Music in the Margins: A Musical Tour through the Lincoln Collection


Music has a curious relation to history. On the one hand, we know about music sung or played in the past thanks to surviving music notation. On the other hand, we can never know fully what the music of the past was like (with the exception, perhaps, of historic recordings): sounds of the past are lost to us, leaving only their traces behind. Scholars of music therefore have to ask two questions: not only 'What is there to find?' but also 'What has been lost?'. The traces and fragments of music notation in the margins and on the covers of books in Lincoln's collection tell a double story of musical composition and destruction, loss and re-use. Accompanied by live music examples, this lecture takes a look at the music recorded in books owned by Lincoln and explores the stories that these books can tell.

Dr Joseph Mason is a musicologist with research interests in medieval and early modern Europe, the history of music manuscripts and the history of music performance. He recently completed his doctorate at Lincoln College on thirteenth-century French vernacular song and is currently a stipendiary lecturer in Music at New College, Oxford.

Followed by an exhibition and drinks reception.

Please book your place online here.


Oxford Medieval Studies