Dr Louise McInnes, BMus, MMus, PhD, AFHEA

image of Louise McInnesemail: l.e.mcinnes@sheffield.ac.uk

I am a musicologist specialising in the music of the medieval period, particularly English music of the 15th century.

My recent research has been primarily concerned with the 15th-century English medieval carol genre, an important indigenous musical form that has been somewhat neglected in recent scholarship despite being abundant in a number of sources from the late fourteenth to the early sixteenth centuries, both with and without extant musical notation. My work applies a combination of traditional and modern methodologies: empirical research, gender study and ethnomusicological research, in order to place the carol genre in clearer social, political and religious contexts so as to better understand its place and use in late medieval society.

My research provides a new context for the study of the carol by also including a close investigation of those carols without extant musical notation; thus presenting a fuller picture of the genre than that of previous musicological studies. My completed PhD thesis on this subject, entitled ‘The Social, Political and Historical Contexts of the Late Medieval Carol: 1360-1530’, can be accessed here: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/23404/. I am currently working on the publication of elements of this research.

My previous research has included work on two Scottish manuscripts: the early 16th-century ‘Carver Choirbook’, and the 14th-century ‘Inchcolm Antiphoner’, as well as an examination of the music of the women Trouveres of northern France, and an exploration of the localised musical traditions of the Augustinian Canons.

My PhD was completed at the University of Huddersfield, where I was granted a full fee waiver to conduct my research, and received the Musica Britannica ‘Louise Dyer Award’ to support my research into British Music. I have taught at the University of Huddersfield as an Associate Lecturer in Music for the past four years, in addition to my work as an instrumental teacher for Sheffield Music Service.

I have also recently completed a four month postdoctoral project for the University of Durham, conducting an investigation of the previously unexplored Ushaw College Library and Archives with the intention of locating and identifying musical sources for future study and digitisation from the 12th century to the present day. This work firmly established the college as an untapped resource of both musical and theological material.

I was appointed as Honorary Research Fellow of the Department of Music at the University of Sheffield in May 2015.
Research Interests

  • Historical Musicology
  • Manuscript and Early Printed Music Sources
  • Early Music (with particular interest in the music of the late medieval period)
  • British Music (with particular interest in its transmission and reception internationally and its reflection of nationality and nationhood)
  • Music and Gender
  • Music in Social Contexts

Publications and Select Conference Papers

McInnes, Louise, ‘That we with merth mowe savely synge’: The 15th-century carol, a music of the people?’ Early Music Performer, 36 (May, 2015).

McInnes, Louise, ‘The King’s Music’ , Book Review of, The Henry VIII Book, facsimile edition with commentary by David Fallows (Oxford: DIAMM Publications, 2014), in Early Music, 43/2 (2015), 341-343.

McInnes, Louise and Rutherford, Eleanor, ‘MedRen 2010’, Early Music, 38/4 (2010), 633-4.

‘New Ways of Exploring Old Genres: mixed methodologies and the neglected medieval English carol’ – Facing the Music of Medieval England Conference, Huddersfield, 2015.

‘‘But here the greatest melody arises without any physical instrument, when the angels minister and sing to Christ’: The Carol in Sermons and Late Medieval Worship.’ - The Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference, Birmingham, 2014.

‘The Windsor Choirbook?: Egerton 3307’ – The Plainsong and Medieval Music Society Conference, British Library, 2014.

‘The Ushaw Music Project’ (joint paper) - The Treasures of Ushaw: Secular and Sacred Conference, University of Durham, 2014.

‘Manuscript sources and musicological interpretations of female class and gender identities in the medieval carol’ – Centre for the Study of Music, Gender and Identity Conference, Sheffield, 2013

‘‘England be glad! Lift up thy lusty hearts!’: The Late Medieval Carol as a Vehicle for Nationalism and Political Commentary’- The Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference, Certaldo, 2013.

‘That We With Merth Mowe Savely Synge: The 15th-Century Carol, A Music of the People’ – The Royal Musical Association Student’s Conference, University of Hull, January 2012.

‘The Social, Political and Historical Contexts of the Late Medieval Carol’ – The Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference, Royal Holloway University, July 2010.