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Programme Fabrica: music, heritage and databases on polyphonic improvisation

The FABRICA programme seeks to establish methodical and systematic research into ecclesiastical polyphonic singing in western Europe from the concomitant emergence of the first fauxbourdons and treatises on chant sur le livre (15th century) to the last surviving vestiges of these practices in the mid-20th century.

Research orientations and planned outcomes

1. Assessment of written sources through the establishment of the most detailed possible inventory of documents in French.
2. Enhanced understanding of the processes of collective improvisation as they have come down to us in texts (scores and theoretical writings from the 15th to the 20th century.
3. Collection of the last personal accounts of the practice of fauxbourdon through systematic collection on both the French and Spanish side of the Pyrenees.
4. Collaboration between historical musicologists, experts on historical counterpoint, ethnomusicologists and professional musicians with a view to understanding the mechanisms of spontaneous collective creation and the durability of some paradigmatic procedures that transcend traditional distinctions between popular and serious music.


University of Toulouse – Le Mirail (coordinator: Philippe Canguilhem)
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (head of research: Jaume Ayats)
Ensemble Gilles Binchois (head of research: Dominique Vellard)

The FABRICA programme was funded 2009-2012 by the French national research agency. It received support from the Midi-Pyrénées regional council for the year 2012.

Visit the FABRICA (ANR) blog here

FABRICA events calendar 2011-2012 here [PDF - 972 Ko]

FABRICA events calendar 2010-2011 here [PDF - 912 Ko]



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