Conference Programme


Guillaume de Machaut: Music, Image, Text in the Middle Ages

Interdisciplinary Conference: 29th – 30th April 2013, Reed Hall, University of Exeter, UK


Monday 29th April

9.45am              Short welcome


10am              Session 1: Machaut as Author

Barton Palmer (Clemson University)

Authorship and Autobiography in Machaut: The Star Author Reveals Himself or Does He?

Helen J. Swift (St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford)

Communication and Displacement: The Material Place of Poetic Voice

Tamsyn Rose-Steel (University of Exeter)

Don’t Even Think About It: The ‘Sans Penser’ Motif in Machaut’s Lyrics


11.30am        Coffee Break


11.50am          Session 2: Material Context and Multimodality

Emma Dillon (King’s College London)

Technologies of Love in Machaut's Remede de Fortune

Kate Maxwell (University of Agder)

Guillaume de Machaut and the Concept of ‘Multimodality’


1pm                Lunch


2.30pm            Session 3: Machaut in Aragon and the Case of MS F-G

Anna Alberni (University of Barcelona)

Machaut’s Literary Legacy in the Crown of Aragon: The Role of Chansonnier VeAg        

Yolanda Plumley and Uri Smilansky (University of Exeter)

A Courtier’s Quest for Cultural Capital: New Light on the Original Owner of Machaut MS F-G

Julia Drobinsky (Paris West University Nanterre La Défense)

Visual Narration in Machaut’s MS F-G (BnF, français 22545-22546)


4pm               Tea Break


4.30pm          Session 4: Machaut's Motets: Mirrors, Intertextuality and Biography

Jacques Boogaart (University of Amsterdam)

The Fatal Mirror: Interpreting Machaut’s motet 7, J’ai tant /Lasse! /Ego moriar pro te

Thomas Neal (Clare College, University of Cambridge)

The Composer as Exegete: an Intertextual Analysis of Machaut's Motet 21

                    David Fiala (University of Tours)

Machaut and Saint-Quentin


6pm               Buffet


7.30pm           Concert by Ensemble Le Basile: Certes Je Di - Machaut in Many Voices


Tuesday 30th April

9.30am            Session 5: Musical Invention and Compositional Process

Jared C Hartt (Oberlin College Conservatory of Music)

Sonority and Voice Leading in Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame

Anne Stone (City University of New York Graduate Centre)

Machaut's Rhythmic Invention

David Maw (University of Oxford)

Compositional Process as Cultural History: Machaut’s Songs as Case Study


11am              Coffee Break


11.20am          Session 6: Beyond Parchment: Machaut in the Digital Era

Presentation and discussion of new online resources produced by the Machaut project at the University of Exeter, and a related series of sound recordings

Tamsyn Rose-Steel, Gary Stringer, Uri Smilansky, Don Greig


12.30pm        Buffet lunch


1.45pm              Session 7: Machaut and Rhythm

Virginia Newes (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Structures of Melody and Text in Machaut’s Earlier Monophonic Virelais

Warwick Edwards (University of Glasgow)

The Rhythms of Machaut’s Sung Verse: A Case Study in the Intersection of Oral and Literate Cultures


2.45am          Tea Break          


3.10pm          Session 8: Symmetry and Reversal in Machaut

Emma Cayley (University of Exeter)

Le Contraire Effacies: Reflecting on Reversal in Machaut’s Jugement Poems   

Dimitris Kountouras (University of Athens)

Tels Rit au Main: Machaut’s Only Lament: An Analysis


4.30pm                       Finish


Fortune's Child

Out now on the Hyperion websiteFortune's Child is the most recent recording of Machaut's works from the Orlando Consort. As Fabrice Fitch of Gramophone notes, "five volumes in, Hyperion’s Machaut series shows no sign of running out of puff." Complimenting their performance, Fitch says "the Orlandos project and enunciate Machaut’s French so well that one rarely reaches for the printed text" and he is particularly impressed by Angus Smith's interpretation of 'Dou mal qui m'a longuement'. He further remarks, "as with previous volumes, the programming of this series is deeply impressive."

A Burning Heart

CD Cover Image for "Machaut: A Burning Heart" by the Orlando Consort

Available now from the Hyperion website, the Orlando Consort's latest CD, A Burning Heart, is already receiving critical acclaim. Blair Sanderson, writing for, describes the Consort's singing as "wonderfully evocative and full of medieval atmosphere." While Brian Wilson, for MusicWeb International, declares: "I doubt...if either Chaucer or Chrétien could have imagined anything better than the singing on this and the other Orlando Consort Machaut recordings."


***********************STOP PRESS!!!!!!!!************************

The Complete Poetry and Music of Guillaume de Machaut Volume 1 is out now!!!!

Volume 1: The Debate Poems is now available in print.

You can also enjoy the entire volume online via the Middle English Texts Website.

Edited and translated by R. Barton Palmer, with art historical commentary by Domenic Leo, and musical commentary by Uri Smilansky, the volume contains  Le Jugement dou Roy de Behaigne, Le Jugement dou Roy de Navarre, and Le Lay de Plour.




The Dart of Love

Available now from the Hyperion website, The Dart of Love is second in a series of recordings by the Orlando Consort of Machaut's music. It has already received critical acclaim:

The Orlando Consort perform these works with matchless purity of tone and clarity of diction. (Limelight, Australia)

The programme is nicely varied in mood and scoring, ranging from four-voice ballades and motets to a single-voice virelai, and every combination in between … a thoughtful essay by Anne Stone makes audible sense of the many connections between the pieces on this valuable, impressive recording. (Gramophone)

The Ferrell-Vogüé Machaut Manuscript

Full colour facsimile with introductory study by Lawrence Earp, Domenic Leo and Carla Shapreau. Preface by Christopher de Hamel

"It is a vast manuscript of royal luxury, 390 leaves of parchment, 314 mm. by 220 mm., illustrated with 118 enchanting miniatures by a workshop of court illuminators led by the Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy.They include pictures of gothic chivalry and romance, with mythology and natural history. Music is included on 235 pages of the manuscript, with almost the entire corpus of the ballades, lais and motets of Machaut, as well as his great polyphonic setting of the Mass, the four-part Messe de Nostre-Dame.The manuscript has never before been photographed in its entirety or reproduced in colour."

"Vol. 1 introductory study (225 pages colour/mono), vol. 2 facsimile (789 full colour pages) on 150gsm matt art paper. Full size reproduction, hard bound in buckram, presented in hard slipcover."

Available now from DIAMM Publications.

The Art of Grafted Song: Citation and Allusion in the Age of Machaut by Yolanda Plumley

Available now from Oxford University Press

"Presents the first detailed exploration of citational practices in the song-writing tradition of fourteenth-century France. The first monograph-length study on the Ars nova chanson with new evidence about the emergence of the new polyphonic chanson. Provides new evidence about the circle of poets and composers who engaged with Machaut and created a new style of poetry and song. Explores little studied collections of lyrics and songs of the period and provides fresh insights and perspectives on Machaut's works."



New Voir Dit CD

Available now from the Hyperion website.

This new CD from the acclaimed Orlando Consort showcases songs from Machaut's Livre dou Voir Dit (‘Book of the True Tale’). The recording was inspired by collaborative work between our project team and the Orlando Consort who have been trialling the new edition being produced. You can watch a video of the consort discussing their recording on YouTube.

It has already received critical acclaim: David Fallows for Gramophone writes:

To my ears, this is a dream team, with the enormously experienced Donald Greig and Angus Smith alongside ...Matthew Venner and Mark Dobell, who display the most magnificent articulation of the texts alongside the understanding of the lines gained from their senior colleagues...always dead in tune, always beautifully balanced...the unforgettable track here is Angus Smith performing the 'Lay de Bon Esperance', over 20 minutes of unaccompanied solo singing...He's terrific.