Andrew Bull

Research title

The Music of the Scottish Church in the 13th and 14th Centuries

Research summary

The Medieval Office for St Columba: Cult, Hagiography, and Music.

As the only surviving Office for St Columba, the Inchcolm Antiphoner (GB-Eu Ms 211, IV) provides valuable evidence for the activity of hagiographical veneration in Scotland in the mid-14th century. By understanding this office's place as a hagiographical entity, its textual links to the wider Columban cult, and analysing the chant melodies used, we can arrive at a far more in-depth understanding of the methods a saint's cult used in the propagation and veneration of their saint. Musically, the chants used have so far shown certain amounts of alteration to any chant melody that is taken from other European sources, suggesting re-compositional activity likely due to the change in text. These texts show strong links, unsurprisingly, to the vitae of St Columba (both the late-7th century Life of Columba by Adomnán and the later Irish Life), drawing on the many activities and qualities of St Columba in their efforts to praise him, and bring his recognition and favour to the performers. This PhD will examine the place of this office within the wider cult of St Columba within Scotland, the musical office's place within the wider media of hagiography, before analysing in-depth the texts and music of the chants supplied, to ascertain the sources used and the methods applied to them. 


'The Adaptation of Saint's Lives in Medieval Chant: Remembrance and Request' (2018) in Dom Birch, Kelly Clarke, and Katie Haworth (eds.) Imitation and Innovation: Uses of the Past in the Medieval and Early Modern World. Proceedings of the 2017 MEMSA Student Conferencepp. 57-75.

‘Inferring the placement of a bardic school in 13th to 15th century Lennox, Scotland, through harp wood types’ (2016) Fellowship of Makers and Researchers of Historical Instruments Quarterly. Issue 134, pp. 24-27.


The Dennis Townhill Memorial Fund, supporting the registration fee for IMC 2018. 

Hunter Marshall Bequest. Supporting travel and accommodation expenses for the 2017 MEMSA conference. 

Annie Dunlop Scottish History Endowment towards the digitisation of the Sprouston Breviary (NLS Adv. MS. 18.2.13B).

West Lothian Educational Trust (2016-17, 17-18). Towards the support of PhD studies.

The McGlashan Trust (2016-17). Towards the support of PhD studies.

University of Glasgow College of Arts Research Support Award (2016). Towards the presentation of a conference paper at the 2016 Musica Scotica conference.


'Commemorating Saints through Chant Texts: Columba and Kentigern'. Presented at The International Medieval Congress, July 2018.

'Two Scottish Saints – Two Different Lives – Two Similar Offices?'. Presented at the thirteenth annual Musica Scotica Conference, April 2018, Tolbooth, Stirling.

‘O’er the water to Charlie’: contextualising James Oswald’s Jacobite tunes in London printings’. Presented at The Communities and Margins of Early Modern Scotland, October 2017.

‘The Textual Choices in the Offices for St Columba and St Kentigern’. Presented at The Culture of Literature and Language in Medieval and Renaissance Scotland, 15th International Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Scottish Literature and Language (ICMRSLL), July 2017. 

‘The Adaptation of Saint’s Lives in Medieval Chant: Remembrance and Request’. Presented at the Eleventh Annual Postgraduate Conference, Medieval and Early Modern Student Association, Durham University, July 2017

'Mauvoisin and Bernham? A rethinking of W1's creation dating'. Presented at the twelfth annual Musica Scotica Conference, April 2017, Tolbooth, Stirling.

‘Binary bass sequences in Scottish fiddle tunes 1757-1784’. Presented at the eleventh annual Musica Scotica Conference, April 2016, Stirling Court Hotel.


Current Graduate Teaching Assistant for Listening in Culture and Listening through Analysis.

Previously for Listening through Analysis (2017 sem. 2), Listening in Culture (2017 sem. 1), and Listening and Repertory (2016-17). 

Additional information

SGSAH Scottish University Research Collection Associate, working on musical marginalia and fragments. Twitter Account. Main project website.