Catherine A. Bradley

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2017/2018
discipline Music
Associate Professor in the Department of Musicology at the University of Oslo

Research project

Benedicamus Domino (800-1500)


The joyful closing formula Benedicamus Domino ("Let us bless the Lord") resounded in song several times a day in medieval churches. This was a special moment of musical freedom and creativity in the middle ages: singers of sacred plainchant melodies could choose to reprise a favorite tune to accompany the words Benedicamus Domino. In consequence, early twelfth-century experiments in the new musical art of polyphony—now elaborating simple monophonic plainchant melodies by the addition of accompanying voices—focused on precisely this text from the Christian liturgy, sparking a rich compositional tradition that flourished for the next four-hundred years. Innovatively placing a particular liturgical moment at the center of the narrative, I propose to begin drafting a book project that charts, for the first time, a history of musical practices and compositions for the Benedicamus Domino from 800-1500, thereby traversing and challenging established disciplinary, chronological, generic, geographical, and historiographical boundaries.





Catherine A. Bradley is Associate Professor in Music at The University of Oslo. She received her Ph.D in Music from the University of Cambridge. Her main research interests are polyphonic music before 1300, especially thirteenth-century motets; music-text relationships; questions of chronology, genre, and compositional process; intersections between sacred and secular cultures and orality and literacy.




Selected publications

'Song and Quotation in Two-Voice Motets for Saint Elizabeth of Hungary', Speculum, vol. 92, no. 3, 2017, pp. 661-691.


'Exploring Interactions in a Thirteenth-Century Motet Family on LATUS: Latin Motet Re-workings of a Three-Voice Discant Model', Journal of Musicology, vol. 32, no. 2, 2015, pp. 153-197.


'Comparing Compositional Process in Two Thirteenth-Century Motets: Deus omnium/REGNAT and Ne m’oubliez mie/DOMINO', Music Analysis, vol. 33, no. 3, 2014, pp. 263-290.

'Contrafacta and Transcribed Motets: Vernacular Influences on Latin motets and Clausulae in the Florence Manuscript', Early Music History, vol. 32, 2013, pp. 1- 70.


'New Texts for Old Music: Three Early Thirteenth-Century Latin Motets', Music and Letters, vol. 93, no. 2, 2012, pp. 149-169.






junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2012/2013
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Political Philosophy
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2013/2014
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Art History
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History