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
Music and spirituality
Musical borrowing from medieval to modern times
Bach and his legacy


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(S)

Music and Spirituality: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

MUS 231(F)

Music in History I: Bach and Before

MUS 261 / WGSS 261

The Saint and the Countess: Lost Voices of Medieval Women

MUS 278 T / WGSS 248(F)

Carmen, 1845 to Now

MUS 402

Bach's Legacy

Scholarship/Creative Work

Multi-Media Projects:

Royal Exequies: Music for the Funeral of Philip the Fair

  • Lecture-Concert Tour developed in collaboration with Stratton Bull, director of the Dutch vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis (http://www.cappellapratensis.nl/), combining an illustrated lecture/demonstration with a concert presentation of Pierre de la Rue’s Requiem.
    • February 2014 performances sponsored by the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University, Williams College, Museum Concerts of Rhode Island, and First Church of Christ, Simsbury, Connecticut.

Josquin Desprez • Missa Ave maris stella: Celebrating the Annunciation in Renaissance Rome. CD with the Dutch vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis, directed by Stratton Bull. Challenge Classics CC72632 (The Netherlands, 2014).

  • Project advisor from initial concept to repertoire selection to final edit.
  • “Celebrating the Annunciation in Renaissance Rome.” Essay for inclusion in CD booklet.

The Sounds of Salvation: A Re-creation of the Mass for St. Donatian by Jacob Obrecht. A four-pronged project developed in collaboration with Stratton Bull, director of the Dutch vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis (http://www.cappellapratensis.nl/, 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. http://obrechtmass.com/home.php
  • Lecture-Concert Tours 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.
    • October 2008 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.
    • December 2011 performances sponsored by the Tufts University Department of Music, and The Cloisters Museum in New York City.
    • November 2012 performances sponsored by the University of Chicago Presents “Howard Mayer Brown International Early Music Series”; Ann Arbor Academy of Early Music; Music Before 1800 in New York City; and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.
  • Scholarly publications elaborating the process and results of the project (see below for articles published in 2010 and 2011).

Recent Publications:

“Preaching to the Choir: Obrecht’s Motet for the Dedication of the Church.” In Studies in the Cultural History of Medieval and Renaissance Music: Liturgy, Sources, Symbolism, edited by David Rothenberg and Benjamin Brand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

“Dionysius Prioris – Requiem” and “Jean Richafort – Requiem.” In The Book of Requiems, vol. 1, edited by Pieter Bergé and David Burn. Leuven: Leuven University Press, forthcoming 2016.

“Music and Ritual.” In The Cambridge History of Fifteenth-Century Music, edited by Anna-Maria Busse Berger and Jesse Rodin, 511-27. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

“Text and Context: Obrecht’s Missa de Sancto Donatiano in Its Social and Ritual Landscape.” Journal of the Alamire Foundation 3 (2011): 11–36.

“Obrecht and the Mass for St. Donatian: A Multi-Media Triptych.” Co-authored with Stratton Bull, Artistic Director of Cappella Pratensis. Journal of the Alamire Foundation 2 (2010): 111–25.

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).

Recent Papers and Presentations:

With Joy! A Dutch Confraternity Celebrates its Illustrious Lady.” Invited lecture/demonstration with Cappella Pratensis, International Conference Petrus Alamire – New Perspectives on Polyphony, Antwerp, Belgium, 19 August 2015

“Obrecht Preaching: Strategies in Sermons and Motets circa 1500.” Invited paper for the Case Western Reserve University Musicology Colloquia Series, Cleveland, Ohia, 10 April 2015.

“The Missa supra Maria Magdalena by Nicolas Champion: Ritual and Narrative in a Mass for Margaret of Austria.” Invited paper for the Wesleyan University Renaissance Seminar, Middletown, Connecticut, 3 April 2014.

“The Translation of a Saint: Musical and Visual Relics of Mary Magdalene in the Renaissance.” Paper read at the Institute of Sacred Music Fellows Symposium Lost/Found in Translation: Crossing Contexts in Music, Worship, and the Arts, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 29 March 2014.

“Music in Praise of the Real Presence: Pange, lingua, gloriosi corporis mysterium.” Invited lecture for the series “Wounded by the Gift of Love: A Eucharistic Poetics,” sponsored by Sacred Music at Notre Dame and the Institute of Church Life, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, 27 March 2014.

“Preaching to the Choir: Obrecht’s Motet for the Dedication of the Church.” Invited paper for the symposium Music and Preaching in the Early Modern Period, Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University, 18 October 2013.

“When Composers Were Clerics.” Institute of Sacred Music Fellows Lunch Lecture, Yale University, 3 October 2013.

Invited presenter and participant for the conference “Cinquecento”: Ästhetik des Hörens in der Renaissance, co-sponsored by Universität Basel and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Basel, Switzerland, 29-31 August 2013.

“Creation Stories: Obrecht’s Missa de Sancto Donatiano.” Convenor and moderator for this Round Table Session at the Medieval and Renaissance International Music Conference in Certaldo, Italy, July 2013.

“Et incarnatus est”: Annunciation Narrative and Incarnation Theology in the Missa Ecce ancilla Domini by Regis.” Paper read at the national meeting of the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music, Yale University, February 2013.

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

Fellow in Sacred Music, Worship, and the Arts, Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University, 2013‒2014

Diapason d’Or Découverte (Challenge Records International, February, 2010) (for the DVD+CD Missa de Sancto Donatiano (Bruges 1487) by Jacob Obrecht, with Cappella Pratensis)

NEH Fellowship for University and College Teachers, January–December 2002

Professional Affiliations

Journal of the Alamire Foundation, Advisory Board (2009–present)
Society for Christian Scholarship in Music, Vice President (2015-17)
Society for Christian Scholarship in Music, Chair of Program Committee (2014-15)
American Musicological Society, Chair of Board of Directors Nominating Committee (2007)
American Musicological Society, Director at Large, Board of Directors (2000–2002)