Guggenheim goes to UC Davis early-music scholar

Anna Maria Busse Berger, an associate professor of music at UC Davis, is one of 158 artists, scholars and scientists recently selected to receive a 1996 Guggenheim fellowship award.

Recipients of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation annual competition are selected on the basis of unusually distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for the future. More than $4 million is being awarded in this year's competition.

Busse Berger, who joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1989, will use the award to study written and oral traditions in 12th-, 13th- and 14th-century music. She will try to establish the influence memory could have had on the transmission and composition of this music. She plans to travel to Germany to review medieval manuscripts of Notre Dame polyphony, which is the texture of individual melodic lines. The project is interdisciplinary and relies much on similar work currently being done by literary historians and anthropologists who study the interplay of orality and literacy, Busse Berger says.

Since she began teaching and studying at UC Davis, Busse Berger has received several national honors, including the 1991 Alfred Einstein Award for the best paper by a scholar in the early stages of a career and a 1992-93 fellowship from the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.

She is the author of the book Mensuration and Proportion Signs: Origins and Evolution, published in 1993. She received her Ph.D. in musicology in 1986 from Boston University.

During the past 72 years, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted nearly $170 million in fellowships.

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