Elsa De Luca


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ELSA DE LUCA is an early music scholar pursuing research on medieval chant notations; she is also actively involved in the development of tools for computer-assisted research in early music (mainly databases and automatic music encoding). 

Elsa is currently carrying out palaeographical research into Iberian medieval notation through the research project 'A pre-Gregorian musical repertory under scrutiny: neumes, scribes, and books of the Old Hispanic Chant' (Norma Transitória – DL 57/2016/CP1453/CT0085).

Elsa is the PI of the FCT-funded research project Echoes from the Past: Unveiling a Lost Soundscape with Digital Analysis (2022.01957.PTDC), running from 03/2023 until 02/2026. The project was ranked first in the 2022 Portuguese national call for research projects in the ‘Arts’.

She has published articles on notation, cryptography, and liturgy in a selection of Iberian and French manuscripts (10th – 16th cent.) and on music encoding. She co-edited with A. Miguélez and E. Loic a special issue of the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies (14/1, 2022) Connecting the Dots: New Research Paradigms for Iberian Manuscripts as Material Objects. Currently, she has two forthcoming books on the palaeography of plainchant from the medieval East and West, both books co-edited with I. Moody and J.F. Goudesenne for Brepols. 

In addition, Elsa is Coordinator of the Portuguese Early Music Database; co-director of the book series Musicalia Antiquitatis & Medii Aevi, published by Brepols; a member of the CESEM-FCSH editorial committee and review editor for the Portuguese Journal of Musicology new series. Finally, Elsa has been serving as member of the CESEM board of directors since 04/2023.

Over the years, Elsa has collaborated in eleven research projects in Italy, France, Portugal, the UK and Canada. 

Main areas of teaching

Music paleography and codicology

Music encoding (early music)

Music history and analysis (medieval and renaissance music)

Historical performance practice

Education/Academic qualification

Musicology, Doctorate, Dissertation: ‘I manoscritti musicali dell’Archivio di San Nicola a Bari: elementi francesi nella musica e nella liturgia’. Supervisor: Marco Gozzi.

1 Sept 200731 Jan 2011

Award Date: 31 Jan 2011

Piano Performance, Piano Diploma, Istituto Musicale Pareggiato ai Conservatori di Stato, Ceglie Messapica (BR), Italy

Nov 1993Sept 2002

Award Date: 11 Sept 2002

External positions

Post-Doc Researcher , Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética Musical (CESEM)

1 Oct 201631 Jan 2019

Postdoctoral Research Assistant , University of Bristol

1 May 201331 Aug 2016

FCT Post-Doc Researcher

1 May 201130 Apr 2013


  • M Music
  • Early Music
  • Plainchant
  • Performance Practice
  • Digital Humanities
  • Music Encoding
  • Musical Notation
  • Musical analysis
  • BR Christianity
  • Medieval Liturgy
  • Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
  • Music Palaeography
  • Codicology


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