Graduate Research Colloquium: Dr Julia Craig-McFeely

This paper is about what happens when we take a second look at things that have been accepted for a very long time, and on which a great deal of subsequent research has been founded. A mis-step half a century ago appears to have cast a very long shadow, and we now have to look at a different sort of landscape for Tudor music than the one we thought we had worked out. The digital medium in its turn has allowed us to look at our corpus in a very different way to that of scholars of the last century. The paper therefore also examines who was involved in writing partbooks, who owned and played from them, the activities of institutional singing men when they weren’t singing, how the music got from one place or manuscript to another, what the unwritten conventions were in copying, and how our understanding of the place of music in middle-class Tudor society needs a fresh look.

Julia Craig-McFeely studied at Edinburgh University (BMus, MMus) with Michael Tilmouth, Kenneth Leighton and Peter Williams. She completed her DPhil on English Lute Manuscripts and Scribes 1530-1630 at the University of Oxford in 1994. Her research is primarily in Early Modern English manuscript studies, initially with English lute manuscripts and more recently in the codicology and palaeography of Tudor partbooks.

After several years as a college lecturer at a number of Colleges, and a Junior Research Fellowship at St Anne’s College, she ran a successful freelance business typesetting music and text that had particular difficulties in layout or design (including transcribing and setting Donizetti’s opera Elisabetta from his autograph, for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), and has since typeset a number of publications in musicology, including the award-winning Facsimile and introductory study of Bologna MS Q.15, by Margaret Bent, and Sam Barrett’s The Melodic Tradition of Boethius “De consolatione philosophiae” in the Middle Ages, (Monumenta Monodica Subsidia Series VII, 2 vols., Bärenreiter, Kassel, 2013). She is the General Editor and director of the production team of DIAMM Publications, many of whose publications have also received academic awards.

Julia Craig-McFeely has been the Project Manager of DIAMM since 1998 and a Director since 2007. She has published and lectured in Europe and the USA both about her research and about the work of DIAMM, and in particular about creating high-quality images of archive documents and digital restoration. She has also lectured on intellectual property rights in relation to digital images. She is known internationally as an expert in archive-quality imaging of delicate documents, and consults to a number of organisations including the National Library of Ireland and the Israel Antiquities Authority. In 2008 she was one of the team of specialists who undertook the pilot project to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem.

She is an organist at two churches in Oxford, directs a number of choral groups in and around the city, and is an occasional composer and arranger.

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 Marinu Leccia and Judith Valerie Engel organise the series. Presentations are followed by a discussion and virtual drinks reception. Free and open to all Music Faculty students and members. If you would like more information, please email or