In Summer 2002, when the International Musicological Society (IMS) gathered for its quiquennial meeting in Leuven, I was still a relatively junior scholar, with only a few grants and publications to my name. My presentation, "When Is a Madrigal Not a Madrigal?," focused on challenging the status of the musical score, which for over a century had been the primary tool for the study, analysis and performance of Renaissance music. After one set of afternoon sessions, I was thrilled to find myself walking next to Jessie Anne Owens, who generously engaged me in conversation (here I paraphrase): "I'm so glad," she said, "that you have decided to devote yourself to The What." "What?" I replied, confused. "The What," she repeated. "It used to be that every musicologist wanted to study Renaissance," and they say 'The What'."