Byline: NIGEL FORTUNE
THE musicologist Jerome Roche, who has died of a brain tumour aged 52, was an enthusiast for Italian church music in the age of Monteverdi. He worked to make this music better known, through books and articles and especially his editions, which were taken up by leading exponents of the repertory. His edition of the Monteverdi Vespers, a major scholarly achievement, was published just before he died.
Educated at Downside School, he read music at Cambridge and since 1967 had taught at Durham University. His doctoral dissertation, a penetrating survey of north Italian liturgical music in the early 17th century, signalled the arrival of a major recruit to the study of Italian baroque music.
At his death, after many years' labour, Roche had nearly completed an inventory of all Latin motets from 17th-century Italy. In this, as in so much else, he was supported by his wife Elizabeth. In 1981 they produced a dictionary of early music together.
He was a devout Catholic whose attachment to the Latin liturgy nourished both his life and his work. Gentle and unassuming, he was also a man of abounding energy who never wasted a moment and whose interests outside music included an encyclopaedic knowledge of railways, meteorology and electoral statistics.
Jerome (Lawrence Alexander) Roche, born May 22, 1942; died June 2, 1994.