Richard Freedman

Haverford College
MITH Conference Room
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
12:30 pm

Putting new media in the service of old scores, the digital environment offers much that will advance the study, teaching, and performance of music. There are on-line image archives, research databases, digital editions, tools for computational analysis, and even social media sites devoted to the serious study of music, in all its richness. But what good are such tools? And how do they relate to the peer-reviewed journals, books, and monuments with which they jostle for attention and resources?

I would like to offer some perspectives on the promise and peril of the digital domain for the study of music, highlighting some current accomplishments and pointing out some challenges for the years ahead. Along the way we will pause to consider the long history of transformative intersections of music and technologies of writing and reproduction. And we will reflect on the how these new modes new tools might enable new kinds of disciplinary collaborations, new relationships among teaching and research, and new models of intellectual property and publication.

See below for a Storify recap of this Digital Dialogue, including links to resources and projects that Freedman referenced during his talk.

Richard Freedman’s research focuses on the music of Renaissance France and Italy–works by composers such as Josquin des Prez, Orlando di Lasso and Luca Marenzio. He is interested in the stories of stylistic and cultural change these works can tell. Freedman came to Haverford in 1986 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned an M.A. and Ph.D in the History and Theory of Music. His most recent book, Music in the Renaissance, was published by W.W. Norton in 2012, along with a companion Anthology for Music in the Renaissance. They are ideal for intermediate and advanced courses on the period, and take their place in Norton’s new Western Music in Context series, under the editorial supervision of Walter Frisch. Sound recordings via iTunes, Amazon, and Naxos Music Library, and many readings, facsimiles, and other resources to accompany the book as well.

The Lost Voices Project is an electronic forum for collaboration among scholars, students, and performers. It centers on a dozen sets of music books originally printed by the Parisian press of Nicholas Du Chemin, and features facsimiles, dynamic digital editions, tools for analysis and reconstruction. This work has been made possible by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (Office of Digital Humanities and Scholarly Editions Program) the American Council of Learned Societies (Digital Innovations Fellowship), as well as ongoing support from Haverford College and from the Centre d’Etudes Superieures de la Renaissance in Tours, France, the leading French institute for the study of Early Modern culture. See the links posted below.

Richard also serves as Digital and Multimedia Scholarship editor for the Journal of the American Musicological Society, and Director of the Tri-College Digital Humanities Initiative for Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore Colleges.

A continuously updated schedule of talks is also available on the Digital Dialogues webpage.

Unable to attend the events in person? Archived podcasts can be found on the MITH website, and you can follow our Digital Dialogues Twitter account @digdialog as well as the Twitter hashtag #mithdd to keep up with live tweets from our sessions. Viewers can watch the live stream as well.

All talks free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunches.

Contact: MITH (,, 301.405.8927).