Membersaraswathi shukla

…“A History of Harpsichord Touch in France: Performance Practice on the Periphery,” lecture-recital with Lillian Gordis, harpsichord. Researching Performance, Performing Researching: Collaborations and Confrontations, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NL (2017)

Session Organizer, “Emotional Pedagogy in the 21st Century”, with Lillian Gordis, Skip Sempé, and Saraswathi Shukla. Researching Performance, Performing Researc…
MA Musicology, with Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, UC Berkeley, 2015
AB History, magna cum laude, Princeton University, 2012. Senior thesis: “Consuming Opera: Transcriptions for Harpsichord in the Ancien Régime, 1760-1774.”

Chateaubriand Fellowship, Paris, France, Spring 2017
Lurcy Fellowship, Paris, France, 2016-2017
DAAD Graduate Study Scholarship, Bach-Archiv, Leipzig, Germany…

Saraswathi Shukla is a doctoral student at UC Berkeley writing her dissertation, “The Harpsichord at the Intersection of Art and Science during the Ancien Régime”, under the direction of Nicholas Mathew and Philippe Canguilhem (Université de Toulouse – Jean Jaurès). Her dissertation explores the intersections of music, the decorative arts, and science at the turn of the eighteenth century in France through a material history of the harpsichord. She has been the recipient of numerous research grants, including the Chateaubriand, Lurcy and DAAD Fellowships. Saraswathi is an avid harpsichordist and continues to study and teach the instrument while conducting research on keyboard music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Deposit‘Memento mori Froberger?’ Locating the self in the passage of time

Connections between Johann Jacob Froberger’s harpsichord laments and other genres of keyboard and lute music (the unmeasured prelude, the tombeau and some allemandes) are by now well known. However, the ‘Méditation faite sur ma mort future’ (Meditation made on my future death), stands out for its connection-overlooked until now-with the French literary meditation, a popular devotional genre that enabled the reader to contemplate death and reform his behaviour through increased awareness of the march of time. Froberger’s ‘Meditation’ is a musical cognate for that literary genre; through this autobiographical work, Froberger seems to have sought a meditative experience similar to one that might have been enabled by the reading of literary meditations. Indeed, it was through this work that Froberger’s student and patroness, the Princess Sibylla of Wurttemberg, sought comfort upon the death of her teacher.


It is well known that the instrumentation of eighteenth-century chamber music was highly flexible; composers frequently adapted their own works for a variety of instruments, and players often used whatever combinations they had available. One type of arrangement little used today but attested to in both verbal description and musical manuscripts of the period is that of trios and other chamber works adapted for two keyboard instruments. Players often executed such keyboard-duo arrangements on instrumentswith differentmechanisms and timbres – for example, harpsichord and piano together – thus capturing something of the variety of timbres available in a mixed chamber ensemble. Keyboard duos were often played by members of a single family, or by teachers and students together, a practice that allowed for the construction of a sense of ‘sympathy’ – mutual understanding through shared experience and sentiment – between the players. These players shared common physical gestures at the instruments, which reinforced the emotional content of the music; this fostered the formation of a sympathetic connection even as players retained their individual identities.

MemberRebecca Cypess

…PhD (2008), MPhil (2005), and MA (2004) in Music History, Yale University.

MA (2004) in Jewish Studies, Yeshiva University

MMus (2002) in Harpsichord Performance, The Royal College of Music, London

BA (2000) in Music, Cornell University…
… Music in the Orthodox Jewish Community,” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 41, no. 1 (Jun., 2010): 117–39.
Rebecca Cypess, “Chambonnières, Jollain, and the First Engraving of Harpsichord Music in France,” Early Music 35, no. 4 (Nov., 2007): 539–54.
Rebecca Cypess, “Evidence about the Lira da braccio from Two Seventeenth-Century Violin Sources,” Galpin Society Journal 60 (2007…

I am a musicologist and historical keyboardist specializing in the history, performance practices, and cultural contexts of music in 17th- and 18th-century Europe. My recent work includes Curious and Modern Inventions: Instrumental Music as Discovery in Galileo’s Italy (University of Chicago Press, 2016) and Sara Levy’s World: Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin (University of Rochester Press, 2018), co-edited with Nancy Sinkoff. My current book project, “Women and Musical Salons of the Late Eighteenth Century,” explores musical salons in Europe and America, between 1760 and 1800, with special focus on the women who hosted such salons and thereby shaped their musical worlds in ways little understood today. My work on salons is informed by my experience as a performer; in my two recordings with the Raritan Players, the ensemble that I direct, the acts of performance and research are mutually elaborative. The first of these recordings, In Sara Levy’s Salon (Acis Productions, 2017), has been called “simply mesmerizing” (Early Music America) and “a fascinating concept, brilliantly realised” (Classical Music). A sequel to this recording, Sisters, Face to Face: The Bach Legacy in Women’s Hands (Acis Productions, 2019), received the American Musicological Society’s Noah Greenberg Award for contributions to historical performance.

MemberLeon Chisholm

…): 143-76.

“Microtonal Keyboard Instruments in the Early Modern Period” (Sound & Science: Digital Histories, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science).


Smith & Handel, Julian Perkins (harpsichord), Chandos 0807 (2015), Eighteenth-Century Music 14(2) (2017): 318-20.

Entanglements: Conversations on the Human Traces of Science, Technology, and Sound by Simone Tosoni with Trevor Pinch (2017), ICON  23…

Leon Chisholm studied applied music and musicology in Canada and the United States, obtaining a PhD in historical musicology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. His dissertation research, funded in part by the Cini Foundation in Venice, concerned the mechanization of polyphonic vocal idioms brought about by the rise of lute and keyboard playing in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Humboldt University Berlin, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and of CRC 980, “Epistemes in Motion,” at the Free University Berlin. Previously, he held postdoctoral fellowships at the Deutsches Museum in Munich and the Italian Academy at Columbia University. Leon is currently at work on projects concerning the social construction of timbre in organ building and the material origins of musical style and concepts in early modern Europe. His book project Keyboard Playing and the Reconceptualization of Polyphonic Music in Early Modern Italy investigates how seminal changes in the concept and structure of polyphony were rooted in a shift of praxis defined by the increasing role of keyboard instruments in composition, teaching, theory, performance, and rehearsal. In addition to his academic research, Leon is a practicing musician specializing in organs and historical keyboards. He is also co-editor of the blog for the History of Music Theory group of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory.