Professor Andrew Kirkman BA, MMus, PhD

Professor Andrew Kirkman

Department of Music
Peyton and Barber Professor of Music

Contact details

Bramall Music Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I work on sacred music of the fifteenth century music, which I also direct with my professional vocal ensemble, The Binchois Consort. I teach on a wide range of topics from medieval to popular music and have also had a busy career as a freelance professional violinist.


At Birmingham I teach courses in music in the Renaissance, music in the 1960s and other topics. I am also director of the Centre for Early Music Performance and Research and in that capacity direct the University Chamber Orchestra, a forum for learning period instrument and vocal styles, coached by specialists in the field.

Postgraduate supervision

I have supervised PhD topics as diverse as 'Music in Post-Communist Poland' and 'The iPad', but am particularly happy to supervise students wishing to study topics in late medieval and renaissance music, in terms of repertory, cultural practice and historiography.

Find out more - our Music postgraduate study  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


I have published and lectured on various aspects of fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century music. My earlier publications looked principally at issues of style and influence. More recently I have been more concerned with the historiography and cultural context of music for the Mass from the fourteenth to the early sixteenth century, an interest that resulted in my book The Cultural Life of the Early Polyphonic Mass (CUP, 2010). I am currently writing up my latest monograph, on music and culture in the late-medieval collegiate church of St Omer, Saint-Omer, Northern France. Other recent publications include an anthology of essays, Contemplating Shostakovich: Life, Music and Film,edited jointly with Alexander Ivashkin. 

I combine my scholarly work with that of a performer, and have directed a wide range of ensembles, including choirs, orchestras and various period-instrument ensembles. I founded The Binchois Consort in 1995, since when it has made ten recordings, all on the Hyperion label. Our recordings and performances, of music by Du Fay, Binchois, Josquin, Busnoys and others, have received universally strong critical acclaim and many music industry prizes, including Gramophone ‘Early Music Recording of the Year’ for its recording ‘Music for St James the Greater by Guillaume Du Fay.’ Our latest CD, 'Music for the Hundred Years' War', is scheduled for release on March 31st. I have also had a busy career as a freelance violinist, and, with pianist Clipper Erickson, recently released a recording of world premiere performances of violin sonatas by Cyril Scott.



With Alexander Ivashkin: editor of Contemplating Shostakovich: Life, Music and Film (Ashgate, 2012).

Editor of Sacred and Liturgical Renaissance Music: volume in series of republished essays on Renaissance Music, Stanley Boorman, general editor (Ashgate, 2012).

The Cultural Life of the Early Polyphonic Mass: Medieval Context to Modern Revival (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

With Dennis Slavin: editor of and contributor to Binchois Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

The Three-voice Mass in the Later Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries: Style, Distribution and Case Studies (New York and London: Garland, 1995).

In progress:

Citadel of Sound: Late Medieval Musical Life at the Church of St Omer

Edition in progress

Volume 7 in the series Fifteenth Century Liturgical Music of Early English Church Music (to be published by Stainer and Bell).


With Philip Weller, “Music and Image/ Image and Music: the Creation and Meaning of Visual-Aural Force Fields in the Later Middle Ages”, Early Music (forthcoming).

“A Succinct History of the Polyphonic Mass” and “The Nineteenth-Century Reception of Fifteenth-Century Sacred Music”, in Anna Maria Busse Berger and Jesse Rodin (eds.) The Cambridge History of Fifteenth-Century Music, Cambridge University Press, 2015.

“Organs and Instrumental Performance at the Collegiate Church of St Omer, Northern France, in the Later Middle Ages”, in Stewart Carter and Timothy J. McGee (eds.), Instruments, Ensembles, and Repertory,1300-1600: Essays in Honor of Keith Polk (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014).

“La viemusicale à St Omer”, in Philippe Vendrix, Marie Alexis Colin and Camilla Cavicchi (eds.), Renaissances musicales en Picardie 14e-17e (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012).

“Johannes Sohier dit Fede and St. Omer: A Story of Pragmatic Sanctions”, in Fabrice Fitch and Jacobijn Kiel (eds.), Essays on Music and Musicians in Honour of David Fallows: Bon jour, bon an, et bonne estraine (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2011).

“‘L’expression fidèle et spontanée du génie français’: Paris, Gevaert, Nationalism and Monophonic Song”, Revue Belge de Musicologie 64 (2010).

“Negotiating Form and Content in Fifteenth-century Music: a View through some Mass Movements by Binchois”, in Karl Kügle and Lorenz Welker (eds.), Borderline Areas in 14th and 15th Century Music/ Grenzbereiche in der Musik des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts, Musicological Studies and Documents 55 (Neuhausen-Stuttgart: American Institute of Musicology, Hänssler-Verlag, 2009).

“The Seeds of Medieval Music: Choirboys and Musical Training in a Late-Medieval Maîtrise”, in Susan Boynton and Eric Rice (eds.), Young Singers of Sacred Music in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2008).

“Personal Endowment: the Economic Engine of the ‘Cyclic’ Mass?”, in Bruno Bouckaert, ed. Yearbook of the Alamire Foundation 7 (2008).

“The Invention of the Cyclic Mass”, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 54/1 (Spring, 2001).

“From Humanism to Enlightenment: Reinventing Josquin”, The Journal of Musicology, 17/4 (Fall, 1999; appeared September, 2001).

“‘Under such Heavy Chains’: the Discovery and Evaluation of Late Medieval Music before Ambros”, Nineteenth Century Music 24/1 (Summer, 2000).

“La musique à la collégiale à la fin du moyen âge” in Nicolette Delanne-Logié and

Yves-Marie Hilaire (eds.), La cathédrale de Saint-Omer: 800 ans de mémoire vive (Paris: Centre Nationale de Research Scientifique, 2000).

“Binchois the Borrower”, in Kirkman and Slavin (eds.), Binchois Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

“Musical Life at the Collegiate Church of Saint-Omer, Northern France, in the Fifteenth Century”, Humanas (Revista do Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas da Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul),  21/1, pt. 2 (1998; appeared 2000). (Proceedings of the II Encontro Internacional de Estudos Medievais, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 23-6 September, 1997).

Quinti toni in Context: Currents in Three-voice Mass Writing in the later Fifteenth Century”, in Philippe Vendrix (ed.), Johannes Ockeghem: Actes du Xle Colloque international d’études humanistes (Paris: Klincksieck, 1999).

With Philip Weller: “Binchois’s Texts”, Music and Letters 77/4 (November, 1996).

“Innovation, Stylistic Patterns and the Writing of History: The Case of Bedyngham’s Mass Deuil angouisseux”, in Peter Wright (ed.), I Codici Musicali Trentini: Nuove scoperte e nuovi orientamenti della ricerca (Trento: Provincia autonoma di Trento, 1996).

“The Transmission and Style of English Mass Cycles in the Mid to Late Fifteenth Century: A Case Study in Context”, Music and Letters 75/2 (May, 1994).

“The Style of Walter Frye and an Anonymous Mass in Brussels, MS 5557”, Early Music History 11 (1992).

“Some Early Fauxbourdons by Dufay and his Contemporaries: A Study in Liturgically-motivated Musical Style”, Tijdschrift van de Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis 40/1 (1990).

Dictionaries / reference works

Articles written or revised for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd Edition (London: Macmillan, 2001): “Caput”, “Mass, II, 6-9”, “Missa Brevis”, “Missa Dominicalis”, “Maundy Music”.

Article for the “New Dictionary of National Biography” (U.K.): “Frye, Walter”.

Article for the “New Catholic Encyclopedia”: Gilles de Binche, dit Binchois.


Jesse Rodin and Craig Sapp (Directors), The Josquin Research Project (online resource), Journal of the American Musicological Society 68/ 2, Summer, 2015.

Ian Rumbold with Peter Wright, Hermann Pötzlinger’s Music Book: The St Emmeram Codex and its Contexts (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 2009), Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies 87/2, 2012.

Elaine Moohan and Murray Steib (eds.), Johannes Martini: Masses (2 vols., Madison: A-R editions, 1999), Notes 60/3, March, 2004.

Jessie Ann Owens, Composers at Work: The Craft of Musical Composition, 1450-1600 (Oxford, 1997), Journal of the American Musicological Society 55/ 1, Spring, 2002.

James Grier, The Critical Editing of Music: History, Method and Practice (Cambridge, 1996), Notes 57/ 3, March, 2001.

Fabrice Fitch, Johannes Ockeghem: Masses and Models (Paris, 1997), Early Music, February, 1999.

Gareth Curtis (ed.), The Office Hymns of Guillaume Dufay (Plainsong and Medieval Music Society), Early Music, May, 1993.

Nick Sandon (ed.), The Bodleian Year-Books Mass and Andrew Wathey (ed.), Berkeley Castle, Select Roll 55 (Antico), Early Music, August, 1992.

Gareth Curtis (ed.), The Brussels Masses, (Early English Church Music 34), and Nick Sandon (ed.), editions of Masses by Cox and Plummer (Antico), Plainsong and Medieval Music I, 1992.

Willem Elders: Composers of the Low Countries (Oxford: OUP, 1991) Early Music, August, 1991.

Maria Rika Maniates (ed.): The Combinative Chanson: An Anthology (Madison: A-R Editions, 1990), Early Music, August, 1990.

Recording reviews in Early Music, Early Music News.


As conductor of “The Binchois Consort”, a professional vocal ensemble. All recordings on Hyperion Records:

  CD 1: “Glorious Companion: Music for St Anthony of Padua by Guillaume Dufay”, released July, 1996: ‘Critics’ Choice’, Gramophone.

  CD 2: “Music for St James the Greater and other early Works by Guillaume Dufay”, released May, 1998: ‘Early Music Recording of the Year’ for 1998-9, Gramophone; ‘Recording of the Month’, Gramophone, July, 1998; Gramophone ‘Critics’ Choice’; ‘Classic CD Choice’, Classic CD, July, 1998; ‘Early Music Disc of the Month’, Classic FM Magazine, August, 1998; ‘Diapason d’Or’, Diapason, September 1998; ‘R10,’ Répertoire, September, 1998.

  CD 3: “A Marriage of England and Burgundy”, music by Walter Frye and Antoine Busnois, recorded August 11-13, 1999, released October, 2000: ‘Recommandé,’ Répertoire, February, 2001; ‘Choc,’ Le Monde de la Musique, March, 2001.

  CD 4: “Josquin and His Contemporaries”, recorded January 9-11, 2000, released September, 2001: runner-up, ‘Early Music Recording of the Year’ for 2001-2, Gramophone.

  CD 5: Busnoys, Missa L’homme armé, Domarto, Missa Spiritus almus and motets, recorded June 19-21, 2001, released October, 2002: ‘Editor’s Choice,’ Gramophone, December, 2002; ‘G5’, Goldberg; ‘5 stars’ BBC Music Magazine; finalist, ‘Early Music Recording of the Year’ for 2002-3, Gramophone.

  CD 6: Dufay (?), Missa Puisque je vis and motets by Dufay, Compère and anon., recorded July 24-6, 2002, released June, 2003: ‘5 stars’, BBC Music Magazine, September, 2003; ‘Diapason découverte’, Diapason, September, 2003

  CD 7: Dufay (?), Mass for St Anthony Abbot, Binchois, Nove cantum melodie, Domitor Hectoris, Mass movements, recorded January 13-15, 2004, released January, 2005, finalist, ‘Early Music Recording of the Year, Gramophone.

  CD 8: “Dufay and the Court of Savoy”, recorded February 13-16, 2008, released December, 2008.

  CD 9: “Music for Henry V and the House of Lancaster”, recorded May 11-13, 2010, released September, 2011.

  CD 10: “Music for the Hundred Years’ War”, recorded January 7-9, 2016, release March, 2017.

As conductor of Rutgers University Collegium Musicum: 

Director of Rutgers Collegium Musicum (music ensemble for performance of Renaissance music), 2000-2011.

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