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Theory and Analysis

Theory and analysis at Cambridge is notable for its diversity. Of course all musicology involves analysis in some sense, so that the Faculty’s work in this field ranges from Susan Rankin‘s studies of early medieval music through Martin Ennis‘s investigation of historicism in nineteenth-century music to Sam Barrett‘s work on modal jazz. But in the narrower sense three academic staff members work on historical or applied aspects of theory and analysis. Nicholas Marston specialises in the application of Schenkerian approaches to early nineteenth-century music, particularly late Beethoven: these are repertories with which Schenker engaged deeply in the development of his theory, and so Marston’s work is as much an investigation into as an application of Schenkerian method. Nicholas Cook‘s research on Schenker has mainly taken a cultural-historical perspective, but he has also worked in a number of applied analytical fields, most recently in multimedia and performance analysis (including the development of empirical techniques for analysing recorded music). Finally John Rink, who has also worked on Schenker, focusses on the relationship between analysis and performance: he pioneered the development of ‘performers’ analysis’ (the development of conceptual models to support practical performance, particularly in relation to nineteenth-century music), and has also worked on empirical approaches to the analysis of recordings.

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