David George Lee
- PhD candidate
Works in Progress: Vocation, Labour, The Act of Musical Composition and Early Modern Lutheranism
Notions of Work and Compositional Process in Early Modern Music (c.1590-1695)
My research (supported by an AHRC Scholarship) presents a comprehensive study of the different approaches to working that composers, musicians and theorists developed through the seventeenth century. I am particularly interested in a number of German composers who studied in Italy - particularly the pupils of the Gabrielis. I aim to trace trans-European currents of thought towards music, as a symptom of the wider culture of early modernity, by assessing theoretical and practical musical documents. My focus begins at 1590, the year which saw the death of Gioseffo Zarlino - one of the most influential theorists of late sixteenth-century music, which provides a point of departure into the stylistic plurality and shifting ontological status that music began to assume and enjoy in the seventeenth century. As part of this, I aim to evaluate the credibility of terms such as Renaissance and Baroque, which have been used somewhat arbitrarily to describe music of this period, which is often 'explained away' in wider historical narratives as one of transition and experimentation. In addition to my academic interests, I am an active performer of music of this period, working regularly with groups including the Dunedin Consort, Academy of Ancient Music, Polyphony and Oxford Baroque.