Alexander Blachly

Professor of Musicology

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S614 O'Neill Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
+1 574-631-5105

Professor of Musicology
Founder-director of the vocal ensemble Pomerium


Ph.D., Columbia University

M.A., Columbia University

B.A., Haverford College

Research Interests

  • Renaissance music
  • Gregorian chant
  • Numerically-based polyphony
  • Just intonation
  • Medieval puzzle pieces
  • Medieval and Renaissance music history
  • Choral arrangements of nineteenth-century lieder


Alexander Blachly is the author of articles on the German dialect of Gregorian chant, the difference between tapping time and conducting time visually in the 15th and 16th centuries, puzzle-pieces of the late Middle Ages, the evolution of musical notation in the 13th through 16th centuries, the performance of the music of Lassus and Palestrina, archaic polyphony of the Renaissance, thoughts on the performance of 12th-century Calixtinus music, and the development of proportions in 14th- and 15th-century music.

Blachly has been the director of the Notre Dame Chorale since 1993. At Notre Dame, he also directs the Festival Baroque Orchestra and the Schola Musicorum. He is the founder-director of the professional New York vocal ensemble Pomerium, with which he has produced 16 recordings of Renaissance music on the Nonesuch, Classic Masters, Dorian, Deutsche Greammophon/Archiv, Glissando, and Old Hall labels. The ensemble has been active since 1972, except for the COVID years.

Blachly recently completed a book titled Hearing Heaven: Pythagorean Music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, a study of music based on or strongly influenced by numerical factors. His most recent article seeks to solve the lingering puzzle of why and for whom Thomas Tallis wrote his 40-voice motet *Spem in alium.*