Monash University (Melbourne, Australia)
John Griffiths is a researcher of Renaissance music and culture, especially solo instrumental music from Spain and Italy. He is best known for his work on the Spanish vihuela and its music. This has enabled him to maintain a close connection between his research and performing activities. At the same time, his publications show broad interests in diverse areas of renaissance music, Spanish music Hispano-Italian cultural exchange. He has contributed notably to areas including renaissance music pedagogy, style studies, organology, music printing, music in urban society, connections between written and oral traditions, music in Spanish Naples, and digital humanities.
He holds a PhD degree from Monash and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Music by the University of Melbourne in 2012. His 1983 PhD on the vihuela fantasia that remains a seminal work in its field. He is currently is Professor of Music and Head of the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University, as well as honorary professor at the University of Melbourne (Languages and Linguistics), and an associate at the Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance in Tours. John Griffiths served as President of the Musicological Society of Australia (2007-2009), he is head of the Arts section of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, an honorary life member of the Sociedad de la Vihuela in Spain, and was elected a Corresponding Member of the American Musicological Society in 2014. In 1993 he was appointed an Officer of the Orden de Isabel la Católica for his contribution to Spanish culture. From 1980 to 2011 was director of early music studies and taught music history and theory of music at the University of Melbourne. He was appointed to a chair in 1994, and served as head and deputy head for eight years. In particular, he was responsible for substantial teaching reforms and the creation of both the Early Music Studio and the Lyrebird Press, the latter to continue the long-standing association between the university and Editions de l’Oiseau Lyre.
He has published extensively and has collaborated in music reference works including The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart and the Diccionario de la música española e hispanoamericana. Current projects include An Encyclopaedia of Tablature, 1450-1750 and a comprehensive study of the vihuela jointly in electronic and conventional print format. He also performs on historical plucked instruments: lute, vihuela, and early guitars. His most recent recording of vihuela music by Fuenllana and Valderrábano, Intimate Vihuela, is available from Contrastes Records and embodies his latest research on vihuela construction and performance practice.