Dr. Giovanni VarelliBack to People

Department: Music
College appointment: Prize Fellow in Music
Phone: 01865-286687


After completing his BA in Musicology at the University of Pavia, Giovanni Varelli studied at Royal Holloway, University of London and completed his PhD at Cambridge University (St John’s College) with a dissertation on the earliest surviving music manuscripts from the north-Italian abbey of Nonantola. In addition to musicological research, Giovanni worked as research assistant for the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (2009), as consultant musical palaeographer for the British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts (2010), and recently as a cataloguer of medieval manuscripts and fragments for the Universities of Padova and Bolzano/Bozen (2016). In February 2016 Giovanni was elected Prize Fellow (Fellow by Examination) in Music at Magdalen College, Oxford.


Research Interests

Giovanni Varelli is currently working on musical notations in early-medieval Italy, focusing in particular on cognitive processes in the development of music writing and on the influence of the contemporary political and ecclesiastical context on music book production.

His research interests span from Latin palaeography and codicology, early medieval and carolingian liturgy, music theory and notation, philology and reception history, manuscripts digital restoration and conservation techniques, to ethnomusicology and dialectology.

Selected Publications

‘Appunti sulla nonantolana come più antico canone notazionale di area italiana’ in Studi Gregoriani 30 (2015), pp. 47-76.

‘Two Newly-Discovered Tenth-Century Organa’ in Early Music History 32 (2013), pp. 277-315.

‘The Early Transmission of Chant in Northern Italy: The Evidence of Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, B 48 sup., ff. 141-142’ in Études Grégoriennes XL (2013), pp. 253-282.

‘Rhythm, Pitch and Text Setting in Palaeofrankish Notation: The Case of London, British Library, Harley MS 3019’ in Cantus Planus: Papers Read at the 16th Meeting of the IMS Study Group, Vienna, Austria, Aug. 21 – 27 2011, ed. Robert Klugseder (Vienna-Purkersdorf: Hollinek, 2012), pp. 409-414.

‘Liturgia e musica a Polirone: le testimonianze manoscritte nei codici della Biblioteca Teresiana di Mantova’ in Rivista Internazionale di Musica Sacra 32/2 (2011), pp. 157-192.