The CMBV is running a seminar on music copyists to assess their knowledge, methods and the working of their craft.
Besides printers and engravers, copyists are essential links in the production of musical sources. They may work in a very productive workshop (Philidor and Fossard's is a typical example), or alternatively they may be occasional copyists, in charge of preparing the performance of a particular work. Their production can be part of a commercial aim (as at Foucault and Loulié) or a heritage ambition. Their production has been considered mainly through studies of music collections or in the study of a composer's critical edition. Their work is all the more difficult to appreciate because their copies are rarely signed nor dated, so that their identification is sometimes difficult. In addition to the handwriting itself, their work can be qualified with the tools of codicology (papers, collation, binding...) as well as rastrology (layout, measurements, inks...).
The ambition of this seminar is to revitalize research on the first copyists' workshops over a period from Lully to around 1730. As far as possible, the aim will be to consider the copyists for themselves, to better identify them, to examine and mark out some of their productions, as well as to take stock of the economic, commercial and cultural aspects of this activity. The activity of foreign copyists working on French music will be taken into account.
Each session will feature papers by two researchers (in either English or French) and a strong emphasis on discussion. Given the sanitary situation, it will always be possible to attend remotely and even to communicate remotely. The communications may consist, for example, of :
- summarizing the current knowledge on a copyist or a workshop,
- working on a particular aspect of its production,
- presenting copyists attached to a particular institution,
- presenting other ongoing projects on similar issues,
- comparing French and foreign practices,
- assessing methodological problems in this area,
- identifying further directions of research.