The world of Church musicians in the modern era in France gleaned from the many documents unearthed by Muséfrem’s research is now being investigated from the viewpoint of their status.
It is generally thought that the importance of lay clerks in church musical ensembles increased in the last two centuries of the Ancien Régime. This study day sets out to verify this, and attempt to understand the factors that drove stability and change. The following topics will be covered:
- The importance of the different offices (priests, clerks & lay members), and available statistics.
- Capitular preferences and the underlying institutional, financial & cultural motives.
- Musical roles & civil status: the specific fields, if any, allocated to clerks and lay musicians.
- Status and career: was it better to be a clerk or lay musician for a successful career?
The presentations will be even more valuable if backed by analyses of individual musicians. Detailed monographs and biographies are also very welcome input.