British music since 1850 is a long-standing department research theme, and one of growing interest today. Edward Elgar was the first Professor of Music at the University, and his legacy is still felt, with the concert hall of our new Bramall Music Building named after him. The leading researchers in the field are Paul Rodmell (social history of music, Stanford, opera in Britain), Matthew Riley (Elgar, nationalism in British music), and Ben Earle (analysis, modernism, British Schoenbergianism). The department hosted the conference on Music in 19th-Century Britain in 2007 and will do so again in 2017. Two research projects on the history of the symphony in Britain are in preparation. Postgraduate students can prepare for their PhD by following the British Music pathway on the department’s taught MA programme.
The University’s Cadbury Research Library holds important collections of documents relating to Edward Elgar, Percy Grainger and the University’s second Professor of Music, Granville Bantock. It also holds many research papers of the late Dr Percy Young, a former Research Fellow of the department, Elgar biographer, and wide-ranging scholar of British music history.
Paul Rodmell’s research on the history of opera in Britain has been funded by an AHRC Fellowship. He is now undertaking a major project on the reception and influence of French music in Britain between 1830 and 1914.
Ben Earle’s new edition of Arthur Bliss’s 1944 ballet Miracle in the Gorbals was successfully performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet in October 2014 in Birmingham (Hippodrome), London (Sadler’s Wells) and Plymouth (Royal Theatre).
Matthew Riley’s recent project on music and nationalism in Europe and North America is the point of departure for an article in preparation on British art music, national commemoration and musical ‘Englishness’.
Recent or current PhD research projects in the area of British music include ‘The Sales and Marketing of Broadwood Pianos in the early Nineteenth Century’, and British Wagnerism. Recent MA by Research projects include work on Dorothy Howell.
Opera in the British Isles 1875–1918. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013.
Charles Villiers Stanford. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002.
Music and Institutions in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012.
‘The Early Operas: Pierrot and Pierrette (1908) and The Enchanted Garden (1915)’. In Paul Watt and Anne-Marie Forbes (eds), Joseph Holbrooke: Composer, Critic and Musical Patriot. Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015, 93–116.
‘“The meretricious charms of melody”? On setting the Nicene Creed in late Victorian England’. Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland 9 (2013–14), 1–40.
‘James Mapleson and the “National Opera House”’. In Paul Rodmell (ed.), Music and Institutions in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012, 99–117.
‘The Antient Concerts Society, Dublin, 1834–64’. In Michael Murphy and Jan Smaczny (eds.), Irish Musical Studies 9: Music in Nineteenth Century Ireland. Dublin: Four Courts Press: 2007, 254–79.
‘“The Italians are Coming”: Opera in mid-Victorian Dublin’. In Rachel Cowgill and Julian Rushton (eds.), Europe, Empire and Spectacle in Nineteenth Century British Music. Aldershot; Ashgate, 2006, 97–112.
‘“Double, double, toil and trouble”: Producing MacBeth in Victorian Britain’. Verdi Forum 30–31 (2003–04), 37–47.
‘A Tale of Two Operas: Stanford’s Savonarola and The Canterbury Pilgrims from Gestation to Production’. Music and Letters 78 (1997), 77–91.
(ed.) British Music and Modernism, 1895–1960. Farnham: Ashgate, 2010.
Edward Elgar and the Nostalgic Imagination. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
(ed.) British Music and Modernism 1895–1960. Farnham: Ashgate, 2010.
‘Edward Elgar’s Lecture on Mozart’s Symphony in G Minor K. 550’. Mozart Jahrbuch 2005 (2006), 131–49.
‘Rustling Reeds and Lofty Pines: Elgar and the Music of Nature’. 19th-Century Music 26/2 (2002), 155–77.
‘Liberal Critics and Modern Music in the Post-Victorian Age’. In Matthew Riley (ed.), British Music and Modernism 1895–1960. Farnham: Ashgate, 2010.
‘Music for the Machines of the Future: H. G. Wells, Arthur Bliss and Things to Come (1936)’. In Matthew Riley (ed.), British Music and Modernism 1895–1960. Farnham: Ashgate, 2010.
‘Heroic Melancholy: Elgar’s Inflected Diatonicism’. In J.P.E. Harper-Scott and Julian Rushton (eds.), Elgar Studies. Cambridge University Press, 2007, 284–307.
‘Elgar the Escapist?’. In Byron Adams (ed.), Edward Elgar and his World. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007, 39–57.
‘Taste, Power, and Trying to Understand Op. 36: British Attempts to Popularize Schoenberg’, Music & Letters, 84/4 (2003), 608–43.
‘“The Real Thing – At Last”? Historicizing Humphrey Searle’, in Matthew Riley (ed.), British Music and Modernism, 1895–1960 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), 293–325.