Louise Litterick

Professor Emeritus of Music
French and Italian secular music of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; nineteenth-century music

Louise Litterick's research in Renaissance music deals with the sources and transmission of repertories, the interaction of popular and courtly culture, the relationship between words and music, and performance issues. Her work on the nineteenth century focuses on compositional procedure and the relationship of genre and style to the musical and social culture.

Litterick is the author of many publications, on topics such as Ockeghem's own revision of one of his most famous compositions, performance norms for Franco-Netherlands secular music of the late fifteenth century, Schubert's song cycles, and Brahms's Fourth Symphony. Her articles have been published in a number of venues, including Papal Music and Musicians in Medieval and Renaissance Rome, Le Concert des voix et des instruments a la Renaissance, Early Music History, Nineteenth-Century Music, Brahms Studies, and the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Litterick's most recent publications include articles on Josquin Desprez and Johannes Prioris. She has participated in conferences in Britain and France as well as the U.S., under the auspices of the International Musicological Society, the American Musicological Society, the Library of Congress, the annual British Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Music, and various university and college music departments.

Litterick is currently working on a critical edition of the music of Ninot le Petit that establishes his significance in the evolution of the secular genres of the Renaissance. Another project, a study of a set of music partbooks of disputed provenance, has led to a major revision of our understanding of the history of the French chanson in the early sixteenth century.

Litterick is an active member of the American Musicological Society. In addition to reading papers and chairing sessions at the annual meetings, she has served on the society's council, board, and currently is a member of the Publications Committee.

Litterick teaches a two-semester History of Western Music course along with music analysis and occasional, collaborative introductory courses. She finds it exciting to teach senior seminars that engage students in her research interests, such as Music in Manuscript and Song in Renaissance France, and those that are only tangentially connected with her scholarly work, such as Music in Times of Revolution and War. Students praise Litterick for being a challenging, supportive, and enthusiastic professor, with one student noting, "Louise is an excellent teacher in all aspects: always thoroughly prepared, always genuinely enthusiastic about the material; and she's an encyclopedia of musical references."

Recent Campus News

David W. Sanford

A moment with: David Sanford

Mount Holyoke College’s David Sanford, professor of music, was recently honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.