Dr. Ulrike Hascher-Burger studied musicology, codicology and history at Tübingen and Basel University from 1975 to 1981. From 1984 to 1986 she was a trainee, then a research associate at Tübingen University Library, cataloguing medieval manuscripts in a project sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Handschriftenkataloge der Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen 1.1, Wiesbaden 1991). Following her move to the Netherlands in 1990, she earned the degree of PhD at Utrecht University (2002) with a study of a music manuscript from the devotio moderna, Utrecht UB, ms. 16 H 34 (published as Gesungene Innigkeit in 2002). She currently teaches music history and medieval book history at HOVO/ VU University Amsterdam, while being affiliated with OGC as a researcher.
Her scholarly interests focus on medieval music and music manuscripts, especially those of the Devotio moderna and Northern Germany. Besides her dissertation, she published another monograph on music of the Devotio moderna (Singen für die Seligkeit, 2007) and a catalogue of medieval manuscripts from six Northern German nunneries (Verborgene Klänge, 2008). Currently she is working on two projects concerning medieval Music in Northern Germany. An extensive database regarding music of the Devotio moderna is under construction on http://www.musicadevota.com/. Together with dr. Martin van Schaik she is editor of Klankbord, newsletter for Ancient and Medieval Music.
Together with five co-authors she earned the Geert Groote Prize 2012, during the Geert Groote Days at Deventer/NL.
Edition of a “Medingen manuscript”: Oxford, Bodleian Library, lat. lit. e 18
The Northern German Cisterician nunnery Medingen, one of the “Lüneburg nunneries”, is well known for its around 50 liturgical and devotional manuscripts from the late 15th and early 16th centuries which nearly all contain musical notation. Recently started a new edition project carried out by prof. Henrike Lähnemann (German Studies, Newcastle University) and dr. Ulrike Hascher-Burger aiming a complete edition of the manuscript Oxford, BL, lat. lit. e 18. This manuscript has been arranged for Tilemann von Bavenstedten, provost in Medingen in the second half of the 15th century and shows a number of interesting codicological, liturgical and linguistic features. It is a miscellaneous manuscript containing three parts: a section with completely notated processional chants and praefation prayers for the mass of a number of feast days from Christmas day until Ascension and assumption of Mary; the liturgy around the last sacraments, ‘commendatio anime’ and the office for the death; and a translation of the ‘consuetudines’ in low German language for the lay sisters and lay brothers of the nunnery. Especially interesting is the first section, which combines the liturgy of the diocese of Verden with that of the Cistercian order, allowing us to get more insight into liturgical and musical relations during the monastic reform of the 15th century, as well as the use of vernacular songs in liturgical context before the Lutheran Reformation. Intended is a complete edition of this manuscript, probably with an English translation, on paper as well as digitally, which will be published in 2013.
The influence of the Windesheim Reform on the musical culture of northern German nunneries
The Dutch reform movement of the Devotio moderna is one of the most influential religious movements of the late middle ages. The movement spread throughout the northern and southern Low Countries, in German-speaking territories to Bordesholm in the north and Jasenitz (today's Poland) in the east, into northern Switzerland and the north-east of France. During the 15th century, numerous monasteries in northern Germany have been reformed in the spirit of the Devotio moderna by Johannes Busch, a canon from the monastery of Windesheim near Zwolle. Wienhausen nunnery in Low-Saxony has been reformed in 1469 and on its part has reformed Medingen nunnery a few years later. Both convents have followed the tradition of the Cistercian order but - as many nunneries - never have been incorporated.
For Busch, an important starting point has been the reform of liturgy and musical culture, which resulted in the production of new liturgical books, but also raised hackles on the side of the nuns. Late medieval music in those nunneries has been influenced by three traditions: the normative tradition of the Cistercian order, the individual tradition of the nunneries themselves, and the reform tradition of Windesheim. These influences on the music of Wienhausen and Medingen nunneries will be investigated as well as the effect of the reform on the nuns' spiritual identity concerning music.