Grantley McDonald: The Life and Trials of Lutheran Musicians at the courts of Wilhelm IV and Ludwig X of Bavaria

Life and Trials of Lutheran Musicians Poster

Wednesday March 13, from 1–2 pm
ArtsTwo, Room 3.20
Queen Mary, University of London
Mile End Road E1 4NS

Abstract: The nature of Ludwig Senfl’s religious sympathies has long been the source of speculation and disagreement. His contacts with Luther, Albrecht of Brandenburg and Sebald Heyden would seem to suggest that he tended towards a reformed position. But how can this be squared with his employment in arch-Catholic Munich? The present paper argues that Senfl, having witnessed the punishment meted out to several people in his immediate environment for infringing the Bavarian Religious Mandates forbidding the promotion of Luther’s teachings (especially the patrician Bernhard Tichtl and the court trumpeter and composer Erhard Gugler) decided that a policy of calculated discretion in religious matters was the only way to survive.

GRANTLEY MCDONALD studied musicology, classics, Germanistik and history at Melbourne, Berlin and Leiden. His first dissertation (University of Melbourne, 2002), which was awarded the McCredie Medal by the Australian Academy of the Humanities, established a link between the practice of metrical song in the sixteenth century (the so-called Humanistenode or musique mesurée à l’antique) and the reception of the work of Marsilio Ficino. His second dissertation (Universiteit Leiden, 2011), dealing with the disputes over the Trinity arising from Erasmus’ edition of the New Testament, was awarded a research prize from the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. McDonald has been awarded postdoctoral fellowships at the Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel), the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Tours), KU Leuven and Trinity College Dublin. He is now Research Fellow at the Universität Salzburg, where he works on sixteenth-century German music printing and on the work of Paul Hofhaimer.

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