Thursday, January 17, 2013

“In Search of Lost Sound: Recovering Musical Experience from the Medieval Past

The UCLA Department of Musicology Distinguished Lecture Series is pleased to announce a talk by Professor Elizabeth Randell Upton, Assistant Professor of Musicology, UCLA.

 “In Search of Lost Sound: Recovering Musical Experience from the Medieval Past”
Thursday, January 24th, 2013 at 4:00pm
1440 Schoenberg Music Building
University of California, Los Angeles
Reception to follow in the SMB Green Room.

In her new book, Music and Performance in the Later Middle Ages (Palgrave, 2012), Professor Elizabeth Randell Upton asks how we can learn about the experience of music in the past even in the absence of explicit contemporary documents.  Traditionally, polyphonic songs have been treated as purely aesthetic creations, and musicologists have looked for information about performance context primarily in non-musical historical documents rather than in the notated manuscript scores of the songs.  In this talk Professor Upton explains how by re-conceptualizing these scores as preserving the material traces of a cultural process involving composer, performers, and listeners, they can be analyzed to reveal heretofore overlooked evidence of the negotiated transactions between these different actors.  This evidence can then be used to illuminate the original performance context of the songs, as well as adding to our reconstruction of lost sounding phenomena.

The Distinguished Lecture Series is organized by graduate students in the Department of Musicology.  Each year, we invite a number of outstanding  scholars from this country and abroad to participate. Sponsored by the Musicology Graduate Student Society, the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and the Department of Musicology, the content of lectures reflects the interests of visitors, faculty, and students, and has embraced diverse subjects pertaining to the study of music.  For more information and to find out about upcoming lectures, please visit our website: or email us at uclamusicologydls(at)  You can also find us on Facebook.

We hope you will join us on the 24th.

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