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Plumley, Yolanda

Plumley, Yolanda

Individual Fellow

Recovering Past Soundscapes: The Cachet of French Song in the Low Countries, ca. 1400.

How many of the late medieval French songs found in Dutch manuscripts originated locally and how does this repertory relate to native vernacular songs and to the wider French song tradition?
And is it possible to identify particular political or cultural exchanges within and beyond the Low Countries, and even specific agents, that stimulated the transmission of this music?

Project Description

Living as we do today in a world so saturated with music, we may well wonder about the musical sounds that captured the collective imagination of our medieval forbearers. This project will shed vital new light on musical tastes at the courts of the Low Countries ca. 1400. It explores how a Europe-wide fashion for sophisticated French song made this music a significant marker of prestige, and even a valuable tool for political diplomacy. It re-evaluates the Low Countries as a hub for the cultivation and transmission of this genre, using a cross-disciplinary approach that combines study of the musical repertory, and of the agency of its authors, performers and listeners, with consideration of this music’s place in cultural and political exchanges between courts.

Selected Publications

1) The Art of Grafted Song: Citation and Allusion in the Age of Machaut. Oxford University Press, 2013.
2) Codex Chantilly, Bibliothèque du Château de Chantilly, MS 564. Brepols, 2008, 2 vols. (co-authored with Anne Stone)
3) The Complete Music and Poetry of Guillaume de Machaut, in 13 vols. The Medieval Institute, University of Western Michigan Press, 2016- (co-general editor with R. Barton Palmer).

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