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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
October 20, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Alma Santosuosso

Professor, Musicology; Co-ordinator of Music History

Contact Information
Phone: ext.2199

Office Location: A214

Academic Background
BMus, MMus (British Columbia), PhD (Illinois)
Dr. Alma Santosuosso received her PhD in musicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign following completion of the BMus and MMus degrees at the University of British Columbia. Prior to her appointment at Laurier, she taught music history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign an Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Her research area is medieval music and her work has been funded by consecutive awards from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She does archival research in libraries in France and Italy, and her work focuses on medieval notation and music theory manuscripts. Santosuosso is the leading expert on medieval notations that use letters of the Latin or Greek alphabets to record pitches. She described these systems in her book, Letter Notations in the Middle Ages. Several articles published in Musica Disciplina and Scriptorium revealed a group of Norman manuscripts which used the a-p system of letter notation either exclusively or in combination with neumes. She also found a unique musical setting of a lunar table “Januarius in kalendas unus” in a codex of Venerable Bede’s De temporum ratione.

She has published four other books on medieval music theory manuscripts. The first two, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Fonds Lation 7211: Analysis, Inventory, and Text,and Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, conventi soppressi, F. III.565 deal with composite codices. She has completed two of a projected series of three volumes on music theory manuscripts from Normandy. The first, MSS Avranches, Bibliothèque municipale 236,237 examines two Boethius codices from Mont Saint-Michel; while the second, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale fonds latin 10509 is associated with the monastery of Bec. Two of Santosuosso’s recent articles analyze Norman poetry: one on a debate about the study of music, the other on a poem by Orderic Vitalis, the famous 12th-century Norman historian. Santosuosso has presented her research at national and international conferences.