M. Jennifer Bloxam

M. Jennifer Bloxam
Herbert H Lehman Professor of Music
Bernhard Music Center Rm 42
At Williams since 1986


B.M. University of Illinois (1979)
M.A. Yale University (1982)
Ph.D. Yale University, Musicology (1987)

Areas of Expertise

Early music and its cultural context
Interactions between plainsong and polyphony
Narrative and exegesis in 15th and 16th-century sacred music
Musical borrowing
Compositional process


Note: courses in gray are not offered this academic year.

MUS 164

Bach and Handel: Their Music in High Baroque Culture

MUS 171 / REL 171

Music and Spirituality

MUS 231(F)

Music in History I: Antiquity-1750

MUS 261 / WGSS 261(S)

The Saint and the Countess: Lost Voices of Medieval Women

MUS 278 T / WGSS 248(F)

Carmen, 1845 to Now

MUS 402(S)

Senior Seminar in Music: Bach's Legacy

Scholarship/Creative Work

Multi-Media Project:

The Sounds of Salvation: Music for a 15th-Century Bruges Merchant.  A three-pronged project developed in collaboration with Stratton Bull, director of the Dutch vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis, from 2005 to 2009:

Missa de Sancto Donatiano (Bruges 1487) by Jacob Obrecht. CD +DVD with the Dutch vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis, featuring a filmed reenactment of this Mass ceremony, including a documentary about its historical background, both filmed on location in Bruges. Fineline Classical FL 72414 (Austria, 2009), marketed and distributed by Challenge Records International.

Saint Donatian Mass—Jacob Obrecht: a website developed in conjunction with the DVD product, featuring film clips, animated and annotated musical scores, and content pages devoted to the cultural context of this music.

Lecture-Concert tour with Cappella Pratensis, combining an illustrated lecture/demonstration about this music and its history with a concert presentation of Obrecht’s polyphony and Bruges plainsong for St. Donatian. Performances sponsored by the Early Music Institute at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University; the Department of Music at Princeton University; the Department of Music at Williams College; and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and the Department of Music at Pennsylvania State University. October 2008.

Recent Publications:

“Uno gentile et subtile ingenio”: Studies in Renaissance Music in Honour of Bonnie Blackburn. Edited by M. Jennifer Bloxam, Gioia Filocamo, and Leofranc Holford-Strevens. Brepols (Turnhout) for the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance in the series “Épitome musical” edited by Philippe Vendrix (2009).

“’I have never seen your equal’: Agrícola, the Virgin, and the Creed.” Early Music 34 (2006): 391–407.

“A Cultural Context for the Chanson Mass.” In Early Musical Borrowing, edited by    Honey Meconi. New York and London: Routledge, 2004.

“La messa polifonica da Machaut a Palestrina.” In Enciclopedia della musica, directed by Jean-Jacques Nattiez with the collaboration of Margaret Bent, Rossana Dalmonte and Mario Baroni, Volume quarto: Storia della musica europea, pp.225–41. Turin: Giulio Einaudi, 2004.

“Masses Based on Polyphonic Songs and Canonic Masses.” Chapter 6 in The Josquin Companion, edited Richard Sherr, pp.151–209. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

“On the Origins, Contexts and Implications of Busnoys’s Plainsong Cantus Firmi: Some Preliminary Remarks.” In Antoine Busnoys: Method, Meaning and Context in Late Medieval Music, edited by Paula Higgins, pp.71–88. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999.

“Obrecht as Exegete: Reading Factor orbis as a Christmas Sermon.” In Hearing the Motet: Essays on the Motet of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, edited by Dolores Pesce, pp.169–92. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Recent Papers and Presentations:

“The Harlot Redeemed: Ritual and Narrative in a Mass for Margaret of Austria.” Invited symposium paper presented at the Eastman School of Music, 19 March 2009.

“Understanding the Polyphonic Mass: Problems and Possibilities.” Invited presentation for the doctoral seminar “Old Music, New Approaches” at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 17 March 2009.

“Recapturing the Sacred in Medieval “Art”: Stories, Sights, and Sounds.” Invited lecture presented on the University of Florida School of Music Musicology Colloqium series in Gainesville, Florida, 18 February 2009.

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

NEH Fellowship for University and College Teachers, January 2002–December 2002
NEH Fellowship for University and College Teachers, January 1990–August 1990
Martha Baird Rockefeller Grant for Doctoral Candidates in Musicology, 1983–1984
Fulbright Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Belgium, 1983–1984

Current Committees

Library Committee