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Monica Roundy



Working in the middle of notational, generic, linguistic, iconographic, and codicological traces, Monica Roundy’s current research project pursues the places—physical, cultural, hermeneutic—of music written in non-liturgical sources of English provenance in the thirteenth century. The fragmentary and scattered manuscripts invite recuperative thought and imaginative re-membering with an ear toward realization in scholarship and performance; these entwined pursuits in turn nourish broader questions concerning the nature of registering sounds through writing and the methodologies through which one might attempt to identify personae implicated in the acts of collecting and inscribing music. At the same time, useful work remains to be done on manuscript description, chronology, and bibliographic depth as it pertains to this repertory of monophonic and, in particular, polyphonic song.

Roundy’s dissertation, with a working title of “Language, Identity, and the Writing of Music in Sources from Thirteenth-Century England,” originates in wonder at the famous and paradoxical generic and notational divergences—as well as underappreciated overlaps—between insular and continental manuscripts containing music. Drawing on historical and literary studies that explore the rich cultural entanglement of England and France in the thirteenth century, Roundy studies the role of music in a trilingual milieu and in the context of manuscripts containing different kinds of writing (legal, homiletic, poetic, and medical, among others) in order to contribute to our understanding of what it may have meant to commit lyrics and notes to parchment.

Roundy’s research has been supported by the Donald J. Grout Memorial Research Fund, the Cornell Graduate School, and the American Musicological Society.