut de recherche en musicologie (IreMus) of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique.  A musicologist specializing in medieval secular song, music manuscripts, and medievalism, Ragnard has a doctorate in musicology from the Centre d’études supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR) in Tours and the Université de Tours. Her research on 78s of medieval music is part of a larger study that also encompasses adaptations and influences of medieval music in cultural production, particularly film and theater, during the first half of the twentieth century.