Dr Joseph Mason

I am a historical musicologist specialising in vocal music in medieval Europe. My current research focuses on the songs of the trouvères, poet-composers active in Northern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. I’m particularly interested in musical meaning, both from the perspective of cultural history, and as a music analyst. I am currently completing research for a monograph on music and violence in thirteenth-century song.

I completed undergraduate studies at the University Oxford and a masters in musicology at King’s College London, after which I returned to Oxford for a DPhil in Music. I held teaching positions at New College and the University of Bristol and a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship at University College Dublin before taking up a Junior Research Fellowship at New College in 2021.

I teach, or have taught, music history before 1600, pre-tonal and tonal analysis, musical thought and scholarship, and techniques of composition.

Journal Articles

  • Mason, Joseph W., ‘Oral and written transmission in the early jeu-parti’, Music & Letters (forthcoming 2022).
  • Mason, Joseph W., ‘Trouver et partir: The meaning of structure in trouvère song’, Early Music History 40 (2022), 1–45.
  • Mason, Joseph W., ‘Newly discovered 14th-century polyphony in Oxford’, Early Music 49/2 (2021), 245–59.
  • Mason, Joseph W., ‘Structure and Process in the Old French jeu-parti’, Music Analysis 38, nos. 1–2 (2019), 47–79.
  • Mason, Joseph W., ‘Debatable Chivalry: A jeu-parti by the Duke of Brittany and its context’, Medium Ævum 87, no. 2 (2018), 255–276.

Edited book

  • Leach, Elizabeth Eva, Joseph W. Mason, and Matthew P. Thomson (eds), A Medieval Songbook: Trouvère MS C (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2022).

Book chapters

  • Quinlan, Meghan P., and Joseph W. Mason, ‘Popular Culture’ in The Bloomsbury Cultural History of Music in the Middle Ages, ed. Elizabeth Eva Leach and Helen Deeming, The Bloomsbury Cultural History of Music vol. 2 (forthcoming 2022).
  • Joseph W. Mason, ‘Jeux-partis and their contrafacts in C’, in Elizabeth Eva Leach, Joseph W. Mason, and Matthew P. Thomson (eds.), A Medieval Songbook: Trouvère MS C (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2022), pp. 174–191.

Book reviews

  • Joseph W. Mason, ‘Rachel May Golden, Mapping Medieval Identities in Occitanian Crusade Songs’, Early Music History (forthcoming, 2022).
  • Joseph W. Mason, ‘Tristan E. Franklinos and Henry Hope (eds), Revisiting the Codex Buranus: Contents, Contexts, Composition’, Journal of the Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies (forthcoming 2022).
  • Joseph W. Mason, ‘Gregorio Bevilacqua and Thomas B. Payne (eds), Ars Antiqua: Music and Culture in Europe, 1150–1330’, Music & Letters (forthcoming 2022).
  • Joseph W. Mason, ‘Jennifer Saltzstein (ed.), Musical Culture in the World of Adam de la Halle’,  Music & Letters 101/1 (2020), 135–8.
  • Joseph W. Mason, ‘The Cambridge History of Medieval Music, ed. by Mark Everist and Thomas Forrest Kelly’, Music and Letters 100/3 (2019).

Conference review

  • Joseph W. Mason, ‘Peering through the gaps in music history’, Early Music 46/2 (2018), 358–9.

Medieval music and literature; manuscript studies; music and violence; critical theory.