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ERC

OLD HISPANIC OFFICE Report Summary

Project ID: 313133
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - OLD HISPANIC OFFICE (Shaping text, Shaping melody, Shaping experience in and through the Old Hispanic office)

The Old Hispanic Office project has two interlocking strands. In the Historical Research strand, a team of five researchers undertook deep analysis of text, melody, theology, liturgy, and the way they interconnect in the early medieval liturgy of Iberia, whose roots belong in the 7th century or even earlier. We worked together on a team-authored book, that offers an introduction to the Old Hispanic materials, and a methodological guide for working with them in different ways: understanding the notation; analysing the melodies; and exploring the relationship between text, melody and theology. We produced a series of articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as many unpublished and some published conference papers. In the Composition research strands, the historical researchers shared their work with composers on the project team, within Bristol University Music Department, and widely across the EU through a composition competition, where the discussion took place via an online forum. These discussions stimulated composers to write music inspired by the Old Hispanic liturgy in various ways. Some were inspired by the notation, others by the medieval texts or medieval Iberian imagery. Some attempted to reflect
the kind of theological multi-layering so visible in the Old Hispanic materials, and others tried to capture something of the aesthetic or devotional impact that the medieval chant would have had on its original listeners. Since the medieval melodies cannot be transcribed, we cannot perform them nowadays. This presents an alternative way of reimagining the cultural impact of those materials
within a modern-day compositional idiom.

Reported by

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
United Kingdom
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