The following pages document the life and work of the Renaissance composer Ludwig Senfl (ca. 1490-1543) as well as his presence in contemporary sources. The information published here has been compiled through various research projects funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (mdw), the University of Vienna, and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
This picture shows an excerpt from the choirbook Mus.ms. 12 of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich, a representative manuscript of the sixteenth century that was made under Senfl’s supervision.
The Marian motet shown here was composed by Senfl for the Duke of Munich. Just take a listen!
Senfl’s works have survived not only in manuscripts, but also on playing cards, engraved stone tables, embroidered partbooks and in the new medium of printing. His songs in particular enjoyed European-wide circulation through print. And Senfl’s Elslein was not only then, but is also still today a Renaissance musical hit.
With only two fragmentary editions of this music available, a team of musicologists has been working since 2015 to make Senfl’s extensive oeuvre at last accessible in a scholarly-critical edition. This edition aims to meet the demands of current musicological research while incorporating state-of-the-art editing methods and will be made available free of charge.