Joseph Mason

Research Interests

Medieval music; music theory and its social, moral and political context; orality and literacy; materiality and codicology; historiography.

Area of proposed thesis

My thesis examines thirteenth-century vernacular song in northern France, in particular a genre of debate songs known as jeux-partis. I combine a number of approaches–analysis, close contextual readings, criticism using social and cultural theory–to explore the significance of jeux-partis to their singers, listeners and scribes. As well as offering interpretive readings of individual or groups of songs, I also consider what the practice of the jeu-parti might tell us about the ways in which music was understood in the thirteenth century. I am especially interested in questions of authorship, exchange/contest, orality and literacy, performance, and codicology.


AHRC Studentship

Subjects Taught

Music history before 1600; Pre-tonal analysis