Andrew Bull

Research title

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

Research summary

The Music of the Scottish Church in the 13th and 14th Centuries: Its repertory, its influences, and its place in Wider European Christianity.

Starting at the W1 musical manuscript of St Andrews, and including the Sprouston Breviary and Inchcolm Antiphoner, I ask what music was actually happening at the time, and what the reasons for it were. I also investigate the influence of the ‘Gaelic Church’, 'Celtic chant', the English invasion, and the larger European Christian Church. Within these manuscripts lies what is left of a long tradition of Scottish religious music, yet two of these MSS have yet to be fully mined for their information. The result of my studies will be a fully informative snapshot of Scottish religious music making, and the culture surrounding it, in the 13th century. 

This research will take a ‘long view’ of the influences and traditions that shaped the Scottish Church – using contemporary sources from the era, both musical and historical, and use them to try to recreate the sound world that existed in religious places of importance, such as St Andrews and Glasgow. It will also include the influences from burgeoning monastic orders, Ireland and the notion of the ‘Gaelic Church’, and the larger European Christian community. Using such resources, I will attempt to recreate a snapshot of what was happening in religious music making centres in this era – what was being sung, why it was being sung, who was singing, and what, if anything, was being played.


‘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.



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). 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.


‘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).

‘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.

'Mauvoisin and Bernham? A rehinking 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.


Graduate Teaching Assistant for Listening and Repertory. 

Additional information

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