Dr Amy Brosius BMus, PhD

Department of Music
Lecturer in Music

Contact details

Bramall Music Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I specialize in seventeenth-century Italian singers, singing culture, vocal music and early modern gender construction. My approach to research is interdisciplinary, employing methodologies from art history, critical theory, gender studies, and performance studies.


I studied voice and music education at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, USA where I received a Bachelor in Music Education, before completing a PhD at New York University, NY, USA in Musicology, under the supervision of Dr Suzanne Cusick.


I teach modules and give lectures on early modern music that focus on societal issues such as race, class, gender, identity, and musical issues such as the construction of the canon, reception, and performance practice. I also teach American folk, roots, and popular music courses that address similar issues.

Postgraduate supervision

I would be happy to hear from prospective postgraduate candidates wishing to pursue research on issues relating to early modern music as well as gender and sexuality, singers/singing culture, and performance studies.


My current research project involves the completion of a monograph on Roman female singers.   The materials that inform this monograph encompass a wide variety of media: portraits and other paintings; written testimony by the singers themselves (theatrical pieces, poems, letters); and writings by others about their performances, characters, and financial situations (letters, poetic volumes, performance accounts, news-generating documents). The monograph will focus on the lives of female singers who performed and constructed their careers mainly in gatherings held by the upper echelons of the social elite in the satellite courts of Rome. In this study I will focus on the different roles these women played in elite society, the types of relationships they developed with elite men and women, and their active participation in the political happenings of the courts.


Recent papers

  • 2012     ‘Female singers and the construction of the cultural identity of elite Roman men in the seventeenth century,’ 19th International Musicological Society 2012 Congress.
  • 2011     ‘Early Modern Virtuose: a comparison of the careers of Leonora Baroni and Nina Barcarolla,’ Symposium on Early Modern Women in the Arts at Westchester University, Pennsylvania.
  • 2010     ‘“Essa è sempre stata la favorita del Papa”: the career of the virtuosa Leonora Baroni,’ Annual Congress of the American Musicological Society
  • 2010     ‘Leonora Baroni cantatrice: the Roman virtuosa as courtier,’ Conference on Early Modern Rome, 1420-1667 in Rome, Italy.
  • 2008     ‘Courtesans as Courtiers: Power Politics, Political Pawns, and the Flight of Cardinal Antonio Barberini,’ Annual Congress of the American Musicological Society.
  • 2008     ‘“Il suon, lo sguardo, il canto”: The Function of Portraits of Mid-Seventeenth -Century Virtuose in Rome,’ Italian Studies, 63, 1, 2008, pp. 17-40.
  • 2007     “Il suon, lo sguardo, il canto”: The Function of Portraits of Mid-Seventeenth Century Virtuose in Rome, Annual Meeting of the Society for Seventeenth Century Music.
  • 2001     Article written for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd Edition (London: Macmillan, 2001): “Welser.”


  • 2009     “Il suon, lo sguardo, il canto”: Virtuose of the Roman Conversazioni in the Mid-Seventeenth Century

View all publications in research portal