This class requires several homework assignments and three papers.

Homework Assignments

Detailed descriptions are provided for selected homework assignments.

Assignment 1: Chant notation (PDF)
Assignment 3: Learning medieval notation from medieval manuscripts (PDF)
Assignment 4: A few questions about Morley's Plaine and Easie Introduction (PDF); answer key (PDF)


The writing assignments will introduce the tools used by professional music historians to communicate. In addition to some short one to two page assignments, there will be three papers, each 5 to 10 pages long.

The papers serve three main purposes: to stimulate research interests in music before 1625, to improve your academic writing in general, and to improve your writing about music in particular.

Instructions for revising essays (PDF)

Sample papers are presented courtesy of the students, used with permission.

1 Medieval music performance

"Comparisons of Performance Practice for a Troubadour Song and a Sequence," by MIT student (PDF)

"Differences in Performances: Kalenda Maia and the "Kyrie" from the Christmas Mass," by MIT student (PDF)

2 A research and analysis paper which will be revised, improved, and resubmitted

"Demonstrating Significance of Rhythm in Gregorian Chant: An analysis of Solesmes Transcriptions of the Christmas Masses," by MIT student (PDF)

"Parallel and Contrary Motion in the Madrigals of Giovanni da Cascia," by MIT student (PDF)

"Perspectives on Music during the Counter-Reformation: Sacerdotale vs. Morley's Practical Musicke" by Julie Henion (PDF)

"Trecento Cacce and the Entrance of the Second Voice," by MIT student (PDF)

3 A set of program notes No samples available