I’m writing an AHRC Networking grant application to widen research into historic British legal deposit music. I’ve already made significant steps in my research into the collection at the University of St Andrews, and I hope to create a network to look at the other collections in similar depth, not just along similar lines but also to explore other dimensions that might open up interesting research in due course. My research interest has always been in the transmission of repertoires, in the various different musicological subjects that have caught my attention over the years – plainsong and mediaeval polyphony, 18th-19th century Scottish song collecting, historic Scottish dance music publications and now early legal deposit music in British libraries. At the University of St Andrews’ research library facility in Martyrs’ Kirk, I’ve been looking at the decisions the University professors took with regard to the copyright music, and the way it was subsequently used, with professors, their families and friends making heavier use of it than you would think possible or likely. I’ve looked at what was most popular, who used it most, and who catalogued it. I’ve also very recently started looking at the diaries of some key St Andrews ladies to find out more about their musical lives – though I haven’t yet found a reference to the copyright music collection!
Anyway, right now I need to continue writing this grant application, so … onward and upward. Watch this space!