Mr James Ritzema

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Personal profile

I hold a Collaborative Doctoral Award, working between Royal Holloway and the British Library.

Research interests

  • Music printing and the book trade
  • Bibliography and history of the music book
  • History of reading and reception of musical texts
  • Sacred music and its role in seventeenth-century liturgy and devotion

The Printing and Publication of Sacred Music in England, 1603-1649

My thesis investigates the role of musical print culture during the reigns of James I and Charles I, focusing on the sources of sacred music printed for liturgical performance and domestic devotion. Offering an account framed by the prevailing trends of economic and cultural decline, and by the financial and legal structures in which the publishing trade operated, my thesis considers the ways in which printed sources of sacred music illustrate the cultural networks centred on publishing, the efforts made to shape the reception of musical texts in the hands of readers, and the relationship between music publishing and the changing religious culture of the early seventeenth century. My research examines new and neglected evidence ranging from wills, printing privileges and book trade catalogues to close study of print-house corrections. Grounded in book history, the sociology of texts and the history of reading alongside traditional musicological accounts of the sources, my thesis places music publishing in the context of larger arguments relating to the role of authority, commerce and religion in the seventeenth-century book trade.

Educational background

2016-21: PhD Music, Royal Holloway, University of London

2015-16: MSt Musicology, University of Oxford

2011-15: BMus (Hons) Music, University of Edinburgh 

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