Rose Michetti ’23
2021 SOAR Profile
Moravian Music: Creating Performance Editions from the Archives
Major: Music Education
Hometown: Cranford, NJ
Project Advisor(s): Dr. Hilde Binford with assistance from Gwyneth A. Michel and David Blum
Briefly describe your project.
For this project, I had access to several original music manuscripts held in the Moravian Archives. I edited three manuscripts for modern performance as well as future publication by typing it into a music notation software program. The pieces I worked on included two movements of a Mass by Italian composer Jean-Joseph Fiocco, a choral motet by German Philipp Christoph Kayser, and an organ liturgy by Moravian composer Johann Peter Fruauff. I also did extensive research on the composers of these pieces and the German script in which the text was written. The project gave me an insight into the editing process that musical scores go through before they are published and performed, as well as a deeper look into the Moravian music tradition.
Rose Michetti ’23
Describe the origin of your project. (E.g., did you pitch the idea and choose a faculty member, or did they come to you with an idea?)
After watching a virtual tour of the Moravian Archives in Dr. Binford’s Classical and Romantic Music class, I was intrigued by how important music is to the Moravians. Because I am involved in the choirs at Moravian, participating in Vespers also sparked an interest in Moravian traditions. I am very grateful for Dr. Binford for giving me this unique opportunity to study Moravian documents and composers.
What’s the best part about working with your faculty mentor? What valuable insights have they brought to your project?
Dr. Binford has so much knowledge to share, and by working with her I have learned so much about music used in worship. She gives me the tools necessary to further my research and encourages me to go above and beyond. Gwyn and Dave from the Moravian Music Foundation were also fantastic because not only did they proofread my editing, they also gave me valuable information about the editing process and the Moravian tradition.
What has been your biggest obstacle so far?
Throughout the project, the obstacle that set me back the most was issues with the music notation software I was using. Most of the time, the software was not programmed to accommodate for the old markings and nuances of sheet music from the past, so most of my time was spent fixing the formatting of a page or trying to find a marking that would equate to the original markings in order to stay true to the manuscript. I did not anticipate the writing to be entirely different from today’s notation, but from this obstacle I was not only able to compare the two notation styles, but also become very familiar with the software and how to use the technology properly.
What has been your biggest takeaway from this experience?
The biggest takeaway from this experience was comparing music practices from the eighteenth century to music practices from the twenty-first century. Many markings were remarkably similar, but some of the formatting and symbols were different and I had to take that into account when inputting the score. These differences helped me understand how to perform music from that time period and will allow me to apply this knowledge to future performances of music from this era.
What was the result of your project?
By the end of this project, I had three complete scores that were ready for modern performance, as well as extensive knowledge of the pieces and their composers. These pieces are the only ones of their kind, so by editing these pieces I brought the music to life and shed light on these composers who are not well known.
In your own words, how do you feel about being awarded this opportunity? Why should other students take advantage of the SOAR program at Moravian University?
I am extremely grateful and honored to have this opportunity, especially because music research isn’t as popular as scientific research or research in other disciplines. I believe that anyone who is interested in researching a specific topic in their discipline should take advantage of SOAR and everything the program has to offer, but as a music major I believe this is a unique opportunity that will benefit musicians in so many ways. There isn’t much representation from the music field in academic programs such as SOAR, so having more music students consider participating in SOAR will bring light to the field and help more disciplines understand what musical research is all about.
Now that SOAR is over, do you plan to expand upon your research? If so, how?
While the three pieces I worked on are completely finished and ready for performance, there are several manuscripts that I had considered editing during SOAR that I did not have time to work on. In the future, I would love to revisit these manuscripts and edit them as well. These pieces belonged to a different genre of music than the ones I had focused on, so it would be interesting to see the differences in instrumentation and formatting in these other manuscripts.
Have you, or do you plan to present this research outside the SOAR presentations? If so, where? Be specific, if possible.
I do not have any plans to formally present my research, however one of the pieces I edited, the Fiocco Mass, will be performed this fall at the Early Music Concert by the Monteverdi and Baroque Ensembles. I also hope that the choral piece I edited will be performed at Vespers during my time at Moravian, and hopefully at the Moravian Music Festival in 2022 as well.
Is there anything more you would like to add about your accomplishments for this project?
My major is music education, and while this project doesn’t directly relate to teaching I discovered so many tools that I can use in my classroom, especially with the music notation software I was using to edit the manuscripts. The project has helped me further my musical knowledge and increase my confidence in my subject area.
Are there any aspects of the program (e.g., professional opportunities) that you participated in that you really liked and would want to see continued?
I really enjoyed attending the presentation series and seeing what the other SOAR students were researching. Hearing about research from different disciplines is really refreshing and allows me to look at my work differently by posing questions I would not have thought about before watching the other presentations.