Paleography of Music (MCGY3627)


Paleography of Music introduces principles and issues of some different types of western musical notation in use during the medieval and Renaissance periods, and contributes to the development of an understanding of original sources of music of these eras. Through studying original notations and sources, students can develop an understanding of the characteristics and problems of medieval and renaissance musical repertories not otherwise available. Students will transcribe from the original notations studied into modern musical notation. Among the notations to be studied are several chant notations including that of the musical sources of Hildegard of Bingen; white mensural notation as used in sources of fifteenth and sixteenth vocal polyphony with examples likely to include music by Dufay, Ockeghem and Byrd; French and Italian lute tablatures; and German keyboard tablatures.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


One 2-hour seminar/week


Assignments (50%); 2-hour examination (50%).

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

MCGY2611 or with permission of the coordinator

Knowledge of current musical notation is essential.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.