Dr Paul Rodmell BMus PhD

Photograph of Dr Paul Rodmell

Department of Music
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

Bramall Music Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a musicologist who focuses primarily on music in the British Isles in the later nineteenth century (from about 1850 to 1918), with particular interests in opera and church music.


  • BMus (Birmingham)
  • PhD (Birmingham)


I teach or contribute to a variety of modules including:

Core Modules:

  • Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint (Year 1) 
  • Romantic and Twentieth Century Music (Year 1)

Optional Year 2/3 modules:

  • Orchestration
  • British Music Renaissance
  • Brahms
  • From Glinka to Glazunov
  • The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim

MA Modules

  • British Music Studies

Postgraduate supervision

Whilst my own research focuses on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, I have supervised a number of research theses which extend both forwards and backwards from this period. These have been principally at MPhil level, but I also currently supervise four doctoral students. Research topics have included both the musical style and canticles of Herbert Howells, the English Symphony before Elgar, the conductor Rudolf Schwarz, the dramatic works of Granville Bantock, the Broadwood Company Archive, and English musicals post 1980. I am happy to talk to potential students about research topics focused on British music and musical culture between 1800 and 1950.

Current PhD students

Mie Berg – The Victorian Town Hall Organ
Andrew King – The Life and Songs of Granville Bantock
Karen Harker – Incidental Music in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century productions of Shakespeare’s plays
Steven Jeon – The British String Quartet 1900-50

Find out more - our Music postgraduate study  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research focuses on music and musical culture in the United Kingdom from the mid-nineteenth century until the end of the First World War.  I have recently completed a book on Britain’s operatic culture between 1875 and 1918 which examines repertory performed, company organisation, the challenges faced by the British opera composer, and social attitudes to opera; this will be published before the end of 2013.  While my primary activity is currently focused on opera, I also have strong interests in music in the Anglican church in this period, and in various aspects of art music in Ireland.  Most of this develops out of my original doctoral research which focused on the operas of Charles Stanford; since then I have published a monograph on Stanford’s life and works (Ashgate, 2002) and other work has often arisen as branches of this original research.  An edited volume, Music and Institutions in Nineteenth Century Britain, was published by Ashgate in 2012, and an article on late Victorian Creed Settings is currently in press (Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland).

I am currently writing a monograph on The Reception and Influence of French Music in Britain 1830-1914¸ projected for publication by Routledge, and working on book chapters on ‘Carmen in England’ and ‘The influence of French composers on the music of Frank Bridge’, both projected for publication by Cambridge University Press. Future projects include articles on the impact of the Oxford Movement and Ritualism on Anglican church music and musicians in Birmingham in the nineteenth century, and on opera in pre-Victorian Birmingham.


Recent publications


Rodmell, P 2020, French music in Britain 1830-1914. Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain, 1st edn, Routledge, London & New York. <https://www.routledge.com/French-Music-in-Britain-18301914/Rodmell/p/book/9780367219390>

Rodmell, P (ed.) 2012, Music and Institutions in C19th Britain. Ashgate.

Rodmell, P 2002, Charles Villiers Stanford. Ashgate.


Rodmell, P 2013, 'The Charms of meretricious melody: on setting the Creed in Victorian England', Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, vol. 9, pp. 3–40. https://doi.org/10.35561/JSMI09131

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Rodmell, P 2012, James Mapleson and the 'National Opera House'. in Music and Institutions in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Ashgate, Aldershot, pp. 99-117.


Rodmell, P 2020, Carmen - As seen and heard in Britain. in R Langham-Smith & C Rowden (eds), Carmen Abroad. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Rodmell, P & Temperley, N (ed.) 2016, Edward Loder's Serious Operas. in N Temperley (ed.), Musicians of Bath and Beyond: Edward Loder (1809-1865) and his Family. Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK, pp. 236–267.

Rodmell, P, Watt, P (ed.) & Forbes, A-M (ed.) 2014, The Early Operas: Pierrot and Pierrette (1908) and The Enchanted Garden (1915). in Joseph Holbrooke: Composer, Critic and Musical Patriot. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, USA, pp. 93-116.

Rodmell, P, Smaczny, J & Murphy, M 2007, The Antient Concerts Society, Dublin, 1834-64. in Music in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (Irish Music Studies, ix).

Rodmell, P, Rushton J, XX & Cowgill R, XX 2006, 'The Italians are Coming': Opera in Mid-Victorian Dublin. in Europe, Empire, and Spectacle in Nineteenth-Century British Music.

Book/Film/Article review

Rodmell, P 2013, 'Jeffrey Green: Samuel Coleridge Taylor - A Musical Life', Journal of Historical Biography.

Rodmell, P 2011, 'Philip Ross Bullock, Rosa Newmarch and Russian Music in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century England (2009)', Society for Musicology in Ireland. Journal, vol. 7, pp. 29-32.

Rodmell, P 2011, 'The Cambridge Companion to Gilbert and Sullivan', Music and Letters, vol. 92, no. 3, pp. 495-497. https://doi.org/10.1093/ml/gcr028

View all publications in research portal


Classical music in Great Britain and Ireland in the Victorian and Edwardian periods (c.1830 - 1918)