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American Musicological Society Early Music Award for Professor Susan Rankin

last modified Dec 03, 2020 03:06 PM

Writing Sounds in Carolingian EuropeProfessor Susan Rankin (FBA) has been awarded The Early Music Award 2020 for her book, Writing Sounds in Carolingian Europe: The Invention of Musical Notation (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Given by the American Musicological Society (AMS), the prize recognises an outstanding single-author work on music before 1550.  Describing the book, the AMS writes:

With its profound erudition, Rankin’s weighty book provides a lucid guide to one of the most celebrated but complex areas in medieval musicology: chant notation. Rankin combines analysis of scribes, scripts, and sources with attention to the motivation of those who sought to record music in writing, seeking to move beyond problematic projections of ways of reading later notations onto these earliest Western scripts.

Rankin’s command of past scholarship on this topic is transformed by her innovative ideas regarding the identity and progress of notational developments. Her exposition of theorizations pertinent to the conceptualization of Carolingian musical writing is undergirded by her career-long familiarity with an extensive array of sources from which she has coaxed field-defining insights.