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About the project

The project “Old Myths, New Facts: Czech Lands in Center of 15-century Music Developments” focuses on the study of music repertory from 15th century Bohemia and its reflection in modern Czech music culture. Read more...

What is our goal? 

Our goal is to improve our knowledge of Czech music culture in the late Middle Ages and to correct a number of myths about the musical Hussitism implanted during the formation of the Czech, and later Czechoslovakian, national identity in the 19th and 20th centuries. We want to communicate the rich spectrum of different music forms and genres cultivated in 15th century Bohemia to a wider academic community. At the same time, we strive to uncover hidden Hussitic symbols – be they music, text or iconographic symbols – in modern, primarily Czech, music compositions. 

What are we doing? 

Our focus is on the whole spectrum of late-medieval music genres: late medieval chant, rhythmicised chant (so-called cantus fractus), Czech Hussite liturgy, song, and polyphonic music. In modern music, we look primarily for compositions that use the tunes of Hussite songs, but also for those that try to invoke a Hussite “authenticity”, mostly for ideological or political reasons. 

How do we work? 

We meet for regular full-day workshops, travel to archives to study manuscripts on site, and gather materials from Czech and international libraries. In addition to this, we present at international conferences, prepare individual or joined publications, complete critical editions of late medieval music compositions and assemble materials for the web space. We are preparing the digital output of the project in accordance with the current practices in Digital Humanities and in cooperation with specialists in this field. An important part of our five-year project is the organisation of regular musicological and interdisciplinary seminars, conferences and lectures from Czech and international specialists.