Dr Roger Bowers

Emeritus Fellow
University Positions
Emeritus University Reader
Specialising in
Medieval and Renaissance music

Roger Bowers is Emeritus Reader in Medieval and Renaissance Music.

Academic interests

Roger Bowers' academic interests include:

  • Music composition c1340-1640
  • Choral resources for musical performance
  • Medieval to early Baroque notation
  • Music theory c1500-1650.

Degrees obtained

  • MA, Modern History, University of Oxford.
  • PhD, Musicology and Ecclesiastical History, University of East Anglia.


Roger Bowers retired from his position as University Reader in Medieval and Renaissance Music in 2005, but remains active in research and publication.

He obtained a PhD from the School of Fine Arts and Music, University of East Anglia, in 1975, and became a Research Fellow in the Department of Music, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, in 1977. He took up his erstwhile position at the University of Cambridge in 1978, and from 1991 to 1993 enjoyed a Research Readership awarded by the British Academy.

His interests – comprehensively represented in his book English Church Polyphony: Singers and Sources from the Fourteenth Century to the Seventeenth (1999) – encompass all manner of aspects of the complex interactions between the composition of music in England, the nature of the forces which the Church and social elites saw fit to furnish for its performance, and the political and religious considerations applied by those whom the musicians were constrained to serve and please.

He also works on music in northern Italy around 1600, and on certain abiding problems of transcription, especially the understanding of the finer points of the notation of music composed between c1500 and c1630.

Other interests

Cathedral music.

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