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Music and Pandemics

A recent review of the book Plague and Music in the Renaissance by Remi Chiu caught our eye. Chiu looks at the different ways that music found expression during the time in history when the plague was basically a constant threat. Though the book was published in 2017, it takes...

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Charpentier, 12 points

It is this manuscript that started it all—or more specifically, the first few bars of the page. The collection of autograph music by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704) gathered in a volume known as Mélanges autographes, vol. 10, contains the Te Deum (H. 146), whose opening bars we have been hearing more...

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The Musical Public Domain in 2021

When we said goodbye to 2020, we said hello to a host of composers whose music entered the public domain on January 1, 2021. This means that the people in question died long enough ago that copyright protection has expired for their works and there is no law prohibiting the...

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The Music for Richard Wagner's "Rienzi" Preserved in Dresden

This weekend was supposed to see the opening of the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth. Instead, a full, alternative program is planned. We’ll take this opportunity to take a look at the music preserved for Richard Wagner’s Rienzi, which was used in Dresden over a long period of time. The music...

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RISM and Katy Perry

Fifteen musicologists from institutions around the world have come together to argue that singer-songwriter Katy Perry was wrongly convicted of copyright infringement. What is their evidence? Music found in the RISM database, among other things. In 2019, Perry was ordered to pay $2.8 million when a jury found her guilty...

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Insect of the Year 2019: Red Mason Bee

The Red Mason Bee was chosen as the 2019 Insect of the Year by the environmental organization NABU for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It is the most common mason bee in Germany. When we think about bees, we usually think of the busy honey bee. But there are actually many...

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RISM on a Lark

As we enter the deep months of winter here in Frankfurt (no snow yet, though), thinking about 2019’s Bird of the Year puts us in a spring mood with thoughts of nice weather. The skylark is the 2019 Bird of the Year here in Germany, chosen by the environmental organization...

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Instrument of the Year 2019: Saxophone

The following was written by our intern from Spain, Carmen Álvarez (English below): Cada año, en Alemania, un intrumento tiene el honor de ser elegido el instrumento del año, y en 2019 el turno ha sido para el saxofón. Inventado a principios de la década de 1840 por Adolph Sax,...

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Mapping the Musical Landscape of the Sixteenth Century (MML16)

We have received the following announcement courtesy of Emily Hopkins (McGill University): The invention of music printing transformed the European musical landscape in the sixteenth century. Access to clear and affordable notated music made it possible for far more people to learn to read music and perform it in their...

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Music History's Earliest Engraved Notes – Simone Verovio

While printed music in the 16th century was primarily produced using type printing, which gave it a typically blurry overall look (except with Ottaviano Petrucci), the printed editions by Simone Verovio are particularly striking because of their handwritten appearance. The engraved printed music is easily recognizable through its characteristic platemark....

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All news posts are by the RISM Editorial Center staff unless otherwise noted. Reuse of RISM’s own texts is permitted under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. In all other cases, please contact the individual author.

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