Musicology Seminar (a)


Week 3: Clefs and Transposition

Essay Title

  1. With reference to a case study (such as Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli or Monteverdi’s Vespers), show how changing understanding of Renaissance clef combinations has influenced performance practice.


  1. Patrizio Barbieri, ‘“Chiavette” and Modal Transposition in Italian Practice (c. 1500–1837), Recercare, 3 (1991), 5–79 (jstor)

  2. Andrew Parrott, ‘Transposition in Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610: An “Aberration” Defended’, Early Music, 12 (1984), 490–516 (jstor)

  3. Jeffrey Kurtzman, ‘An Aberration Amplified’, Early Music, 13 (1985), 73–6 (jstor)

  4. Roger Bowers, ‘An “Aberration” Reviewed: The Reconciliation of Inconsistent Clef-Systems in Monteverdi's Mass and Vespers of 161o’, Early Music, 31 (2003), 527–38 (jstor)

  5. Andrew Parrott, ‘Monteverdi: Onwards and Downwards’, Early Music, 32 (2004), 303–17 (jstor)

  6. Andrew Johnstone, ‘“High” Clefs in Composition and Performance’, Early Music, 34 (2006), 29–53 (jstor)

  7. Roger Bowers, ‘“The high and lowe keyes come both to one pitch”: Reconciling Inconsistent Clef-Systems in Monteverdi’s Vocal Music for Mantua’, Early Music, 39 (2011), 531–45 (jstor)

  8. Andrew Parrott, ‘High Clefs and Down-to-Earth Transposition: A Brief Defence of Monteverdi’, Early Music, 40 (2012), 81–5 (jstor)