U Music's Jane Hatter abroad on prestigious Harvard research fellowship

April 08 2024

U School of Music associate professor Jane Hatter is spending the year abroad at the Villa I Tatti in Florence, Italy as a 2023-2024 CRIA Fellow in The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.

In the suburbs of Florence, the Villa I Tatti is home to Bernard Berenson's art collection and library, highly regarded amongst researchers across the disciplines. For Hatter, the collections are the key to unlocking her latest research in musicology.

“Being a musicologist who is interested in using visual culture as a tool for understanding the way that music fit into the lives, particularly of women, this has always been sort of a place that I dreamed of going,” she explained.

For this particular project, Hatter is looking at visual representations of female musicians –– paintings, frescoes, drawings, and music prints –– from the early sixteenth-century.

"I'm looking in the decades around 1500, which is a really hard time to trace women's lives and women's musicality, because it's before any women start publishing music. There's been a real challenge to understand how music fit into their lives in this period," she explained.

This research is a continuation of her first monograph, "Composing Community in Late Medieval Music: Self-Reference, Pedagogy and Practice (CUP, 2019)" examining self-referential music and the insight it provides into bonds shared by late fifteenth-century musicians. Hatter has also published research on musical time in early sixteenth-century Italian paintings, intersections between popular devotions and ecclesiastical liturgy in Renaissance motets that include or quote Marian prayers, and the sights and sounds of early modern commemorative activities.

Check out our interview with Jane Hatter for a glimpse into the experience of this prestigious fellowship!