Despite continuing interest in the workings of everyday life in the early sixteenth century, the function of music and its main protagonists in this period of transition from the late Middle Ages to the modern era in the Roman-German Empire still has not been adequately researched. From his Swiss origins to his employment at the Habsburg and Bavarian courts and his close connections to figures in central German and Prussian territories, Ludwig Senfl played a key yet understudied role in a number of sixteenth-century historical processes. This is the result of a lack of a clear overview of Senfl’s oeuvre, as well as its insufficient reappraisal.
Beginning with work on his catalogue raisonné (2008) and the subsequent new edition of Senfl’s works (since 2015), an attempt has been made not only to make his musical compositions accessible to performers and musicological researchers at the highest editorial standards, but also to establish essential philological prerequisites for a fundamental reassessment of music within the cultural processes of the early modern period in the German-speaking world.
Only by linking biographical documents, concrete compositions and contextual material, however is it possible to provide an orientation within Senfl’s vast oeuvre and further an understanding of contemporary (musical) developments and phenomena. Therefore, in the long term, the present website will be developed into a digital research platform that both documents the progress of Senfl research and provides the basis for understanding related areas of (musical) life of his time. Through the integration and editing of personal correspondence, archival documents, or iconographical evidence, the biography of Senfl as well as research into his (in)direct network (the music scriptorium of the Munich court, a prosopography of individuals employed by the court chapel) will be developed in order to better gauge the cultural creativity of the time against the background of socio-political changes.