'Sources of Identity' Conference - Theme

Conference Theme

Hours imageManuscript and print sources have traditionally had a central role in establishing and examining musical texts. However, they also have much to reveal about the meanings and purposes assigned to music by the people who commissioned, made, owned and used them. In this context, the ‘use’ of music sources extends beyond their role in live performance, to encompass also their use as gifts and as objects for collection and display. Aspects of noble, bourgeois, artistic and professional identities rested on the ways in which musical texts were selected, presented, distributed and used in this expanded sense. This conference turns the spotlight onto the people involved in music manuscripts and prints, asking what the sources with which they are connected can tell us about the various motives lying behind their investment in music.