Music faculty, projects earn major SSHRC funding grants

Faculty members James Grier and Robert Toft are recent recipients of Insight Grant funding from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Also announced on June 15, 2021, Emily Ansari is a project collaborator and co-applicant on a SSHRC Partnership Grant awarded to Surviving Memory in Postwar El Salvador.

Grier’s successfully funded research is entitled “The Tract in Eleventh-Century Aquitaine.” The Tract occupies a unique position among the genres that constitute the repertories of plainsong. Grier will prepare a critical study and edition of the Tract as it was practised in eleventh-century Aquitaine, the region in southwestern France that housed many prestigious ecclesiastical institutions. In assembling all of this data into a critical edition, it will make this extraordinary music available to scholars who wish to study the musical culture of medieval Aquitaine, and to singers who would bring the repertory to life in performance.

Toft’s successfully funded research is entitled “Turning research into sound: re-creating the declamatory vocal style of the early 19th century.” Over the years, Toft has pursued a variety of projects within the notion of “research informing practice.” His scholarly interests focus on the performance practices of singing from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and he has given master classes on historical principles of interpretation at leading conservatories and music schools in many countries.

Ansari is one of a group of collaborators on Surviving Memory, led by project director and fellow Western professor Amanda Grzyb. The project is committed to documenting the Salvadoran civil war and preventing future violence through commemoration. The seven-year, $2.5-million partnership grant will be used to continue and expand the program.

Related Links

El Salvador research project receives major grant (via Western News, June 16, 2021)

SSHRC – Insight Grant Recipients

Musicologist Grier named Guggenheim Fellow (via Western News April 13, 2020)

Researcher Robert Toft resurrects past for today’s voices (via Western News, February 10, 2020)