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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



I completed both my Undergraduate and MPhil Music degrees at Cambridge, also at Selwyn College. My undergraduate degree included the study of music from various different cultures and historical periods. From this wide-ranging introduction to historical musicology, I was especially engaged by the study of medieval music, specifically Parisian polyphony from the 12th and 13th centuries. I am particularly interested in the ways in which oral and literate musical cultures co-existed at this time, (Lay book making expanded quickly at the beginning of the 13th century and more music was notated), and I enjoy the challenge of researching a musical culture where oral, performer-driven practices of creation and transmission were as important as literate practices with largely only notated musical manuscripts as sources. My MPhil research focused on the Vatican Organum Treatise, a small treatise which taught musicians how to create Organum Purum. My PhD will extend this research by looking at creative methods in other sources of polyphony, and will seek to evaluate the relationship between the music of the Vatican Organum Treatise and the other polyphonic manuscripts. 

Other Academic Interests 

This kind of musicological research involves paleography and codicology, as well as a knowledge of Latin and medieval French. These are all areas I enjoyed exploring during my MPhil and I will continue to develop these skills during my PhD.

Department: Music
Supervisor: Professor Susan Rankin
College: Selwyn
AHRC Subject Area: Music
Thesis Title: The Creation, Transmission and Dissemination of the Medieval Polyphonic Practice of Organum Purum
 Chloe  Allison