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Dr Michael Gale

Profile summary

Professional biography

Since studying at King’s College, London (BMus, 1999; MMus, 2000), I have pursued a dual career as a music educator and a researcher specialising in the musical culture of early modern England. Over the past two decades, I have worked as an instrumental tutor and in numerous FE and HE settings, teaching for the Open University since 2007 and serving as an Honorary Associate (formerly Research Affiliate) in their Music Department since 2013.

As a researcher, I spent a number of rewarding years working on the AHRC-funded Electronic Corpus of Lute Music project (2001-6) before undertaking doctoral studies at the University of Southampton (2006-13). You can read my Ph.D thesis (on musical training and constructions of social status in England, c.1550—c.1640) here.

Research interests

• the sociology of music-making in England, c.1500-1700

• musical training and education from c.1500 to the present day

• computer-assisted musicology (i.e. the design and development of electronic resources for musicological research)

• jazz studies (especially jazz historiography, 1940 - present; representations of jazz in film)



a)  Journal articles & conference/seminar papers:

(with D. Lewis): “Musical texts and information retrieval: the case of the early modern battaglia”, Early Music 43/iv (2015): 587-95.

“Lute pedagogy in Renaissance England: Methods and motivations”, Lute News: The Lute Society Magazine 116 (December 2015): 9-17.

The life and works of Thomas Whythorne (1528-96): An opportunity for computer-assisted collaborative research”, in B. Fields & K. Page (eds.) DLfM 2014: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Digital Libraries for Musicology (London: ACM Press, 2014): 64-66.

“John Dowland, celebrity lute teacher”, Early Music, 41/ii (2013): 205-18.

“Two newly discovered English lute tablature fragments”, The Lute: Journal of the Lute Society, 48 (2008): 54-70. See publisher’s errata in The Lute, 49 (2009): 90-1.

(with D. Lewis, T. Crawford, & G. Wiggins) “Abstracting Musical Queries: Towards a musicologist’s workbench”, in R. Kronland-Martinet, T. Voinier & S. Ystad (eds.), Computer Music Modeling and Retrieval: Third International Symposium, CMMR 2005, Pisa, Italy, September 26-28, 2005, Revised Papers (Heidelberg: Springer, 2006): 249-58.

(with T. Crawford) “John Dowland’s ‘Lachrimae’ at home and abroad”, The Lute: Journal of the Lute Society, 44 (2004): 1-34.

(with D. Lewis & T. Crawford) “An Electronic Corpus of Lute Music (ECOLM): Technological Challenges and Musicological Possibilities”, in R. Parncutt, A. Kesseler & F. Zimmer (eds.), Proceedings of the Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology (CIM04): Graz, Austria, 15-18 April 2004. (CD-ROM - ISBN: 3-200-00113-5)

Remnants of some late sixteenth-century trumpet ensemble music”, Historic Brass Society Journal, 14 (2002): 115-31.


b) other publications:

CD liner notes:  David Gorton: Variations on John Dowland – Longbow/Stefan Östersjö (Toccata Classics: TOCC 0396), 2017, 2pp.

Entries in Encyclopedia of Tudor England, eds. John A. Wagner & Susan Walters Schmid. 3 vols. (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2011): “Byrd, William (c1540–1623)” (I: 187-190); “Dowland, John (1563–1626)” (I: 359-61); “madrigal” (II: 730-31).

CD liner notes:  Johann Sebastian Bach: Viola da gamba sonatas – Petr Nouzovský/Monika Knoblochová (Cube-Bohemia: CBCD 2631), 2006, 2pp.

CD liner notes:  Baroque Trumpet Concertos – Marek Zvolánek/New Prague Collegium (Cube-Bohemia: CBCD 2529), 2005, 5pp.


c) book reviews:

Review of Amanda Eubanks Winkler, Music, Dance, and Drama in Early Modern English Schools (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020); in Journal of Historical Research in Music Education 44/1 (2022), 122-24.

Review of K. Dawn Grapes, With Mornefull Musique: Funeral Elegies in Early Modern England (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2018), Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 78/3 (March 2022), 431-34.

Review of The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical and Qualitative Assessment in Music Education, eds. David J. Elliott, Marissa Silverman, and Gary E. McPherson. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), Fontes Artis Musicae, 68/ii (2021), 185-88.

Review of Eric Jas, Piety and Polyphony in Sixteenth-Century Holland: The Choirbooks of St Peter’s Church, Leiden (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2018), Current Musicology, 107 (2020): 163–170.

"Lute Treasures", review of facsimile edition: The Mathew Holmes Manuscripts I: Cambridge University Library MS Dd.2.11, eds. John H. Robinson & Stewart McCoy, Early Music, 40/iii (2012): 507-9.


d) recording reviews:

Review of Mortua dulce cano: A Florilegium of Late Renaissance Lute Music, Michał Gondko (lute) (Ramée CD RAM2007); in Lute News: The Lute Society Magazine 142 (August 2022), 79.

Review of Dowland: ‘Whose heavenly touch’, Mariana Flores (soprano), Hopkinson Smith (lute) (naïve CD E8941); in Lute News: The Lute Society Magazine 140 (December 2021), 55-56.

Review of Arcadia: Italienisch Lautenmusik der Hochrenaissance, Christoph Greuter (lute) (Narrenschiff CD Nar 2020146); in Lute News: The Lute Society Magazine 137 (May 2021), 39.

Review of Rembrandt! Musik des Niederländischen Goldenen Zeitalters/Music of the Dutch Golden Age, Alon Sariel (lute), Concerto Foscari (Querstand CD VKJK 1901); Lute News: The Lute Society Magazine,133 (April 2020): 57-8.

Review of Mad Dog, Hopkinson Smith (lute) (naïve CD E8940); Lute News: The Lute Society Magazine 133 (April 2020): 56-7.


Recent conference presentations:

(with Karen Wardley) "Graffiti, gaps, and the written record: Music and worship at the Hospital of St. Cross, Winchester during the sixteenth century", Making Your Mark: 2nd National Symposium for the Study of Historic Graffiti, York, 19 November 2022.

“New light on the career of John Chappington, Elizabethan organ-maker”, Galpin Society conference, Edinburgh, 23-25 June 2022.

"Musical provision at the Hospital of St. Cross, Winchester during the sixteenth century", Royal Musical Association annual conference, Newcastle, 14-16 September 2021.

"The life and work of Walter Cheyney (d.1601), Elizabethan 'singingman'", Renaissance Society of America annual meeting (online), 13-22 April, 2021.

“Locating Richard Mynshall’s books”, Annual Congress of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres (IAML), Kraków, 14-19 July 2019.

“Music-making and identity-formation in the Elizabethan universities”, Medieval and Early Modern Spaces and Places conference, Open University Medieval and Early Modern Research Group, Milton Keynes, 23-24 February 2018.

 “The death-knell for traditional harmony and counterpoint studies? Some prospects and implications arising from the new A-level Music curricula,” Music Transitions and Futures conference, Newcastle, 25 January 2018.

“Professional Musicians in Winchester, c.1575-c.1625: a preliminary sketch”, Wessex Centre for History and Archaeology seminar series, University of Winchester, 6 April 2017

“Recreational music-making in early modern Oxford and Cambridge colleges”, Teaching and Learning in early modern England: Skills and knowledge in practice, Cambridge, 1-2 September 2016.

“John Danyel and the early modern music-teaching profession”, Samuel Daniel, poet and historian conference, London, 10-11 September 2015.

“The professional musicians of Winchester and their networks, c.1570—c.1625.” Musical Life Outside London, 1500-1800: Networks, Circulation, Sources study day, Newcastle, 25 October 2014.

“Thomas Robinson’s Schoole of Musicke (1603), autodidactic learning, and the politics of the early modern music lesson.” Sources of Identity: Makers, Owners and Users of Music Sources Before 1600 conference, Sheffield, 4-6 October 2013.

“Music, verse, and community in a provincial Elizabethan town: re-reading Richard Mynshall’s lutebook.” American Musicological Society annual meeting, New Orleans, 1-4 November 2012

“Music, verse, and community in a provincial Elizabethan town: re-reading Richard Mynshall’s lutebook.” Music, Space, and Sociability in the Renaissance workshop, Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, University of York, 9 May 2012

Teaching interests

At the OU, I currently teach A113 (Revolutions), a Level 1 interdisciplinary humanities module. 

I have previously taught A179 (Start Listening to Music), AA100 (The Arts Past and Present), A150 (Voices & Texts), and A105 (Voices, Texts, and Material Culture).


[Book Review] Music, Dance, and Drama in Early Modern English Schools (2022-10)
Gale, Michael
Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, 44(1) (pp. 122-124)