Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Lost Voices - New Renaissance Choral Music Project Goes Live

Here's a new link for scholars of Renaissance choral music.  Not just scholars - singers as well!  So this might be interesting to people who sing in a choir, too.  We have permission from Professor Richard Freedman to share a summary of his announcement here.

Image from the Lost Voices project


"I am pleased to announce the public launch of the "all MEI" Lost Voices Project!  It's freely available to anyone interested in Renaissance music—scholars, teachers, performers, and anyone curious about the humanities in the digital domain.

"The Lost Voices Project centers on 16 sets of music books published by Nicolas Du Chemin in Paris in the years around 1550, offering facsimiles and modern editions of almost 400 chansons by composers like Clément Janequin, Claude Goudimel, Etienne Du Tertre, and many others. You can read the complete poem of each piece (with rhyme diagram), scroll through the piece, or listen to the music in high-quality sampled versions (lute in mean-tone tuning).  Help menus explain how to use the many features of our site.  

"The project also opens these chansons to some novel modes of collaborative inquiry. We have built a large database of analytic observations about the music (with some 11,000 entries). You can search, sort, and save your queries. With a free individual account you can collect ‘favorite’ pieces, take private notes on them, and participate in live public discussions about them. (The ‘help’ menus explain how to request an account, or how to reset your password if you already have one).  

"Meanwhile we have created new kinds of dynamic digital editions using the open-source Music Encoding Initiative standard. Here you can view variants and emendations (with critical reports for each piece), as well as display any phrase or analytic segment instantly in any modern internet browser (no special software is needed).  

"You can also take part in our collaborative exploration of the “lost voices”:  reconstructions of the contratenor and bassus parts of dozens of pieces from the last five volumes of our corpus. You can compare different solutions (just as you can compare variant readings for the complete works). If you like, you can also contact us to submit a reconstruction of your own.   

"The project will be explained in an essay in Early Music that will appear in a few weeks. 

"Professor Freedman thanks the many colleagues and students who have made all of this possible; his partners at the CESR in Tours (led by the incomparable Philippe Vendrix) for their patience, enthusiasm and vision; and the  funding agencies whose generous support make all of this possible: the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the), the CNRS, the CESR, and Haverford College.
Further funding allows a related project to run for the next three years.

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