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Giovanni Varelli

Giovanni Varelli

PhD Student


Giovanni completed his BMus at the Faculty of Musicology in Cremona in 2008 with a dissertation on the medieval music fragments from the abbey of San Benedetto in Polirone, near Mantua, under the supervision of Prof. Giacomo Baroffio. He then moved to Oxford for a British Academy funded internship to work at the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM). In 2009 he was awarded a Leonardo da Vinci Grant by the University of Pavia to work as a consultant musical palaeographer at the British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts and in 2010 Giovanni received his MMus with Distinction at Royal Holloway, University of London, working with Dr. Helen Deeming on a newly discovered source of early polyphony. Amongst seminars and lectures at the universities of Pavia, Bologna and Cambridge, Giovanni recently read papers at international conferences (Cambridge, Auxerre, Barcelona, Vienna, Certaldo, Southampton) and published articles and reviews in academic journals and conference proceedings (Early Music HistoryPlainsong and Medieval MusicÉtudes grégoriennes,Cantus PlanusRivista internazionale di musica sacra).

After a one-year experience as assistant librarian at the conservatoire of Reggio Emilia he moved to the University of Cambridge, where he is now a PhD candidate in Music (Historical Musicology) under the supervision of Prof. Susan Rankin. He is currently working on musical notations in early-medieval northern Italy, focusing in particular on cognitive processes in the development of music writing and on the influence of the contemporary political and ecclesiastical context on music book production. Giovanni’s research is jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Cambridge Home and European Scholarships Scheme (CHESS) and St John’s College.

His research interests span from Latin palaeography and codicology, medieval and Carolingian liturgy, music theory and notation, philology and reception history, manuscripts digital restoration and conservation techniques to ethnomusicology and dialectology.


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