In memoriam : Michel Huglo (1921-2012)




Nous venons de recevoir la triste nouvelle du décès de Michel Huglo.

Le réseau Musicologie Médiévale présente ses condoléances à Barbara Haggh et à tous ses proches.

Michel Huglo sera toujours dans nos mémoires comme l'un des plus grands savants de la musicologie médiévale.


University of Maryland


Michel Huglo (1921-2012)

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  • For those who are interested in the studies of Michel Huglo:

    Barbara Haggh-Huglo published a compilation of chronological bibliographies dedicated to him (

  • Unfortunately I could not be in Rome for last Sunday afternoon for the IMS conference when a memorial in honour of Michel Huglo was held, so I will leave here some words which are more dedicated to Michel's contribution to musicology with respect to our research in future.  I finish this post with a selected bibliography for those who are still not familiar with his studies and who might be curious about them.

    In 1975 a question about center and periphery was raised by Wulf Arlt concerning the innovations of the Aquitanian school during the 11th and 12th century. Michel Huglo did answer it in 1982—by an essay dedicated to the early Parisian Organum which had its focus on certain Abbeys under Cluniac influence around to the Île de la Cité. Despite the fact that the answer to Wulf Arlt's question was quite simple, he anticipated a later controversy about the role of the Cluniac Monastic Association in church and political history—among historians who discussed the book of Dominique Iogna-Prat "Ordonner et exclure: Cluny et la société chrétienne face à l’hérésie, au judaïsme et à l’islam, 1000-1150" (Paris, 1998).  Another seven years passed by, since Bryan Gillingham tried to answer the question concerning the impact of the Association concerning liturgical reforms of at least two centuries. Some poor recensions of this book made clear, that there are still musicologists who ignore the recent studies of church history since the 90s.

    If we apply this knowledge to another field which had been mainly established by Michel, the comparative studies of tonaries, we will certainly get an easier and simpler view on the various segments of the sources and their local traditions as those of Michel. Nevertheless, Michel gave us several studies which were dedicated to the various traditions of Western plainchant (not only Old-Roman and Gallican, but also Mozarabic, Ravenna, and Ambrosian chant), which cannot not simply be understood as "Gregorian chant".

    Michel's studies around the Missa greca at St Denis and the diplomatic relationship between the Carolingian and Byzantine emperors and his study (together with his wife Barbara) of the particular repertory of the Magnus liber F showed us, that there is no music manuscript and no liturgical reform which can be understood without a profound study of political and of church history.

    Michel was against the popular view on the Latin Middle Ages, which tries to deny any influence from outside. He had vivid correspondences with Kenneth Levy (Sanctus), Egon Wellesz (Kontakion), Oliver Strunk (Comparative studies of psalmody), and Walter Berschin (Byzantine legacies at the Carolingian Court), and he contributed to their Byzantinistic topics with own original contributions.


    • Gillingham, Bryan. 2006. Music in the Cluniac Ecclesia: A Pilot Project. Ottawa: Institute of Mediaeval Music.
    • Haggh-Huglo, Barbara & Huglo, Michel: "Maius liber – Maius Munus. Origine et destinée du manuscrit F", in: Revue de Musicologie 90 (2004), pp. 193-230.
    • Huglo, Michel: "La mélodie grecque du « Gloria in excelsis » et son utilisation dans le Gloria XIV", in: Revue Grégorienne 29 (1950) ; pp. 30-40.
    • Huglo, Michel: "L’ancienne version latine de l’hymne acathiste", in: Le Muséon 64 (1951); pp. 27-61.
    • Huglo, Michel: "Source hagiopolite d’une antienne hispanique pour le dimanche des Rameaux", in: Hispania sacra 5 (1952), pp. 367-374.
    • Huglo, Michel: "Les chants de la Missa greca de Saint-Denis", in: Jacques Westrup (ed.): Essays presented to Egon Wellesz, Oxford: Clarendon 1966; pp. 74-83.
    • Huglo, Michel: "Relations musicales entre Byzance et l’Occident", in: Joan Meryn Hussey (ed.): Proceedings of the XIIIth Congress of Byzantine Studies, Oxford, 5-10 September, 1966, London: Oxford UP 1967, pp. 267-280.
    • Huglo, Michel: "L’introduction en Occident des formules Byzantines d’intonation", in: Studies in Eastern Chant 3 (1973), pp. 81-90.
    • Huglo, Michel: «Les débuts de la polyphonie à Paris: Les premiers "organa" parisiens», in: Aktuelle Fragen der musikbezogenen Mittelalterforschung. Texte zu einem Basler Kolloquium des Jahres 1975, Forum Musicologicum, 3; Winterthur: Amadeus 1982; pp. 93-164. 
    • Huglo, Michel: "Grundlagen und Ansätze der mittelalterlichen Musiktheorie", in: Thomas Ertelt & Frieder Zaminer (ed.): Geschichte der Musiktheorie, 4 (2000): Die Lehre vom einstimmigen liturgischen Gesang, Darmstadt 2000; pp. 17-102.
    • Huglo, Michel. 2005. Les anciens répertoires de plain-chant. Variorum collected studies, 804. Aldershot, Hampshire etc: Ashgate.
  • Dear Barbara,

    The entire musicological world is grieving the loss of, as many people have put it, a giant. But you must also grieve the loss of a dear husband. I remember how kind he was to me on several occasions, giving me hints to follow up for my thesis, and smiling in greeting at conferences. I add my sincere sympathies to that of so many others here...

  • Journal La Croix : Mort de Michel Huglo, un des grands spécialistes du chant grégorien

  • Avec toutes mes prières et mes sincères condoléances à Barbara Haggh .

  • Je suis triste d'apprendre cette nouvelle. Rencontré qu'une seule fois à l'EPHE à Paris, sa pensée et ses écrits m'ont toujours accompagné et continueront à m'inspirer et à m'instruire, merci infiniment.

    Mes sincères condoléances à Barbara Haggh.


    Encore à Vienne l'été dernier, Michel, plein de projets et ne croyait probablement pas, je cite "se casser la pipe" aussi vite ! Mais il part noblement, dans la force de l'âge avec un oeuvre accomplie...

    Condoléances à Barbara et à toute la famille Huglo et soutien dans les prières

    Jean-François Goudesenne et la section de musicologie & liturgie de l'IRHT


  • Dear Dr. Haggh:
    I am very, very sorry to hear about the loss of Professor Huglo. Please accept my most sincere and heartfelt condolences. I feel privileged to have had the chance to meet him at Cantus Planus at AMS.

    Bibiana Gattozzi

  • It is very sad to learn of the loss of an outstanding and long-serving figure in medieval music studies. Our thoughts are with Professor Haggh-Huglo

  • Avec toute ma prière pour Michel que j'ai rencontré lors du Congrès International de Grégorien à Paris en 1985. Pour sa bienveillance envers mes travaux sur le responsorial GREG que je commençais alors....

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