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Music History Guest Lecture: Jane Bernstein

Jane Bernstein, Tufts University

"The New Way: Engraving and Music Books in Sixteenth-Century Rome"

Description: Among the many innovations in music printing that occurred in Renaissance Rome, the technique of copper-plate engraving or intaglio was by far the most revolutionary.  Crossing the boundaries between visual and textual reproduction, engraved music notation created an immediacy that was not possible with letterpress printing. Unlike moveable type, which restricted the music genres that were printed, engraving worked hand-in-hand with an infinite number of idioms, facilitating, in particular, the representation of the new virtuosic style associated with early opera and keyboard music.  Thus, intaglio truly emancipated the transmission of musical repertories and the music book itself from the mechanical strictures of movable type.

Jane A. Bernstein is the Austin Fletcher Professor of Music Emerita at Tufts University. She received a B.A. in music from the City College of New York, an M.Mus from the University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Her primary research interests in musicology center on the Renaissance as well as women's studies. In 1999, she won the Otto Kinkeldey Award from the American Musicological Society for her book, Music Printing in Renaissance Venice: The Scotto Press (1539–1572) and, in 2005, her collection of essays, Women's Voices across Musical Worlds was named a finalist for the Pauline Alderman Award from International Alliance for Women in Music. Her other major publications include
Print Culture and Music in Sixteenth-Century Venice, the thirty-volume series The Sixteenth-Century Chanson, Philip Van Wilder: Collected Works, and French Chansons of the Sixteenth Century.

The recipient of several honors, she was awarded in 1990 with the Distinguished Alumna Citation of Excellence from the University of Massachusetts for Outstanding Contributions to the Profession of Musicology. In 2005, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, in 2013, was honored with a Festschrift: Music in Print and Beyond: Hildegard von Bingen to The Beatles, ed. Craig Monson and Roberta Marvin. She served as President of the American Musicological Society in 2008-10 and most recently was elected an honorary member of the Society. She is currently working on a book about music print culture in Renaissance Rome.