John Griffiths

Professor

Accepting PhD Students

20042019
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Personal profile

Biography

John Griffiths graduated from Monash with a BA (Hons) in 1975 and PhD (1985). From 1980 to 2011 he was based at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne, becoming a professor in 1993. He returned to the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash as Head of School (2015-2016), remaining as and Adjunct Professor since then. He is one of the most senior musicologists in Australia today with an extensive international reputation as both a researcher and performer. His scholarly work and his performance activities centre around early plucked instruments —lutes, vihuelas and guitars— in renaissance Spain and Italy.

His 2014 CD Intimate vihuela (Contrastes Records, CR2201405) has been praised for its “interpretative warmth, of course, an accomplished technique that does not smudge the exquisite lines, but above all the character and expressiveness. He knows how to convey the calmness and delicacy that underlies the repertory, and especially that expressive capacity, that evocative power and the depth that is buried within every piece” (Doce notas, April 2015).

His scholarly work covers broad areas from the social history of Renaissance music, early music printing, historical music pedagogy, organology, connections between written and oral traditions, and music in urban society, as well as detailed analytical studies of sixteenth-century musical repertoire. Notable contributions include landmark studies on the Spanish vihuela fantasia, unravelling the music printing industry in sixteenth-century Spain, and the rediscovery of the Neapolitan tradition of lute playing in the sixteenth-century. In recognition of this work Professor Griffiths has received numerous accolades including being awarded the Cross of Officer of the Order of Isabel the Catholic by King Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1993, election to the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2006 and as a Corresponding Member of the American Musicological Society in 2014. In 2019 he became a Member of the Order of Australia.

Education/Academic qualification

Musicology, Doctor of Music, The University of Melbourne

Musicology, PhD, MONASH UNIVERSITY

External positions

Professorial Fellow, The University of Melbourne

2011 → …

Chercher Associé, Centre d'Etudes Superieures de la Renaissance

2009 → …

Research area keywords

  • Music
  • Renaissance
  • Spain
  • Lute
  • Vihuela
  • Guitar
  • Italy

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2004 2019

Songs without words: The motet as solo instrumental music after Trent

Griffiths, J. A., 2019, Mapping the Motet in the Post-Tridentine Era. Filippi, D. & Rodríguez-García, E. (eds.). Abingdon Oxon UK: Routledge, p. 206-227 22 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Guárdame las vacas: [Transcripciones y ediciones de las versiones conservadas del s. XVI para instrumentos solistas: vihuela y tecla]

Translated title of the contribution: Guárdame las vacas: Transcriptions and editions of the preserved 16th century settings for solo instruments: vihuela and keyboard]Griffiths, J. A., 30 Jun 2018, Valladolid : Universidad de Valladolid.

Research output: Other contributionOther

Open Access

Heteroclito Giancarli and His Composizioni musicali of 1602

Griffiths, J. A., 20 Dec 2018, French Renaissance Music and Beyond: Studies in Memory of Frank Dobbins. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, p. 293-315 23 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

La vihuela desde mi ordenador: la musicología y las humanidades digitales

Translated title of the contribution: The vihuela from my computer: musicology and the digital humanitiesGriffiths, J. A., 20 Dec 2018, Musicología en el siglo XXI: nuevos retos, nuevos enfoques. Lolo, B. & Presas, A. (eds.). Madrid Spain: Sociedad Española de Musicología, p. 1241-1256 15 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Prizes

Corresponding Member

John Griffiths (Recipient), 8 Nov 2014

Prize: Election to learned society

Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

John Griffiths (Recipient), 18 Nov 2006

Prize: Election to learned society

Member of the Order of Australia

John Griffiths (Recipient), 26 Jan 2019

Prize: National/international honour

Oficial de la Orden de Isabel la Católica

John Griffiths (Recipient), 24 Jun 1993

Prize: National/international honour

Activities 2015 2018

  • 2 Professional association or peak discipline body
  • 2 Membership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board
  • 1 Editorial responsibility

Marshall-Hall Trust (External organisation)

John Griffiths (Member)
10 Dec 2018

Activity: Industry, Government and Philanthropy Engagement and PartnershipsMembership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Journal of the Lute Society of America (Journal)

John Griffiths (Editor in chief)
1 Nov 2018

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility

Director-at-large, International Musicological Society

John Griffiths (Fellow)
22 Jul 201722 Jul 2022

Activity: External Academic EngagementProfessional association or peak discipline body

Sociedad de la Vihuela (External organisation)

John Griffiths (Member)
15 Dec 201631 Dec 2018

Activity: Industry, Government and Philanthropy Engagement and PartnershipsMembership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Head, The Arts, Australian Academy of the Humanities

John Griffiths (Fellow)
15 Nov 201515 Nov 2017

Activity: External Academic EngagementProfessional association or peak discipline body