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Late Middle Ages 14th-15th centuries

Kimberly's interest in medieval organ music stems from her time in Oxford, that great medieval city.  She spent many hours consulting manuscripts in Duke Humphrey's 15th-century Reading Room at the Bodleian Library.  It was amazing to be researching 15th-century organs in a room that was built at the same time as the instruments!  


In 1986, Kimberly's thesis, Iconographical Evidence for the Late-Medieval Organ (later published by Garland, 1989) earned her the DPhil from the University of Oxford. Since this time, she has continued her research into the beginnings of organ culture in the Western world, performing on some of the oldest surviving organs in Europe, including the swallow's nest organ in Sion, the Gothic organ in Rysum, and the Genarp organ in Malmö.  She has also played on modern reconstructions of 15th-century instruments such as the Edskes-Blanc organ at Basel's Predigerkirche (where she recorded the CD Gothic Pipes) and the Van Straten organ at Amsterdam's Orgelpark.


Kimberly has presented her insights into medieval music making through many conference papers and publications:


- "The Development of the Organ Keyboard,” in Music and its Questions: Essays in Honor of Peter Williams. Thomas Donahue, ed. (Richmond, VA: Organ Historical Society, 2007): 1-21.

- "The Creation of Late-medieval Organ Music," in Les Orgues Gothiques: Actes du Colloque de Royaumont 1995, Marcel Pérès, ed. (Paris: Céraphis, 2000): 125-142.

- “The medieval organ before and after 1300,” A Performer’s Guide to Medieval Music, Ross W. Duffin, ed. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000): 412-430.

- "Innovations in Organbuilding: 1250-1500," in Music in Performance and Society: Essays in Honor of Roland Jackson, Malcolm Cole and John Koegel, eds. Warren, Michigan: Harmonie Park Press, 1997: 93-126.

- "An Introduction to Performing Late-medieval Organ Music," Journal of the Royal College of Organists 3 (1995): 1-39.


Kimberly Marshall at the

organ of Rysum, 1547

- "From Motet to Intabulation: An Overview of German Keyboard Arrangements from the Late Middle Ages to the Baroque," Proceedings of the Göteborg International Organ Academy 1994, eds. Hans Davidsson and S. Jullander (Gothenburg: Novum Grafiska, 1995): 3-43.

- "The Organ in 14th-century Spain," Early Music 19 (November, 1992): 549-557.

- "From Temple to Theatre: The Use of Musical Instruments in Jewish and Christian Liturgy before the Twelfth Century," Sydney Organ Journal 22/6 (December 1991/January 1992): 18-27.

- "Bourdon Pipes on Late-Medieval Organs," Organ Yearbook 18 (1987): 5-33.

- articles in the Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages, ed. Robert E. Bjork (Oxford, 2010).




Kimberly Marshall recorded music from the major sources of late-medieval organ music in Gothic Pipes: the Earliest Organ Music (Loft recordings 2004, out of print but available through iTunes as mp3 files)


She provides a performance edition of favorite late-medieval organ pieces in her anthology, Late-Medieval Organ Music before 1460. Vol. 3 of the series Historical Organ Techniques and Repertoire. Colfax, North Carolina: Wayne Leupold Publishing, 2000

Kimberly Marshall at the Gothic organ in Notre-Dame-de-Valere, Sion, c.1400


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