Professor Parkes is a specialist in the musical traditions of the central Middle Ages (ca. 800–1200), with particular expertise on music’s place within the intellectual, ritual, and institutional life of the Western Church. After graduating with a first-class degree in music from the University of Oxford, he earned a Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Cambridge, where he was subsequently appointed as a postdoctoral research fellow at Gonville and Caius College. Prior to coming to Yale in 2014, he also served as a visiting lecturer at the University of Cambridge and at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Whilst his teaching interests tend towards the major musical repertories of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, both monophonic and polyphonic, Professor Parkes’s publications traverse the disciplines of musicology, history, theology, and liturgy. His first book, The Making of Liturgy in the Ottonian Church (CUP, 2015) narrates a history of religious life in early medieval Germany by means of its surviving liturgical books. Recent publications include chapters in Reading the Bible in the Middle Ages (Bloomsbury, 2015) andUnderstanding Medieval Liturgy (Ashgate, 2015). His current research explores the notion of liturgical and musical authority in eleventh-century Europe, with particular reference to Pope Gregory the Great and the developing concept of Gregorian chant.
Professor Parkes has an FRCO diploma in organ and has held organist positions at a number of the UK’s leading Anglican choral foundations; until his move to Yale he regularly shared the concert platform with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.