4th International French-Italian Symposium “Philology and Musicology”
1-4 Jun 2019 Morimondo (Italy)

4th International French-Italian Symposium "Philology and Musicology"


Languages and music within the vocal corpuses

from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance


Morimondo, Italy

June 1-4, 2019


The 4th symposium “Philology and Musicology” aims to address the question of the relationship between languages and music in the vocal corpuses from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. How does language directly affect the compositional process?

In order to answer this question, we consider a double postulate:  on the one hand, the very substance of a language would condition certain elements of the musical composition associated with it, such as the rhythm or the musical phrase and, on the other hand, the compositional process might be common to certain linguistic traditions, for example, the processes of “centonization”. Although the literature on the subject is abundant, it is mainly monodisciplinary; transversal work combining equal skills in philology and musicology are rare. While many musicologists and philologists have been interested in the relationship between music and language, we wish now to orient our studies towards a real collaboration between musicologists and text specialists. In the same way, comparative studies of several linguistic traditions are relatively rare, as are studies of their implications in musical creation. Moreover, we question whether this relation to language varies according to genres and forms, and how the same language is treated in monody or polyphony. Finally, the consideration of this question diachronically up to the 16th century will aim to delimit the continuities and particularities between different periods, both linguistic and musical.

Texts in both Latin and the vernacular languages will be taken into account. Following a now well-established tradition, the meeting will privilege interdisciplinary and collaborative contributions. Individual contributions and/or contributions devoted to one or the other of the two disciplines are nevertheless encouraged, as long as they aim to problematize the consideration of the objects of study in relation to the contributions of the other discipline, or if they stimulate reflection within the other disciplinary domain. The subject may be treated according to two main axes:

I. The literal relationship between music and language.The theme suggests a study of the direct links between music and text; it is particularly suited to interdisciplinary work. Comparative works situated among several linguistic traditions are welcome. Possible approaches might include:

    1. Morphosyntax and musical structure: language and musical form, language and structure of musical motifs, etc.
    2. Metrics and music: accentuation and musical rhythm, choice of meter / specific rhythmic sequence, etc.
    3. Phonetics and music: relationship between the sound material of the language (grammatical and metrical accents) and musical curve, alliterations, assonances, rhymes and music, etc.
    4. Music and language in diachrony: changes in the relationship between language and music, linguistic and musical evolution, etc.
    5. Musical particularities of plurilingual texts.
    6. Translation of texts: continuity or discontinuity of music, relation with prosody, etc.


II. Diversity of languages and musical traditions. The second theme is mainly comparative; it may concern the following axes:

    1. Linguistic features in vocal corpuses that could affect melody or polyphony.
    2. Musical features related to the language used.
    3. Comparison between languages: metrics, accentuation, sound, etc.
    4. Comparison between melodies or polyphonies setting texts in different languages: troubadours, trouvères, Minnesänger, etc.
    5. Rewritings: borrowings, contrafacta, quotations, etc.


The fourth meeting will take place in Italy in the village of Morimondo, which will also host the medieval music festival Musici Vagantes, associated with our congress since the Rome meeting in 2015.

Proposals for papers, consisting of a title and a summary of approximately 200 words, must be received no later than September 30, 2018 at the following address :


After review by the scientific committee, a decision will be conveyed no later than October 30, 2018. The papers will be published in the proceedings of the symposium.

Official languages of the symposium are French, Italian and English. Individual presentations should last 20 minutes and will be followed by 10 minutes of discussion. Collaborative presentations (2 or 3 speakers) will have double time.

The conference registration fee is 40 € ; free for doctoral students. Travel expenses, accommodation and dinners will be at the charge of the participants. The organizing committee may, however, award grants to cover all or part of the costs incurred by researchers who do not have funding possibilities from their research centres; doctoral students and young PhDs will of course have priority.



Organizing commitee

Christelle Chaillou-Amadieu

Gisèle Clément 
(Université de Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, CEMM EA4583)

Fedon Nicolaou 
(Université de Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, CEMM EA4583)

Federico Saviotti 
(Università di Pavia)

Fabio Zinelli 
(Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, EA 4116)

Scientific Committee

Pr. Francesco Carapezza, Università di Palermo

Dr. Christelle Cazaux-Kowalski, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz / Musik-Akademie Basel
Schola Cantorum Basiliensis - Hochschule für Alte Musik

Pr. Frédéric Duval, École nationale des Chartes

PrIsabelle Fabre, Université de Montpellier/CEMM

Pr. Claudio Galderisi, Université de Poitiers/CESCM

Pr. Isabelle His,Université de Poitiers

Pr. Maria Sofia Lannutti, Università di Firenze

Pr. Maria Luisa Meneghetti, Università di Milano

Dr. Delphine Pasques, Sorbonne Université

Pr. Michel Zink, de l'Académie française

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