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[Call of papers] Colloque : Vie musicale et identité urbaine dans la France de la Renaissance (c.1500-c.1630)

Call of papers

8-10 February 2024 – Centre d’études supérieures de la Renaissance, Tours
Convenors : Dr Alexander Robinson (CESR, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow) et Prof. Philippe Vendrix (CESR/CNRS)

Concert Musiques pour l’entrée en Avignon de Marie de Médicis (1600) — Ensemble Clément Janequin – Les Sonadori – Les Sacqueboutiers
Friday 9 February 2024, Espace Joséphine Baker, Chapelle du Conservatoire, Tours

The conference is part of the EU-funded AVIGNONMUSIC project Music, Religion and civic Identity in Renaissance Avignon by Alexander Robinson (H2020-MSCA-IF-2021 – Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships 2022-2024) under grant agreement no 101063276.

France’s remarkable place in the history of music during the Renaissance period is undeniable. Indeed, its composers – both those who were born there or those who worked in this region – encompass some of the era’s most celebrated names, like Du Fay, Ockeghem, Josquin, Mouton, Janequin, and Lassus. No less important was France’s contribution to the evolvement of certain genres such as the chanson. Yet there is another side to France’s musical history from this time: that of the urban environment. What was the music which characterised everyday life in France during the Renaissance period? What music, for example, was heard on the streets or in the country’s smaller ecclesiastical establishments? Who were the musicians responsible for making such music? Equally, how was music used by French towns and cities in the construction of their civic identity? What role did music play in the popular politics of this time?

This conference seeks to explore such questions with the aim of extending current knowledge of France’s musical life between c.1500 and c.1630. Previous musicological work has already been done for certain French cities at this time, like Paris, Lyon and Toulouse (through the work of scholars like François Lesure, Frank Dobbins, and Luc Charles-Dominique). For many cities and towns, however, what little is known about this subject still often relies on the scholarship of nineteenth-century local historians; in other cases, the situation remains almost completely unexplored.

In order to address this lacuna, this conference invites proposals on topics including (but not restricted to) the following:

– Minstrels and musicians who contributed to France’s urban musical culture in any city or town during this period (city trumpeters, instrumentalists attached to guilds, etc.)

– The musical life and/or personnel of a given city’s/town’s sacred institutions (cathedrals, collegiate churches, confraternities, and so on)

– Questions regarding the repertoire performed by these musicians

– The use of music in civic festivals, both within certain annual events (like processions) and occasional events (like ceremonial entries)

– Ways in which music contributed to the construction of civic identity

– The link between music and politics on an urban level, also in the context of events going on at a national or even international level

If you would like to propose a 20-minute paper, please send a brief abstract (c. 250 words) and a short CV to Alexander Robinson (

The deadline for submitting proposals is 30 September 2023.

Some of the papers selected for this conference will be published in a volume co-edited by the organisers for Brepols as part of the “Épitome Musical” series. Further information about the programme, registration, travel and accommodation will be announced after that date. The conference will be supplemented by a concert reconstruction of music heard in Maria de’ Medici’s Avignon entry of 1600, performed by three internationally renowned French early music groups: Ensemble Clément Janequin, Les Sonadori, and Les Sacqueboutiers. This concert will take place at the Espace Josephine Baker – Chapelle Du Conservatoire Tours (37000) on Friday 9 February 2024.

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