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Tower Seminar – Observant Chant Reform and Networks of Women’s Learning in the Southern Low Countries

March 10, 2022 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Presenters: Dr. John Glasenapp, OSB

Chair: Dr. Eleanor J. Giraud

Pages ripped from the Beaupré Antiphoner (Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, W. 759-762) as well as new leaves added in the late fifteenthth century by the Cistercian nuns of Beaupré in Grimminge, Belgium demonstrate the women’s newfound enthusiasm for the standardised version of Cistercian chant associated with St. Bernard of Clairvaux. So convinced had the nuns become in the superiority of Cistercian chant that they subsequently spearheaded its adoption in several surrounding Benedictine abbeys. The musical changes give us precious insight into the reform process, its attendant values, and its controversies for which there is little written documentation.

Br. John Glasenapp OSB earned an MA in Medieval Studies from Fordham University and a PhD in Historical Musicology from Columbia University. His doctoral research on the long history of Cistercian chant in the Beaupré Antiphoner was supported by the Alliance-Council for European Studies and the U.S. Fulbright program to Belgium. His article, “Nuns, Cistercian Chant and Observant Reform in the Southern Low Countries,” will appear in a forthcoming volume published by Boydell & Brewer entitled Women and Monastic Reform in the Medieval West, c. 900 – 1500: Debating Identities, Creating Communities.

Admission is free and all are welcome.


March 10, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Theatre 2, Irish World Academy