Utrecht team



Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek ms. 16 H 34, fol. 4r (15th century, IJssel valley, Netherlands). This collection of small booklets is one of the most important song manuscripts from the Devotio moderna. On fol. 4r, the sequence O dulcissime Jesu opens the first booklet.

The Utrecht team studies the use of ‘archaic’ musical styles in the culture of the Devotio moderna, a 14th- and 15th-century reform movement centred in the former prince-bishopric of Utrecht, and the Amsterdam Beguinage before and after the Reformation.

Wishing to return to the foundations of Christendom, the Devotio moderna’s ‘simple’ style of community-based para-liturgical singing shows clear—and deliberate— links to the older Parisian practices studied by the Cambridge team.

Current research conducted under Kügle’s supervision in an NWO-funded PhD project (‘Late medieval court culture in the northern Low Countries: Visualizing, interpreting, and contextualizing music fragments’, PhD student: Eliane Fankhauser) reveals that Utrecht, one of the epicentres of the movement, was home to a rich culture of contemporaneous musica figurata strongly influenced by French court practices. Further, Utrecht supported a lavish (and expensive) organ culture. This provides a strikingly new context for the musical choices made by Geert Groote and his followers who clearly perceived these musical practices as evidence for the corruption of the present-day Church.

PhD student Manon Louviot explores the effects of reforms carried out by the Windesheim Congregration, a group of reformed Augustinian houses strongly influenced by the ideals of the Devotio moderna, under the supervision of Kügle and Ulrike Hascher-Burger, today’s leading expert on the music of the Devotio.


Amsterdam Beguinage

Ulrike Hascher-Burger herself in turn engages with the music of the Amsterdam Beguines around 1600.

Strongly influenced by the Devotio, the music of the Beguines referenced the ‘past’ of this movement, while threading contemporary influences (music of the Dutch Republic) into that past.

This confluence of research interests offers excellent comparative material within the Utrecht team in terms of different appropriations of the musical past in a single region (the northern Netherlands) from ca. 1400 to ca. 1600.

The Utrecht team’s research will also complement the Prague, Heidelberg, and Warsaw teams’ work, allowing our consortium to compare directly the musical habitus of the Devotio moderna with that of contemporaneous movements in Europe, e.g., in Bohemia (Prague team), and the uses of the past practiced by the Amsterdam Beguines with Lutheran practices in Germany (Heidelberg team) and Catholic practices in Italy and Silesia (Warsaw team).

Team members

Karl Kügle

karl-kuegle_800x800_by_edvanrijswijkProject leader of the HERA-financed international research project Sound Memories (2016-2019).

Karl Kügle studied:

  • piano at the Hochschule für Musik, Munich (1975-1981), the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg (1981-1982) and the Juilliard School (1982-1983)
  • musicology
  • theatre studies
  • Japanese at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (1976-1982)

He continued his studies at New York University, where he earned his PhD in 1993 with a study of the 14-century manuscript Ivrea, Biblioteca capitolare 115 and its music. He subsequently held research positions at:

  • the University of Maryland, College Park
  • the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

In 1998, he joined the Department of Music at The University of Hong Kong where he taught until 2004. In autumn 2004, he was appointed Professor of Musicology at Utrecht University where he occupies the Chair in the History of Music prior to 1800.

Since 2016, he holds a contiguous appointment in the University of Oxford, where he is:

  • Senior Researcher in the Faculty of Music
  • Senior Research Fellow of Wadham College
  • Principal Investigator of the MALMECC project (→ www.malmecc.eu)

Kügle held visiting professorships at the Universities of Chicago (2002), Melbourne (2003), and Cambridge (2013), and was Christensen Visiting Fellow at St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford (Trinity term 2014) as well as Senior Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS, 2014-15).

He served as Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong (2004-2010), Head of the Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University (2011-2013), and President of the Royal Society for Music History of The Netherlands (KVNM), the oldest musicological society in the world (2009-2014).

A Fellow of the Academia Europaea (2012), Kügle’s research interests are focused on:

  • the history of European music during the later Middle Ages (ca. 1250-1450)
  • late medieval and early modern court cultures in a transdisciplinary context
  • the epistemology of sound, hearing, and music during the later Middle Ages and from ca. 1800 to the present

→ Read more about his work, like his publications, on www.uu.nl

Ulrike Hascher-Burger

ulrike_hascher-burger_800x800Dr. Ulrike Hascher-Burger is musicologist and medievalist. She studied at the universities of Tübingen and Basel:

  • musicology
  • manuscript studies
  • medieval history

She earned her PhD at Utrecht University. She is affiliate researcher at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Utrecht University. Her research interests are focused on:

  • medieval music
  • music manuscripts, especially from the Netherlands and Northern Germany

She published several books in this field:

  • Gesungene Innigkeit, 2002;
  • Singen für die Seligkeit, 2007;
  • Verborgene Klänge, 2008;
  • Liturgie und Reform im Kloster Medingen, 2013, together with Henrike Lähnemann, German Studies

She built the → database ‘Musica devota’ on music manuscripts related to the late medieval religious movement Devotio moderna. Together with dr. Martin van Schaik she is editor of the digital
newsletter Klankbord. (Newsletter for Ancient and Medieval Music.)

She is currently chairwoman of the Dutch Musicological Society, the Royal Society for Music History of The Netherlands (KVNM).

→ More information on her personal website (German)

Manon Louviot

Manon Louviot is a PhD student in musicology in the HERA project “Sound Memories: The Musical Past in Late Medieval and Early-Modern Europe”. She explores the effects of reforms carried out by the Windesheim Congregration, a group of reformed Augustinian houses strongly influenced by the ideals of the Devotio moderna, under the supervision of Karl Kügle and Ulrike Hascher-Burger, today’s leading expert on the music of the Devotio.

She completed her undergraduate study in musicology with honours at the Université de Bourgogne (Dijon) in 2013. During the first year of her master’s degree, she studied at the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Tours) and was then the beneficiary of the Erasmus Programme at the Universität Regensburg to complete the second year of her master’s degree (2015). She wrote two Master’s dissertations on a musical fragment from the late 14th century, supervised by David Fiala and Katelijne Schiltz – a work which will be published in the near future.

Her research interests also include the uses of polyphony in monasteries during the Renaissance, the evolution of music notation, as well as the music of the ars nova and of the ars subtilior.

Frieda van der Heijden

Frieda is editorial assistant and part-time project administrator.

Frieda studied musicology at the University of Amsterdam (2007-2011), Utrecht University (2012-2014) and the University of Cambridge (ERASMUS, 2013-2014), focusing on early music and medieval manuscripts throughout her studies. She completed her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2018, for which she researched the early fourteenth-century manuscript Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 12786. She was supervised by Dr Helen Deeming (Music) and Prof. Ruth Harvey (French).

Her publications include a chapter on the unfinished nature of fr. 12786 in Pecia, Le Livre et L’Écrit, Vol. 18 (2015), and an article on a newly-discovered sixteenth-century writing master’s sheet in Quaerendo, Vol. 46 (2016).

Van der Heijden’s research interests include:

  • Medieval secular song
  • Manuscript and book production
  • Historical readers of medieval books
  • Codicology and palaeography
  • Digital humanities

Besides her work in the SoundMe team, she currently is a Lecturer in Musicology at the Department of Media and Culture Studies of Utrecht University.

→ Read Frieda’s PhD thesis here (PDF, opens in a new tab).

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