Elizabeth Aubrey

Professor Emeritus

Elizabeth Aubrey, professor emeritus of music, was on the faculty of The University of Iowa from 1982 to 2010. She taught undergraduate and graduate courses and seminars on medieval and Renaissance music, performance practices of early music, early music notations, and music appreciation. She has also taught courses on Beethoven, Wagner, Oral Traditions in Music, Baroque Music, and Women in Music. She received her B.A. from Grinnell College in 1973, and her MMus in 1975 and PhD in 1982 from the University of Maryland.

Professor Aubrey is an internationally acclaimed scholar of medieval music and literature, with numerous publications on the music of France during the Middle Ages. Her articles and reviews appear in American and European journals of musicology, literature, and medieval studies, in conference proceedings of international musical and literary societies, and in other important volumes published in the U.S. and Europe. She is a contributor to the new, revised editions of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, as well as the single-volume Guide de la Musique Médiévale and the forthcoming revised edition of The New Harvard Dictionary of Music. She has read papers, chaired and served on panels, and given lecture-demonstrations at conferences in the United States, Canada, Italy, England, France, Spain, and Australia.

Professor Aubrey has published two books, with a third in preparation. Her first book, The Music of the Troubadours (Indiana University Press, 1996), has received enthusiastic reviews. One critic hails the volume as “a monument in musicology, one no music library should be without,” saying that “it should be required reading for all students of music history and the Middle Ages, and it will provide a welcome guide for the growing number of performers wishing to recreate these magical treasures from the medieval Midi.” Her second book, Songs of the Women Trouvères (Yale University Press, 2001), written in collaboration with three scholars of French literature, in the words of one reviewer “represents a breakthrough in the fields of medieval song, women’s studies, philology, historical linguistics, and French literature in general. It is a most welcome and a most needed volume for specialists, generalists, and students.”

Dr. Aubrey is in demand as a consultant, guest lecturer, and a contributor to projects in medieval song. She has held endowed chairs at Florida State University and the University of Alabama and was Visiting Artist-in-Residence at Colorado College. Her work in progress includes a book on the music of the trouvères, collaboration on a book-length study of medieval French ballettes, and a new examination of Dante’s views on music.

Professor Aubrey is also widely known as a performer of early music and is regularly consulted by musicians and scholars for her expertise in performance practices. She has presented a number of solo recitals in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Before becoming Director of the Collegium Musicum [link to Collegium Musicum under “Chamber Ensembles”; on that page, add link 7] of the University of Iowa, she was Music Director of A Newe Jewell, an early music ensemble in Washington, D.C. which gave concerts and conducted workshops throughout the eastern U.S. She is founder and Music Director of Musick’s Feast, an early music ensemble based in Iowa City which has given more than twelve concerts since its inaugural season in 2000-2001. Musick’s Feast has a dual purpose: to present high-quality musical performances and to help alleviate world hunger by donating all concert proceeds to charities that have a substantial impact on hunger relief.

Professor Aubrey has recorded a CD of songs of the troubadours to accompany An Introduction to Old Occitan by William D. Paden (The Modern Language Association of America, 1998). Her current recording projects include performances of songs for a CD set to accompany the second edition of Historical Anthology of Music by Women (Indiana University Press), and a CD of songs by women trouvères based upon her edition for Yale University Press.

Dr. Aubrey has received grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has served on the Council of the American Musicological Society, the Board of Directors of the International Machaut Society, the Editorial Boards of the Journal of the American Musicological Society and Historical Performance Online, and a term as President of the Midwest Chapter of the American Musicological Society.