Dr Ben Earle MA (Cantab), MMus (London), PhD (Cantab)

Department of Music
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

Bramall Music Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I specialise in twentieth-century repertory, analysis, critical theory and aesthetics.


I hold a first degree from the University of Cambridge, a Masters in Theory and Analysis from Kings College London and a doctorate from Cambridge.


I have been teaching at the University of Birmingham since 2004. Before that I held a Junior Research Fellowship at St John’s College, Oxford.


I teach undergraduate modules on twentieth-century musical history, on the analysis of tonal and post-tonal music and on critical theory, and postgraduate modules on contemporary music studies and on the history of musical aesthetics.

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently supervising PhD dissertations on temporality in late Debussy, British musical Wagnerism, and the Cello Sonata, Op. 8 of Kodaly.

Doctoral research

PhD title
'Musical Modernism in Fascist Italy: Dallapiccola in the Thirties'.


My research interests are in the history, analysis and criticism of musical modernism, Italian and British.

Other activities

I am (or have been) the following: Library representative, Exams Officer, Plagiarism contact, Welfare tutor, Mitigations officer, Admissions tutor, Director of Learning and Teaching.


Critical edition of Arthur Bliss, Miracle in the Gorbals (London: Novello, forthcoming): Introduction, Editorial Policy, Critical Commentary and 155 pages of full score.

‘Modernism and Reification in the Music of Frank Bridge’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, forthcoming, 20,000 words.

‘Puccini, Fascism, and the Case of Turandot’, in Arman Schwartz and Emanuele Senici (eds.), Puccini and His World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, in press), 8,000 words.

‘Twelve-Note Music as Music: An Essay in Two Parts’, Music Analysis, 34/1 (2015), 91–149.

Preface for reprint of Leone Sinigaglia, Violinkonzert (Munich: Musikproduktion Hoeflich, 2015) [iii–iv].

Preface for reprint of Mario Pilati, Preludio, Aria e Tarantella (Munich: Musikproduktion Hoeflich, 2014) [iii–iv].

Revision of David Osmond-Smith, ‘Berio, Luciano’, Grove Music Online <http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/public/book/omo_gmo> (published 3 Sept 2014).

Preface for reprint of Mario Pilati, Concerto in do maggiore (Munich: Musikproduktion Hoeflich, 2014), [iii–v].

‘The Politics of the New Music’, review article on Angela Ida De Benedictis and Ulrich Mosch (eds.), Alla ricerca di luce e chiarezza. L’epistolario Helmut Lachenmann – Luigi Nono (1957–1990) (Florence: Olschki, 2012), in Music & Letters, 94/4 (2013), 664–71.

Luigi Dallapiccola and Musical Modernism in Fascist Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. xvi+304.

‘“In onore della Resistenza”: Mario Zafred and Symphonic Neorealism’, in Robert Adlington (ed.), Red Strains: Music and Communism Outside the Communist Bloc, Proceedings of the British Academy, 185 (Oxford: British Academy/Oxford University Press, 2013), 149–71.

‘Verdi, Dallapiccola and Operatic “Gesture”: Ottocento Practice in Il prigioniero’, in Lorenzo Frassà and Michela Nicolai (eds.), Verdi Reception (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013), 217–55.

Translation and editing of David Osmond-Smith, ‘Masculine Semiotics: The Music of Goffredo Petrassi and the Figurative Arts in Italy during the 1930s’, twentieth-century music, 9/1–2 (2012), 11–37.

Preface for reprint of Mario Pilati, Suite per pianoforte e orchestra d’archi (Munich: Musikproduktion Hoeflich, 2011), [iii–iv].

Preface for reprint of Giovanni Salviucci, Ouverture in do diesis minore (Munich: Musikproduktion Hoeflich, 2011), [iii–v].

‘“The Real Thing – At Last”? Historicizing Humphrey Searle’, in Matthew Riley (ed.), British Music and Modernism, 1895–1960 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), 293–325.

Preface for reprint of Giovanni Salviucci, Serenata (Munich: Musikproduktion Hoeflich, 2009), 1–4.

Review article on Fiamma Nicolodi (ed.), Luigi Dallapiccola nel suo secolo. Atti del convegni internazionale (Firenze, 10–12 dicembre 2004) (Florence: Olschki, 2007), in Il saggiatore musicale, 15/2 (2008), 329–42.

Review of Vivienne Suvini-Hand, Sweet Thunder: Music and Libretti in 1960s Italy (London: Legenda, 2007), in Modern Languages Review, 103/4 (2008), 1141–2.

Review of Luciano Berio, Remembering the Future (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006), in Music & Letters, 89/2 (2008), 283–7.

Preface for reprint of Giovanni Salviucci, Alcesti (Munich: Musikproduktion Hoeflich, 2008), i–iv.

Preface for reprint of Giovanni Salviucci, Introduzione, Passacaglia e Finale (Munich: Musikproduktion Hoeflich, 2008), i–iv.

‘Dallapiccola and the Politics of Commitment: Re-reading Il prigioniero’, Radical Musicology, 2 (2007), 83 pars.

Review of Orazio Maione, I Conservatori di musica durante il fascismo: La riforma del 1930. Storia e documenti (Turin: EDT/De Sono, 2005), in Music & Letters, 88/1 (2007), 182–6.

Preface for reprint of Giovanni Salviucci, Sinfonia da camera (Munich: Musikproduktion Hoeflich, 2007), i–iv.

‘Music (Italy)’, in Cyprian P. Blamires (ed.), World Fascism: A Historical Encyclopedia, 2 vols. (Santa Barbara: ABC Clio, 2006), ii, 438–9.

‘Dallapiccola’s Early Synthesis: No. 1, “Vespro, tutto riporti”, from Cinque frammenti di Saffo’, Music Analysis, 25/1–2 (2006), 3–38.

Review of Austin Clarkson (ed.), On the Music of Stefan Wolpe: Essays and Recollections (New York: Pendragon, 2003), in Music & Letters, 86/2 (2005), 312–15.

Review of Raymond Fearn, The Music of Luigi Dallapiccola (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2003), in Brio, 41 (2004), 58–9.

‘The Avant-Garde Artist as Superman: Aesthetics and Politics in Dallapiccola’s Volo di notte’, in Roberto Illiano (ed.), Italian Music during the Fascist Period (Turnhout: Brepols, 2004), 657–716.

‘Taste, Power, and Trying to Understand Op. 36: British Attempts to Popularize Schoenberg’, Music & Letters, 86/4 (2003), 608–43.