Roger Bowers retired from his position as University Reader in Medieval and Renaissance Music in 2005, but remains active in research and publication.
He obtained a Ph.D. from the School of Fine Arts and Music, University of East Anglia, in 1975, and became a Research Fellow in the Department of Music, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, in 1977. He took up his erstwhile position at Cambridge University in 1978, and from 1991 to 1993 enjoyed a Research Readership awarded by the British Academy.
His interests – comprehensively represented in his book English Church Polyphony: Singers and Sources from the Fourteenth Century to the Seventeenth (1999) – encompass all manner of aspects of the complex interactions between the composition of music in England, the nature of the forces which the Church and social elites saw fit to furnish for its performance, and the political and religious considerations applied by those whom the musicians were constrained to serve and please. He also works on music in northern Italy around 1600, and on certain abiding problems of transcription, especially the understanding of the finer points of the notation of music composed between c.1500 and c.1630.
His immediate endeavour lies in completing a volume to be entitled Mantua and Monteverdi: the Mass, Motets and Vespers of 1610.