Musicology Seminar (a)


Week 2: Performing pitch: Case study in Quire pitch

Essay Title

  1. Discuss the modern convention of performing English normal-clef polyphony a minor third higher than its original notation. Has that convention been motivated primarily by historical or practical considerations?


  1. Roger Bray, ‘More Light on Early Tudor Pitch’, Early Music, 8 (1980), 35–42 (jstor)

  2. Bruce Haynes, A History of Performing Pitch: The Story of ‘A’ (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2002) (library)

  3. Andrew Johnstone, ‘The Myth of A+3’, Orlando Gibbons Project (Fretwork Editions, 2017) (web)

  4. ————, ‘The Performing Pitch of William Byrd’s Latin Liturgical Polyphony: A Guide for Historically Minded Interpreters’, REA: A Journal of Religion, Education and the Arts, 10 (2016), 79–107 (web)

  5. ————, ‘“As it was in the beginning”: Organ and Choir Pitch in Early Anglican Church Music’, Early Music, 31 (2003), 506–25 (jstor)

  6. Sylvia Townsend Warner, ‘Edmund Fellowes as Editor’, The Musical Times, 93 (1952), 59–61 (jstor)

  7. David Wulstan, ‘The Problem of Pitch in Sixteenth-Century English Vocal Music’, Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, 93 (1966), 97–112 (jstor)