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.


Monographs, Chapters and Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • ‘Loder’s Serious Operas’ in Nicholas Temperley (ed.), Musicians of Bath and Beyond: Edward Loder 1809-65 and His Family (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2016), pp 236-67. [Chapter in edited book]

  • ‘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 and Littlefield, 2015), pp. 93-116. [Chapter in Edited Book]
  • ‘“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), pp. 1–40. [Article in peer-reviewed journal]
  • Opera in the British Isles 1875–1918 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013) [Monograph]
  • ‘“The meretricious charms of melody”? On setting the Nicene Creed in late Victorian England’, Journal of the Society of Musicology in Ireland [Article in peer-reviewed journal; in press]
  • ‘James Mapleson and the “National Opera House”’ in Music and Institutions in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), pp. 99–117. [Chapter in Edited Book (see next entry)]
  • Music and Institutions in Nineteenth-Century Britain(Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012). [Edited Book]
  • ‘The Antient Concerts Society, Dublin, 1834–64’, in Michael Murphy and Jan Smaczny (eds.), Irish Musical Studies9: Music in Nineteenth Century Ireland, (Dublin: Four Courts Press: 2007), pp. 254–79. [Chapter in Edited Book]
  • ‘”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), pp. 97–112. [Chapter in Edited Book]
  • ‘”Double, double, toil and trouble”: Producing MacBethin Victorian Britain, Verdi Forum, 30–31 (2003–04), pp. 37–47. [Article in peer-reviewed journal]
  • Charles Villiers Stanford(Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2002) [Monograph]
  • ‘A Tale of Two Operas: Stanford’s Savonarolaand The Canterbury Pilgrimsfrom Gestation to Production’, Music and Letters, 78 (1997), pp. 77–91. [Article in peer-reviewed journal]

Review Articles

  • ‘Samuel Coleridge Taylor: A Musical Life, by Jeffrey Green’, Journal of Historical Biography, 14 (Autumn 2013), pp 144-50
  • ‘Rosa Newmarch and Russian Music in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century England by Philip Ross Bullock’, Journal of the Society of Musicology in Ireland, 7 (2011), pp. 29–32.
  • ‘The Cambridge Companion to Gilbert and Sullivan, edited by David Eden and Meinhard Saremba’ Music and Letters, 92 (2011), pp. 495–97.
  • Music and British Culture 1785–1914: Essays in honour of Cyril Ehrlich, edited by Christine Bashford and Leanne Langley’, Nineteenth Century Music Review, 1, pp. 156–59. (2004)
  • Nineteenth Century British Music Studies Volume 1, edited by Bennet Zon, Notes, 77 (2000), pp. 134–36.
  • ‘W S Gilbert: a classic Victorian and his theatre by Jane Stedman’, Music and Letters, 78 (1997), pp. 607–08. 

View all publications in research portal


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