New Books Network

Jane D. Hatter

Composing Community in Late Medieval Music

Self-Reference, Pedagogy, and Practice

Cambridge University Press 2019

New Books in ArtNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Christian StudiesNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in MusicNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network December 23, 2019 Kristen M. Turner

There are a handful of pieces from the Medieval and Renaissance periods that most music students learn about in their introductory history courses; among...

There are a handful of pieces from the Medieval and Renaissance periods that most music students learn about in their introductory history courses; among them are Guillaume Du Fay’s, Ave regina celorum III and Johannes Ockeghem’s Missa Prolationum. Some of these foundational compositions have been studied by musicologists for over one hundred years, but generally they have been examined in isolation as masterworks by great composers. In her new book Composing Community in Late Medieval Music: Self-Reference, Pedagogy, and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Jane D. Hatter effectively contextualizes these pieces within a larger repertory of motets and masses written between 1450 and 1550 that mention other musicians or explore complex theoretical topics. She sees these works as evidence of an international community of musicians that might have been separated geographically and isolated by their itinerant lifestyles, but who were connected through a shared attitude towards art and their own sense of themselves as composers and musicians. Connecting her insights to a similar phenomenon in the visual arts, Hatter shows that the repertory she studies reflects a musical culture that valued intergenerational connections between artists and compositional virtuosity based upon theoretical and pedagogical concepts that stretched back to antiquity, but that also permeated the musical training these composers received.

Jane D. Hatter is a musicologist on faculty at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Jane has published on musical time in early sixteenth-century Italian paintings (Early Music, 2011) and also on intersections between popular devotions and ecclesiastical liturgy in Renaissance motets that include or quote the Ave Maria prayer (2012). More recently she has examined the persistence and conversion of music for women’s churching ceremonies in both Catholic and Protestant contexts in the early Reformation period.


Kristen M. Turner, Ph.D. is a lecturer at North Carolina State University in the music department. Her work centers on American musical culture at the turn of the twentieth century and has been published in several journals and essay collections.