Thursday, 5 May 2016
Museum of London

Ringing the Bells of Old Bailey

Professor Christopher Page FBA

In the Medieval era convicted criminals would be awoken the night before their execution with “the bells of Old Bailey.” This bell still exists in the vaults of the church of St. Sepulchre-Without-Newgate but is not run today… expect on this occasion.

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Christopher Page was Gresham Professor of Music from 2014-2018. He is Professor of Medieval Music and Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge. He is an internationally renowned performer and writer, as well as being an experienced presenter through BBC Radio. He holds the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Association awarded for outstanding services to musicology.

In 1981 he founded the professional vocal ensemble Gothic Voices now with twenty-five CDs in the catalogue, three of which won the coveted Gramophone Early Music Record of the Year award. The ensemble has performed in Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Sicily, Sweden, America, Israel, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Finland. London dates included twice-yearly sell-out concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall. The ensemble gave its first Promenade Concert in 1989. The group’s work has been chronicled most recently in Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, The Modern Invention of Medieval Music (CUP, 2007) and Richard Taruskin, Text and Act (OUP, 2006).

Professor Page’s major 350,000 word study, The Christian West and its Singers: The First Thousand Years, was published by Yale University Press in 2010. Prior to this, his six other books include Songs and Instruments of the Middle Ages, Discarding Images: Reflections on Musical Life in Medieval France and The Summa Musicae: A Thirteenth-century Manual for Singers. He has edited three books of music, including Abbess Hildegard of Bingen: Sequences and Hymns.

Between 1989 and 1997, Professor Page was presenter of BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Programme, Spirit of the Age, and a presenter of the Radio 4 arts’ magazine Kaleidoscope.

Professor Page has been chairman of the National Early Music Association and of the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society (founded 1889) of whose new journal, now published by Cambridge University Press, he was a founding editor. He serves on the editorial boards of the journals Early Music (OUP) and Plainsong and Medieval Music (CUP). He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2008.

In 2012, Professor Page was a founder member of the Consortium for Guitar Research at Sidney Sussex College, an affiliate of the Royal Musical Association.

Professor Page is currently completing a monograph on the Tudor guitar, representing the more academic side of his interest in playing guitars of the sixteenth-nineteenth centuries in a historically informed manner.

Professor Page has been appointed Gresham Professor of Music from September 2014. In this role he hopes to achieve “the ambition of all Gresham Professors; showing that a little-studied aspect of the field can have much more breadth of interest, and interdisciplinary appeal, than one might initially suppose.”

Professor Page's lecture series were as follows:

2017/18 For Courtesan, Queen and Gallant: The Guitar in England from Henry VIII to Samuel Pepys

2016/17 The Christian Singer from the Gospels to the Gothic Cathedrals

2015/16 Music, Imagination and Experience in the Medieval World

2014/15 Men, Women and Guitars in Romantic England  

All of Professor Page's past Gresham lectures can be accessed here.

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Related Past Lectures
WATCHED
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Samuel Pepys the Guitarist

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 - 1:00PM
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The Guitar at the Restoration Court

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Wednesday, 21 March 2018 - 1:00PM
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An Englishman (with a Guitar) Abroad

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Wednesday, 7 February 2018 - 1:00PM
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The Guitar in the Age of Charles I

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 - 1:00PM
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NOW That's What I Call Carols: 1582!

Jeremy Summerly
Tuesday, 5 December 2017 - 6:00PM
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Buying, Selling and Owning Guitars in Elizabethan England

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Samuel Pepys the Guitarist

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Guitar at the Restoration Court

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Wednesday, 21 March 2018 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

An Englishman (with a Guitar) Abroad

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Wednesday, 7 February 2018 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Guitar in the Age of Charles I

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Buying, Selling and Owning Guitars in Elizabethan England

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Guitar in Tudor London

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
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‘Columba Aspexit’ by Hildegard of Bingen

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Thursday, 5 May 2016 - 1:25PM
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A Chant for St. Anthony of Padua

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Thursday, 5 May 2016 - 1:20PM
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From the Lips of Bells: The Humanisation of Bells

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Thursday, 5 May 2016 - 1:15PM
WATCHED
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Oranges and Lemons: The earliest known version

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Thursday, 5 May 2016 - 1:05PM
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Medieval Plainsong: "O Jerusalem"

Emily van Evera
Thursday, 18 February 2016 - 1:15PM
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Hildegard of Bingen 'O Ignis Piritus'

Professor Christopher Page FBA
Thursday, 18 February 2016 - 1:05PM