Calvin Bower

Professor Emeritus of Music

Ph.D. Vanderbilt University, 1967


Calvin M. Bower, the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Medieval Institute, teaches the history of sacred music and the history of music theory in the Middle Ages. His translation of and commentary on Boethius's De institutione musica (which received the Special Publication Award of the Society for Music theory in 1991) has become a standard work for all who study ancient and medieval theory, and his edition of Latin commentary on Boethius's musical treatise---edited with Michael Bernhard of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences---has become a model for edition of medieval Latin glosses. Bower is also a member of the scholarly team at the Baravian Academy (Munich) that publishes the Lexicon musicum Latinum, the dictionary of Latin musical terminology of the Middle Ages. Trained as an organist and choral director as well as a musicologist, Bower has directed choral ensembles specializing in medieval chant and early polyphony for over thirty years. He has specialized in the music and poetry of the early medieval sequence and the early rhymed office, and his editions of these works have been used by academic and professional ensembles. In recent years Bower has focused much of his research on the intersection of theory, practice, and medieval descriptions of musical performances, and the results of this research have informed performances of medieval chant. Bower, along with Alexander Blachly, is a co-founder and co-director of the Schola Musicorum at the Universtiy of Notre Dame.