B.Mus. M.Mus. M.Phil. Ph.D. AAGO, FRCCO, FRSCM(hon)
Professor Emeritus of Music
William J Renwick completed B. Mus, and M. Mus. degrees at the University of British Columbia, following which he took the M. Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Music Theory at the City University of New York, where he specialized in Schenkerian studies under Carl Schachter, Joel Lester and Charles Burkhart. While at CUNY he served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn College, CUNY. In 1986-88 he was Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Alberta. He joined the faculty at McMaster University in 1988, and is now Professor Emeritus of Music Theory in the School of the Arts, McMaster University. His research interests encompass studies in tonal counterpoint and analysis and Gregorian chant as well as computer applications in music research. His publications include Analyzing Fugue: A Schenkerian Approach (Pendragon, 1995/R Peter Lang Verlag, 2023), and The Langloz Manuscript: Improvising Fugue from Thoroughbass (Oxford, 2001), Sarum Compline (Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2018, 3 Vols.; second edition, 2020) Sarum Vespers Latin (Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2019, 3 Vols.); Sarum Diurnal Latin (Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2020, 3 Vols.); Sarum Gradual Latin (Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2021, 3 Vols.) Sarum Matins Latin (Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2023, 7 Vols.); as well as articles in Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Spectrum, Music Analysis, Bach Perspectives, Music Theory Online, Theoria, Computers in Music Research, Canadian University Music Review, Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, Church Music Quarterly, and other journals. He is currently working on a complete scholarly and performing edition of the The Sarum Rite. In 2002 he was a Fellow of the Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory. He is a founding member of the Gregorian Institute of Canada, and of McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind, and serves on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Schenkerian Studies, Theoria and Music Theory Online. In 2020 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music.
William Renwick is also an organist, composer, and choral director. As an organist he studied with Frederick Geoghegan, Frederick Carter, and Gerre Hancock. He holds the Associate degree of the American Guild of Organists and the Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. He has performed concerts and recitals throughout the region. In 1999 he served as co-chair of The Canadian Organ Festival in Hamilton. He is Master of the Music at Saint Mary the Virgin Church in Hamilton Ontario, organist at St. George’s Church, Hamilton, and Director of the Hamilton Schola Cantorum.
William Renwick also plays trumpet and flugelhorn, having studied with Sid Arnold, Ray Kirkham, and Martin Berinbaum. He is a regular in the Hamilton Concert Band, the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Southern Ontario Lyric Opera, the Jimmy Stahl Big Band, and the Jimmy Murando Swing Band. He has performed with conductors Boris Brott, Boyd Neel and Simon Streatfield, and artists such as Tommy Ambrose, Dave Boyer, Bobby Herriot, John Lombard, Andy Gravitas, John Sherwood, Dave Stahl, Barbara Butler, and Big Band Theory.
I am often asked about my arrangement of ‘Steal Away’, the traditional American spiritual. The following pdf may be freely copied and used. Steal Away Sheet Music PDF
For errata of my publications see here.
Current research project
The Sarum Rite. A multi-volume modern performing and scholarly edition of all the surviving liturgy and music of the Sarum Rite, published on-line by the Gregorian Institute of Canada.
BooksSarum Matins Latin (7 vols.) Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2023.
Sarum Gradual Latin. (3 vols.) Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2021.
Sarum Diurnal Latin. (3 vols,) Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2020.
Sarum Vespers Latin. (3 vols.) Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2019.
Sarum Compline: Latin. Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2018. Second Edition, 2020.
Sarum Compline: BCP English, Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2018. Second Edition, 2020.
Sarum Compline: D-R English, Gregorian Institute of Canada, 2018. Second Edition, 2020.
Editor, Chant Old and New/Plain-chant: l’ancien et le nouveau. Proceedings of the 2011 conference of the Gregorian Institute of Canada. Lions Bay: The Institute of Mediaeval Music, 2012.General Editor, Duhamel and Swanson, Les Traditions du Plain-chant Occidental/Traditions in Western Plainchant. Proceedings of the 2009 conference of the Gregorian Institute of Canada. Ottawa: The Institute of Mediaeval Music, 2010.
The Langloz Manuscript: Fugal Improvisation Through Figured Bass, Oxford University Press, 2001 (Early Music Series). (Reviewed by Yo Tomita.) (second printing)
Analyzing Fugue: A Schenkerian Approach, Pendragon Press, 1995. (Reviews in Music and Letters, Notes, Music Analysis, Music Theory Spectrum, and Integral.) Paperback edition 2004-2020. Reprint, Peter Lang Verlag, 2023, forthcoming.
[Sarah Marlowe has offered criticism of my delineation of subject and answer paradigms, beginning with her dissertation ‘Fugue in Context: A Schenkerian Approach to Select Works by J. S. Bach and Dmitri Shostakovich, Ph. D. diss., Eastman School of Music, 2013. Similar criticism is offered by Derek James Myler, ‘A Schenkerian View of Ascending Lines and Prolongation in the Fugal Expositions of J. S. Bach’s the Well-tempered Clavier’, Master’s Thesis, University of Utah, 2018. In defense I suggest that the answer (and subject) paradigms are not necessarily intended as complete linear progressions, but as conceptual, pre-compositional frameworks, the implications of which are worked out in each specific musical setting. As I have said elsewhere, “The reader needs to remember that the paradigms refer first of all to the structure of the subject (or answer) by itself, and that, within the structure of the entire composition, paradigm-notes can be superseded in rank by other notes” (1987:176).]
“Voice-leading patterns in the Fugal Expositions of J.S. Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier,” Ph.D. diss., City University of New York, 1987 (UMI Microfilms, 1987) (xviii, 355).
The Contrapuntal Style of Healey Willan. M.Mus. Dissertation, University of British Columbia (1982).
” ‘I will lay me down in peace’ : Singing Sarum Compline”, Church Music Quarterly, March 2022: 45-47.
“Rhymed Offices in the Use of Sarum”, New Research on Old Chant, Kitchener, Ontario: Institute of Medieval Music, 2018: 79-110.
[Note: re page 93: I now believe (2019) that the shrine for St. Osmund was erected in the extreme east end of the chancel, behind the high altar.]
“The Sarum Rite: Past, Present, Future”, Chant and Culture, Lions Bay, Canada: Institute of Medieval Music, 2014: 263-287.
Analysis Symposium: “Of Time and Eternity: Reflections on “Das alte Jahr vergangen ist” ” Journal of Music Theory 2006; 50 (1): 65-76.
“Aspects of Structure in Bach’s F-Minor Fugue, WTC II.” in Structure and Meaning in Tonal Music–A Festschrift for Carl Schachter, Poundie Burstein and David Gagne, Editors, Pendragon Press 2006, 237-245.
Translation and edition of “Brahms: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel, Op. 24”, by Heinrich Schenker, in Der Tonwille II, Oxford University Press, 2005.
Schenker Analysis Glossary, with David Walker (English and German), 2001. Russian translation published in Очеки и Этюдьґ по Методоогии Музьґаьного Аниза, Б.Т. Плотников (красноярсқ 2002), pp. 271-284.
David Walker and William Renwick. “Modelling Professional Practice in Music Analysis with Computing.” Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, XIV (2000), 63-74.
“Schubert’s Impromptu in G-flat: A Response to Adam Krims”, Canadian University Music Review, XX/2 (2000).
Music theory articles for The Reader’s Guide to Music, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999.
“39. Praeludia et Fugen del Signor Johann Sebastian Bach?: The Langloz Manuscript, SBB Mus. ms. Bach P 296”, Bach Perspectives 4 (1999), edited by David Schulenberg, 137-158.
“Bach and the `Old’ Musicology”, Music Analysis 16 (1997), p. 255.
“Multi-media Music Instruction Using Toolbook” with David Walker, Proceedings, KlangArt, 1995 (1997).
“Hidden Fugal Paths: A Schenkerian View of Handel’s F Major Fugue (Suite II)”, Music Analysis, XIV-1 (March, 1995): 53-71. Translated as “Chemins mystérieux de la fugue: un point de vue schenkérien sur la fugue en fa majeur de la 2e Suite de Händel” in Musurgia IV-2 (1997), 12-24.
William Crotch “A Subject of Four Notes: William Crotch’s Experiment in Motivic Saturation”, Music Theory Online, 0.1 (September, 1994).
“The Changing Role of the Church Musician,” The American Organist, XXVII-12 (December, 1993): 82-83.
“Modality, Imitation and Structural Levels: Bach’s Manualiter Kyries from Clavierübung III,” Music Analysis, XI-1 (1992): 55-74.
“CD-Brahms: an Interactive Multimedia Music Analysis Program,” with David Walker, Computers in Music Research, IV (fall, 1992): 45-75.
“Structural Patterns in Fugue Subjects and Fugal Expositions,” Music Theory Spectrum, XIII-2 (1991): 197- 218.
“Brackets and Beams in Schenker’s Graphic Notation,” Theoria: Historical Aspects of Music Theory, III (1988) (published in 1989): 73-85.
“Modal Structure and Formal Design in Iso Chidori,” Hogaku, II-1 (Winter, 1985): 21-63.
A review of The Organs of Toronto for CAML Newsletter.
A review of recent music by Nicholas Fairbank for Organ Canada.
“Barbara Pentland, by Sheila Eastman and Timothy J. McGee”, Music and Letters XLV (1984): 65-66.
“Healey Willan, Life and Music, by Frederick R.C. Clarke”, Music and Letters XLIV (1983): 139-141.
Structure and Ornament in C. P. E. Bach’s Sechs Sonaten mit veranderten Reprisen, C.P.E. Bach Conference, Wilfrid Laurier University, 1988.
Subject as Object: Nivers, Schenker, and the Nature of the Fugal Theme, Canadian University Music Society, 1988.
Expanding the Canon in Undergraduate Theory: Alternatives to Bach’s Chorales, Canadian University Music Society, 1995.
The Portrayal of Evil in Music, Evil: a Symposium, McMaster University, 2001.
The Sarum Rite. The Gregorian Institute of Canada, (2006-)
The Sarum Tonary, for Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum, 2005.
Thomas Ravenscroft’s Briefe Discourse, for Texts on Music in English, 2003.
Four Pieces for Organ by Florence Durell Clark, edited by William Renwick, 21pp. 1999. Available from the Royal Canadian College of Organists.
Compositions (all are out of print; contact William Renwick for further information)
The Saint John Eucharist, mass for SATB choir, congregation, and organ, Canadian Computer Printing, 2003 (full music edition and separate congregational leaflet). New edition. UtReMi Edition, 2010.
Cantico del Sole, Anthem for SSAA choir, Canadian Computer Printing, 2003.
Dear Father, Let My Mind, Anthem for SSAATTBB choir, Canadian Computer Printing, 2002.
The Shining King of Truth, Anthem for S.A. choir, two soprano recorders and piano, Canadian Computer Printing, 2001.
Sonata Antiqua for Solo Oboe, Canadian Computer Printing, 1999.
Twas in the Moon of Wintertime for Double Choir, Canadian Computer Printing, 1999.
What a Friend We Have in Jesus, for Double Choir, Canadian Computer Printing, 2000.
Blessed be Our God and Father, for SATB and organ. New Edition, UtReMi Edition, 2009.
Processional on “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven” for organ, Canadian Computer Printing, 2000.
Descant to “Lord of the Dance”, Organ Canada XII-2 (June 1999), p. 13.
Five Chorales for Organ, New edition, Fairbank Music Publishing, 2007.
He is Risen, Easter Anthem for SATB, New edition, UtReMi Edition, 2009.
Jesu, the Very Thought of Thee, Two-part anthem, UtReMi Edition, 2009.
Descants for Favourite Hymns, UtReMi Edition, 2009.
This Night of Nights. Duet for alto and baritone, UtReMi Edition, 2010.
“Descant to Thornbury”, Voices United Hymnal, 1996.
O Lord, My God, Song for solo voice with keyboard accompaniment, text by Enid Burrows, 2016.
Canada’s Heritage of Hymns CD, produced by William Renwick, 1999.
A Noel Tapestry, The John Laing Singers, Soundscape Recordings-004. (Tenor Section Leader). 2011.
The Jimmy Stahl Big Band: Swingin’ in the Pews, nominated for Hamilton Music Awards, 2013.
The Jimmy Stahl Big Band: I Just Found Out About Love, 2020.
The Jimmy Stahl Big Band: Swinging on a Star, 2020.
Complete recording of Sarum Chant, in progress, from 2013, at sarum-chant.ca. over 4000 files recorded as of the end of 2017.
CD-Brahms: an interactive CD-ROM program in music analysis (with David Walker). (Based on my translation of Heinrich Schenker, “Brahms: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel, Op. 24,” Der Tonwille, IV Jahrgang, Heft 2/3 (Heft 8/9 der Gesamtfolge) (April-September, 1924): 3-46, with added introduction, commentary, notes, MIDI and CD-ROM performances, and glossary.) (1993).
Schenker Analysis Glossary (with David Walker)
p. 76. for Grand total 295 read 297.
p. 111, line 18. for ‘140’ read ‘120.
McMaster Music Analysis Colloquium [no longer available: this was one of the first on-line music theory journals; it had four issues.]
Practising and Playing in Flow An excellent method for musicians
Z39.50 Gateway Library Search Interface Connects to major libraries throughout the world
Schenker.Guide.Com An introduction to Schenker
IMSLP: Free sheet music
Phone: (905) 523-0082
Address: 1280 Main St W, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8