Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Conference on "Technologies of Medieval Song" in Philadelphia November 19-20 2010


November 19-20, 2010

*/Cantus Scriptus: Technologies of Medieval Song/*

In partnership with the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Department of Music, Penn Libraries are pleased to announce the 3rd annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age .
This year's symposium will be on the theme of music in medieval and early modern manuscripts. We will explore a range of issues relating to music’s materiality in the late medieval period, especially as it pertains to the manuscript source. We will bring together scholars and performers who will examine the ways the written text of music, especially in the unit of the codex, can be expressive as well as prescriptive; the multiple functions of music’s most important technology – its notation; and finally, the role that modern digital technology can facilitate the study of manuscripts today.

The symposium begins Friday evening at the Free Library of Philadelphia with a lecture and performance by the award-winning early music duo Asteria . On Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania, seven speakers will present papers on various topics relating to the history of music manuscripts and notation. The symposium will conclude with a roundtable to discuss issues related to the digitization of music manuscripts and related documents and the role of the digital humanities in medieval musicology.

Special exhibitions of music manuscripts will be on view at both institutions.

/*Participants include:*/

Jane Alden, Wesleyan University
Julia Craig-McFeeley, Digital Image Archive of Music Manuscripts
Michael Scott Cuthbert, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Emma Dillon, University of Pennsylvania
Lauren Jennings, University of Pennsylvania
Susan Rankin, University of Cambridge
Anne Stone, City University of New York
Emily Zazulia, University of Pennsylvania

For program and registration details, go to:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Frank L. Herz Collection of Reuchliniana at Leo Baeck Institute

From The New York Times, August 6, 2010

"Christian scholars battled in the early 1500s over whether all Jewish texts should be burned. Johannes Pfefferkorn, a Jewish-born theologian in Cologne who had converted to Roman Catholicism, petitioned Emperor Maximilian I to have Hebrew books declared dangerously blasphemous. The emperor sought a second opinion from Johannes Reuchlin, a linguist in Stuttgart, who decided that Hebrew was a biblical tongue worth preserving.

"Besides, Reuchlin wrote, if Hebrew texts were all erased, “the Jews might well write much stranger stuff from scratch, far more objectionable.”

"From the 1950s to the 1990s, Frank L. Herz, a German-born leather-goods merchant in New York, collected books related to the 16th-century controversy by prominent authors like Erasmus and Martin Luther. Mr. Herz’s heirs have donated the collection to the Leo Baeck Institute, a library focused on German-speaking Jewry at the Center for Jewish History on West 16th Street in Manhattan. The staff is now repairing and digitizing the books and planning for exhibitions later this year.

"Mr. Herz, whose family had escaped the Nazis, was fascinated by Reuchlin’s lucid arguments against anti-Semitism and his and Pfefferkorn’s efforts to attract publicity by circulating pamphlets and attending book fairs. The idea of using printing presses to mold public opinion “was very new, very modern at the time,” said Renate Evers, the institute’s head librarian.

"The institute will put commemorative Herz bookplates on protective cardboard cases for the 63 books; the plates will each have an image of eyeglasses copied from one of Reuchlin’s title pages. The linguist used spectacles, Ms. Evers said, to symbolize scholarship and insights into the heated debate."

"Lectures on the Art of Hebrew Manuscripts and Books" on YouTube

Lectures by Evelyn Cohen, Ephraim Karnafogel, Emile Schrijver, and Sharon Lieberman Mintz at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are now available on YouTube. Start here.