The 50th International Musicological Colloquium in Brno is devoted to the wider context of the monophonic and polyphonic liturgical repertoire at the dawn of the early modern period. The coexistence of plainchant and polyphony is to be observed on various levels : plainchant still remains the basic type of liturgical music, representing a substratum for polyphonic music, providing motivic material as well as formal patterns. It represents a contrasting type of musical utterance as well as a platform for improvising polyphony - a technique embedded in the developing theory of counterpoint.
With the arrival of the (proto-)Reformation this symbiosis is enriched by the process of vernacularisation, evident, for example, in contrafacta of plainchant in vernacular tongues (here we note the primary importance of the so called Jistebnický kancionál and the related group of sources), later also supplemented by the integration of songs in the vernacular into the liturgy of various Christian denominations. In contrast to the well-known use of vernacular songs in non-Catholic liturgies is the attitude of the Catholic church as set forth by the Council of Trent. In Central Europe the church continues to follow its usual practice rather than teaching and pushing through the rigorous standpoint decided on at the Council of Trent.
The Colloquium should thus deal with the performance practice of plainchant, song and polyphony in the liturgical music of the 15th and 16th centuries and the liturgical embodiment of each repertoire type (including the liturgical use of the main Central European sources). Attention will be paid to the diversity of the liturgy (monastical / diocesan environment,festive / common liturgy, professional / amateur musical forces), different denominations (and particular types of music as signs of confessional identity) and local peculiarities (local performance practice, the longue durée phenomenon in some types of repertoire).
The specifics of musical culture in the Czech lands should be among the key themes : the repertoire of so called Jistebnický kancionál and related sources (with special focus on the development of late medieval lamentations), the integration of the main sources of polyphonic music into liturgical practice, or the use of the local plainchant repertoire within polyphonic music.
Other key topics are : particular types of music institutions taking part in liturgical music, i.e. school choirs, aristocratic and town music ensembles (including the question of the use instruments in church music, records of alternatim practice, colla parte use and the growing autonomy of instruments and/or distinct instrumental types of liturgical music), and last but not least the activities of religious brotherhoods in the broader Central European context.