Dr Margaret Bent CBE FBA

Emeritus Fellow, All Souls College.

Dr Margaret Bent, CBE FBA

Emeritus Fellow, All Souls College

Girton College, Cambridge, from 1959. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, 1969: The Old Hall manuscript: a paleographical study. Lecturer at Goldsmiths’ College, London, 1972 – 1975; Professor (including department chairmanships) at Brandeis and Princeton Universites, U.S.A., 1975-92; Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford since 1992, Emeritus since 2008. She continues to maintain active contact with young scholars and leads a successful seminar series on medieval and renaissance music.

Her research centres on English, French and Italian music of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. Editions (some co-authored) include the Old Hall manuscript, English masses, and the works of Dunstaple and Ciconia. She also edited Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia for the Fondazione Rossini, 1998. She was co-founder of  the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music, serves on many editorial boards of journals, publication series, and of the Einaudi Enciclopedia della Musica, and has contributed numerous articles to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. About 150 published essays address technical matters of music theory, techniques of counterpoint, analysis, musica ficta, text-setting, and other issues that bridge notation and performance in early music, descriptions of new sources, aspects of musical transmission, stemmatics, and manuscript studies, interfaces with literary, historical and biographical questions. Her work intersects fruitfully with medievalists in other disciplines. The collaborative volume Fauvel Studies and associated seminars are one reflection of this; she has  collaborated with literary scholars on aspects of words and music and, most recently, rhetoric and the non-verbal arts. A major publication, Bologna Q15: The Making and Remaking of a Musical Manuscript: Introductory Study and Facsimile Edition (LIM, Lucca, 2008) was awarded the Palisca prize of the American Musicological Society. Books since then include:  (co-authored), A Veneto Liber cantus (c. 1440): Fragments in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, and the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna. (Reichert,  Wiesbaden, 2012); Magister Jacobus de Ispania, author of the Speculum musicae  (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), (co-authored), The Dorset Rotulus: Contextualizing and Reconstructing the Early English Motet  (Boydell, Woodbridge, 2021).


Royal Musical Association, Dent medal 1979
Guggenheim Fellowship 1983 – 84
American Musicological Society, President 1984-6. Corresponding Member 1995
Fellow of the British Academy, 1993, sections J, and G (from 1996).
Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1994
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, 1995
Member of Academia Europea, 1995
Glasgow University, Honorary D. Mus, 1997
Notre Dame University, Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, 2002
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, 2002
Corresponding Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, 2004
Honorary Fellow, Girton College Cambridge, 2008
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), 2008
Doctor honoris causa, Université de Montréal, 2010
Honorary Member, Royal Musical Association, 2012
International member, American Philosophical Society, 2013
Elected to the Accademia olimpico in Vicenza, 2018
Inaugural Guido Adler Award of the International Musicological Society 2019



Visiting Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford, Spring 1988
Fowler Hamilton Visiting Research Fellowship, Christ Church, 1990-91
Karl Geiringer Memorial Lecture, Santa Barbara, 1995
Walker-Ames Visiting Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, April 1996
Distinguished Visitor, New York University Medieval Studies Program, March 1997
University of Pennsylvania, Visiting Professor, 1998
Visiting Professor, University of Munich, 1998
Loveday Lecture, University of Bristol, 1999
Visiting Professor, École normale supérieure, Paris, and Université de Tours, 2000
Robert Lehman Visiting Professor, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence, Villa I Tatti, Autumn 2000
Royal Holloway Music Lectures (series of six public lectures), University of London, 2001-2: “Soni pereunt: Sense and Nonsense in Early Music”
Oxford University, Hussey lecture, 2002
Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Toronto University Renaissance Centre, 2002
Professeur invitée, University of Tours and CESR, Spring 2002
Visiting Professor, University of Budapest, September 2003
Visiting Professor, University of Weimar-Jena, Spring 2004
Lurcy Visiting Professor, University of Chicago, 2005
Visiting Professor, Harvard University, Spring 2009
Visiting Professor, Basel University, 2009-10



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Dr Margaret Bent,

All Souls College,