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Shaping text, Shaping melody, Shaping experience in and through the Old Hispanic Office


New EU Project PhD & Postdoc Positions

14 November 12

Building on her 2009-10 Religion and Society research into Old Hispanic Chant, Emma Hornby (Bristol University) has been awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant for a project called 'Shaping text, Shaping melody, Shaping experience in and through the Old Hispanic Office'. Lasting for five years, this project will involve Hornby, her collaborator Professor Rebecca Maloy (University of  Colorado at Boulder), two postdoctoral researchers (in musicology and theology) and two PhD students (one musicologist and one composer).

The project team will explore the potential the Old Hispanic office chants had for promoting a particular religious experience within an almost-forgotten liturgy. The musicologists and theologians will bring the many-layered and cross-referential Old Hispanic approach to text choice, musical punctuation and melodic pacing explicitly to the attention of modern composers, encouraging them to explore compositional processes that evoke similar spiritual responses. The composers will act as a communicative channel between the pure scholarship demanded by the Old Hispanic material, and contemporary concert audiences and congregations.

Outputs will include a team-authored book, several peer-reviewed articles, a series of publicly performed compositions, an EU-workshop and an International Festival of new music inspired by the project findings. The Old Hispanic liturgy is one of the musical, intellectual and theological jewels of our European cultural heritage, and this project will give a wide audience a holistic understanding of its richness.


1. one postdoctoral research post in theology/liturgical studies (full time, 4 years):


2. one postdoctoral research post in medieval musicology (full time, 4



3. one fully funded 4-year PhD studentship in medieval musicology:


4. one fully funded 4-year PhD studentship in music (composition):


Informal enquiries are welcome, and should be addressed to emma.hornby@bris.ac.uk

Read more about Emma Hornby’s original Religion and Society grant here: http://www.religionandsociety.org.uk/research_findings/featured_findings/cracking_the_code_of_old_hispanic_chant_brings_it_to_life_for_the_first_time

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