Anna Maria Busse Berger

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Anna Maria Busse Berger is an American musicologist. Busse Berger received her PhD from Boston University in 1986, and since 1989 she has taught at University of California, Davis, where she is now a Distinguished Professor of Music.[1] She is a scholar of Medieval and Renaissance History and Theory and is the former chair of the UC Davis music department. She was born in Hamburg, Germany, and has lived in the United States since 1976. She is married to the musicologist Karol Berger.


While she has published on a variety of topics within music scholarship, Busse Berger is best known as a scholar of medieval music and notation. Her first book, Mensuration and Proportion Signs: Origins and Evolution, examines mensural notation and relates this system to other measuring systems of the period, in particular the Roman system of fractions.[2] Her second book on Medieval Music and the Art of Memory is the first detailed study of music and memory in the Middle Ages.[3] In this book Busse Berger examines the relationship between oral and written music traditions in the earliest stages of written notation, and in the words of one reviewer, her primary argument is that "the act of composing [during the Middle Ages] entailed the process of gathering and redistributing materials stocked in one's memory," in the context of particular medieval ideas about how memory worked.[4]


Busse Berger was the 1991 recipient of the American Musicological Society's Alfred Einstein Award for best article by a young scholar.[5] In 1997-98 she was a Guggenheim Fellow,[6] In 2001-02 she was a fellow at the National Endowment for Humanities, the Stanford Humanities Center.[7]

In 2006, her book, Medieval Music and the Art of Memory was awarded the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award,[8] and the Wallace Berry Award from the Society of Music Theory.[9]

In 2014, Busse Berger was a Colin Slim Award recipient for best article by a senior scholar from the American Musicological Society, as well as the Bruno Nettl Prize from the Society of Ethnomusicology, for her work on music in African missions.[10]


  1. ^ "Anna Maria Busse Berger profile". University of California. January 24, 2012. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  2. ^ "Oxford University Press: Mensuration and Proportion Signs: Anna Maria Busse Berger". Oxford University Press USA. Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  3. ^ "Medieval Music and the Art of Memory - Anna Maria Busse Berger". University of California Press. University of California. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  4. ^ Tanay, Dorit (2007). "Review: Medieval Music and the Art of Memory". Journal of the American Musicological Society. 60 (3): 653–660. doi:10.1525/jams.2007.60.3.653. JSTOR 10.1525/jams.2007.60.3.653.
  5. ^ American Musicological Society. "Einstein Award Winners". Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  6. ^ "UC Davis Dateline". UCDavis. April 19, 1996. Archived from the original on May 28, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  7. ^ "Fellows 2001-2002". Stanford University. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  8. ^ "ASCAP 2006 Deems Taylor Awards". ASCAP. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  9. ^ Society for Music Theory. "Past Publication Awards". Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  10. ^ "AMS—H. Colin Slim Award Winners". 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2015-12-02.

External links[edit]

  • Profile,; accessed December 1, 2015.