Royal Holloway-British Library Lectures in Musicology
Christopher Page, the founder and director of the ensemble Gothic Voices, will give a series of one-hour lectures at the British Library Conference Centre on Music in the Making of Europe 1000-1300. The first of these lectures will be on Tuesday, 14 December, at 1800 GMT, entitled "A prelude: the rise of Gregorian chant."
Gregorian chant stands at the fountainhead of Western music in the sense that it is the first in an unbroken sequence of European musical styles that were deposited into writing. It emerged when the Carolingian kings — Charlemagne is the most famous — began to import the liturgy of Rome into their heartlands between the Seine and the Rhine. The music is transalpine in origin, in other words, and in that sense is fundamentally European. And yet, the beginnings of the music have often been evoked too narrowly, with insistent reference to the 'political' ambitions of the Carolingians. Instead, we might regard the creation of this transalpine music as part of the long process of adjustment between the North European Plains and the Mediterranean that gathered new force with imperial Rome and has continued, with many vicissitudes, ever since. That process is essential to the history of any place we might wish to call Europe, and hence a sweeping view of the importance of Gregorian chant is possible.
Admission is free, without ticket. Click here for additional information on this series.