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Historical Musicology

Historical musicology in Cambridge has a long and distinguished history, with eleven of the Faculty’s full-time staff working primarily in this area. Three of them are recipients of the Dent Medal (awarded annually by the Royal Musical Association in conjunction with the International Musicological Society), and two are Fellows of the British Academy: all are internationally distinguished in their respective fields. We have particular concentrations in such fields as music before 1600, nineteenth-century music, opera studies, cultural musicology, theory and analysis, and performance studies – fields which frequently overlap with our work in ethnomusicology and in science and music. You can best gain an impression of the fields we cover by exploring the publication lists under Academic staff.

The Faculty sponsors a large number of visiting lecturers, usually about ten to fifteen per year, most of them appearing in the Graduate Colloquium Series, which is organized by current graduate students and takes place each Wednesday during term time. Further distinguished visitors appear as the biennial Orr Lecturer (Jeremy Isaacs, Julian Rushton, M. Jacques Attali, Ian Kemp, Reinhard Strohm, Bernard Williams, Frank Kermode, Jonathan Harvey, Simon Morrison) and as the Wort Lecturer, who joins the Faculty for a fixed period to give four formal lectures and various seminars (recent Wort Lecturers include include Leo Treitler, Carolyn Abbate, Kofi Agawu, Lydia Goehr, Gary Tomlinson, and Ingrid Monson).

Our graduate programme, which includes Masters and doctoral programmes, is one of the largest in the UK, and features among its PhD holders many of the leading figures in national and international musicology: take a look at some of our former graduate students.

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