Brian Jeffery: curriculum vitae

Dr. Brian Jeffery

Curriculum vitae

Email c/o Tecla Editions (the email address is at the foot of the Tecla home page). Currently resident in Hampstead, London, England.


Brian Jeffery took a First in Modern Languages from Christ Church, Oxford, and a doctorate from St. Andrews, as well as a further degree in musicology from Oxford. He taught at St. Andrews and at UC Berkeley and at UC Santa Barbara. As well as specializing in Renaissance literature and thought, he concentrates on textual analysis of early sources and the production of modern editions. In 1997 he held the Curtis Mayes Orpheus Chair in Musicology at Florida State University, Tallahassee.

He is the director of Tecla Editions, whose many publications can be seen on this site.


University of St. Andrews. Ph.D. in French literature, 1968. This doctoral thesis, in book form, was published by the Clarendon Press as French Renaissance Comedy (see “Books”, below).

St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. Hearne Research Scholar, 1960-62. B.Litt. in musicology (Oxon), 1964. This thesis was published by Musica Disciplina as “Antony Holborne” (see “Selected articles”, below).

Christ Church, Oxford, 1957-60. Open Scholar. First Class Honours in Modern Languages (French and German), 1960. M.A. 1964.

The King’s School, Canterbury, 1950-57. King’s Scholar.


1997: Curtis Mayes Orpheus Chair in Musicology, Florida State University, Tallahassee.

1976-2016: research and publication of numerous books and editions in the fields of literature and music as director and owner of the publishing firm Tecla Editions, London, including groundbreaking editions of the complete works of Giuliani and Sor and of the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven and many editions of songs, especially of the nineteenth century.

1978: the Barcelona Music Festival invited me to organize a large exhibition on Fernando Sor, and I organised at that time several colloquia on musicological topics.

1973-75: Vicente Cañada Blanch Senior Research Fellow, University of London.

1972: Leverhulme Research Fellow.

1971: Visiting Lecturer in French, University of Warwick.

1970: Visiting Associate Professor of French, University of California, Santa Barbara.

1967-68: Visiting Associate Professor of French, University of California, Berkeley.

1962-67: Lecturer in French, University of St.Andrews.



French Renaissance Comedy (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1969). A study of the French comic theatre and its conventions c.1550-1630. This book studied the conventions of the genre, and the influence of Aristophanes, Terence and Plautus on the French comic theatre, together with the influence of the native medieval French farce.

Bele Buche e Bele Parleure, a guide to the pronunciation of medieval and Renaissance French for singers and others (1976). A handbook, with an accompanying cassette of spoken and sung examples. Co-authored with the late Jeannine Alton of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, Oxford University.

Fernando Sor, Composer and Guitarist (1977). The first full-length biography of this Catalan composer (1778-1839) and principal composer for the guitar, written when I held the Cañada Blanch Senior Research Fellowship at the University of London. It has been considered a landmark in its field. With a full bibliographical catalogue of Sor’s works. Second edition, incorporating newly discovered data: 1994.

España de la guerra: the Spanish political and military songs of the war in Spain 1808 to 1814 (2017) which catalogues and describes the anti-French songs of that period and their musical scores, and discusses their political significance.

Selected articles and papers:

“Antony Holborne”, Musica Disciplina, 1968. A full-length study of this Elizabethan composer who was involved with the Countess of Pembroke’s circle and with English emblem literature. With a complete thematic index of Holborne’s works.

“The idea of music in Ronsard’s poetry”. Chapter in Ronsard the Poet, edited by Terence Cave (London, Methuen, 1973).

“The literary texts of Josquin’s chansons”, paper delivered at the International Josquin Festival Conference, New York, 1971, and published in the proceedings thereof (Josquin des Prez, Oxford University Press, 1976).

“Thématique littéraire de la chanson française entre 1480 et 1525”, La Chanson à la Renaissance (Actes du XXe Colloque d’Etudes Humanistes du Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance de l’Université de Tours, 1977).

Two surveys: “Guitar methods” and “The music: composers” in The Classical Guitar, ed. John Morrish, London, 1997.

“What were the singers saying? The words of late medieval French song”. A public lecture delivered in the Curtis Mayes Orpheus series of lectures in musicology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, 3 November 1997. This paper examined the subject in the light of critical theory: Bakhtin, Kristeva, Zumthor, etc.

Selected editions:

Chanson Verse of the Early Renaissance (two volumes: Volume 1, 272 pages, 1971; Volume 2, 374 pages, 1976). The standard modern edition of the “Gothic” books of songtexts without music published in France, from the earliest in c. 1512-25, to 1543. With full introductions and annotations. This edition was awarded the Tovey Prize, Oxford University. It has been widely used by researchers in this field.

An edition of the 15th century French poems contained in MS Florence Magl. XIX 229. This is an edition of the literary texts; the music was edited by the late Professor Howard Mayer Brown of the University of Chicago. Published as A Florentine Chansonnier from the Time of Lorenzo the Magnificent in the series Monuments of Renaissance Music (University of Chicago Press), 1983. This edition won the Kinkeldey Prize of the American Musicological Society for the best edition published in that year.

Francis Pilkington: Complete Works for Lute (Oxford University Press, 1970).

Fernando Sor: The Complete Works for Guitar, nine volumes (1982). 872 pages. Facsimile reprints with extensive commentaries and bibliographical information. This was the first modern publication of the complete works for guitar of the principal composer for that instrument, and has been considered a landmark edition in its field.  Then in 2002 the eleven-volume edition of Sor’s New Complete Works for Guitar has been published: this is not a facsimile edition but re-engraved and is designed to be the standard scholarly edition of the music of this composer.

Fernando Sor: Seguidillas (1976). This is an edition of both words and music of twelve hitherto unknown songs in Spanish by Sor, dating from about 1800-1810, which I discovered in manuscripts in London. In the introduction to this edition I discuss fully the interesting literary and musical forms which are involved, and the literary and musical background. A major further volume of vocal works by Sor entitled More Seguidillas has now also been published.

Fernando Sor: The Complete Studies, Lessons, and Exercises (1993), the standard modern edition of all the didactic works of this best-known composer for the instrument. Re-engraved, with new introduction and commentary.

Mauro Giuliani: The Complete Studies, the standard modern edition of all the didactic works of this composer for the instrument. Re-engraved, with new introduction and commentary.

Francisco Guerau: Poema Harmónico (1977). This is a complete facsimile edition, with a new introduction, of a tablature book for the baroque guitar, including music in both abstract and popular styles, originally published in Madrid in 1694.

Songs for Voice and Guitar. An anthology of 33 songs from the 19th century in many languages, most of them never before published. 1985.

English Romantic Songs and Ballads, an anthology of seventeen English songs from the 19th century. 1983.

Mauro Giuliani: The Complete Works. 39 volumes, 3700 pages. 1984-1989. One of the largest of reprint editions of music of any composer, and one which uses new methods and standards which I developed, to make the music much more useful to the performer than is usual in such reprint editions. Each volume has sometimes lengthy full bibliographical and historical prefaces incorporating much original research.

Approximately sixty editions of other works for lute, lute and voice, guitar solo, guitar and voice, guitar with other instruments, and texts, including Dowland, English Lute Songs; Aguado, Variations on the Fandango, op. 16; Jaime Bosch, Works for Guitar (the first modern edition of these pieces); Coste, La Source du Lyson; Manjón, Works for Guitar (the first modern edition of these pieces); Costa, Souvenir d’Orient, op. 12 (a piece of c.1810 incorporating Greek popular music); Moretti, Doce Canciones; Aguado, New Guitar Method; Sor, Method for the Spanish Guitar; about 44 separately published items for the examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music; and many others.

Ludwig van Beethoven: The 32 piano sonatas, in reprints of the first editions (1796-1823), principally from the Anthony van Hoboken Collection of the Austrian National Library. With an introduction and bibliographical notes. These first editions, which are indispensable for scholarly study and performance of the 32 piano sonatas, have never before been made available complete. This reprint edition also used the new technical methods which I developed, and is of a very high visual standard. It was published in 1990 and has received praise in scholarly reviews.


Tovey prize, Oxford University, 1972.

Kinkeldey Prize, American Musicological Society, 1983 (joint editor of the book which received this award).