MUS 512 / MED 512

Topics in Medieval Music: Charlemagne and the Authentic Antiphonal

Rob C. Wegman

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It is a well-known problem in Gregorian chant studies that certain concepts (e.g. improvisation, orality, transmission, composition) are so malleable that they can be flexibly interpreted according to what a given theory demands, or what the evidence is hoped to corroborate. In such conditions, theories may lose all semblance of falsifiability, and unwittingly keep it that way by policing the very terms on whose interpretation they depend, or proposing moratoria on discussion. This seminar departs from the position that the problem is partly one of question-framing, and it proceeds by exploring different questions.

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