Musical Culture in the Wars of Religion, 1550-1650

Event Date: 
17 Mar 2018 to 18 Mar 2018

St Catharine's College, Cambridge


Talks by:

Peter Bennett (Case Western Reserve) Marie-Alexis Colin (Brussels) Tom Hamilton (Cambridge) Kat Hill (Birkbeck) David van der Linden (Groningen) Margaret McGowan (Sussex) Emilie Murphy (York) David Potter (Kent) Alex Robinson (Cambridge) John Romey (Case Western Reserve) Daniel Trocmé Latter (Cambridge)and featuring a lecture-recital by Edward Wickham and the Choir of St Catharine's College, Cambridge of the Dodecacorde of Claude Le Jeune Edward Wickham (Cambridge)


Music was a crucial battleground in the Wars of Religion. In spite of this, historians and musicologists have rarely combined their approaches to understand the full significance that music had in the civil wars. Historians have primarily studied how music shaped confessional identities, for example, as Protestants sang the Psalms together in worship or on the battlefield, to express their solidarity and take comfort in their faith despite persecution. Musicologists, on the other hand, have tended to concentrate on the most important composers from this time (such as Eustache Du Caurroy or Pierre Guédron), the genres in which they wrote (like ballets or airs de cour), or issues associated with the performance of this repertoire. This conference brings together historians and musicologists with the aim of overcoming the boundaries that still remain between these scholarly disciplines. Treating the age of the Wars of Religion across a whole century, and using France as a focal point for making wider comparisons, the papers in this conference will explore the role of music from all sectors of society, from the royal courts to the city streets, and from both Protestant and Catholic perspectives.


Registration: £25, to include tea and coffee breaks, a sandwich lunch on both days and a drinks' reception.


Orgnisers: Tom Hamilton, Alex Robinson and Edward Wickham