Graduate Research Colloquium: Dr Matthew Cheung Salisbury (University of Oxford)

Free to attend, those wishing to attend virtually should complete this sign-up form.

Amongst the works of the English clerk Ralph Niger (d. ca. 1199), which were collected by the author in a set of manuscripts now in Lincoln Cathedral Library, there are to be found four liturgical Offices for the principal feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Prologue to these Offices, Ralph writes:

Little by little I arranged the [passages of Scripture]… and I fitted their psalm-antiphons and responsories to them. I sought out new chant for the antiphons and responsories, that the singing might make good for the rudeness of the writing.

The texts and music of these offices, far from simple pastiches of the familiar conservative style of liturgical composition, reveal something about the intellectual life of the medieval clerks of whom Ralph Niger was one example, and who were often responsible for the regulation and performance of the liturgy. They also amount to a distinct contribution to the liturgical corpus of medieval England, especially because they can be attributed to a named author who has, in an unparalleled way, prefaced his work with some observations on how and why the work was done.

Dr Matthew Cheung Salisbury’s research spans the medieval and the modern, in theoretical and practical contexts. As a medievalist, he is interested in editing and analysing the texts and music of late medieval liturgical sources (manuscripts and early printed books) with particular emphasis on transmission and reception, as well as undertaking wider studies of the patterns of liturgy, ritual, and music in late medieval England. Matthew’s research has always been informed by practice, and he continues to direct recordings, performances, and services involving newly edited music and liturgy. Matthew is also interested in the theology of music in present-day Christian worship: he has worked on specific issues related to participation and the liturgical theology of Joseph Ratzinger.

Recently completed projects include a new critical edition (co-edited with John and Sally Harper) of the sixteenth-century Sarum Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary (2 volumes, Stainer & Bell for the British Academy, 2019) and an edited volume of theological and practical essays on dementia and worship (Church House Publishing, anticipated 2020). He has also published seven other books and scholarly editions, including The Secular Liturgical Office in Late Medieval England (Brepols, 2015).

About the series:
The Colloquia feature leading figures, as well as younger scholars, from across the world. They present their research in papers on all kinds of music-related topics. Graduate students Chuyu Zhang and Eugenie Dalgleish organise the series. Presentations are followed by a discussion and drinks reception. If you would like more information, please email Chuyu Zhang.