Nicholas Cook,(born 5 June 1950 ) is a British musicologist and writer born in Athens, Greece. From 2009 to 2017, he was the 1684 Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge, where he is a Fellow of Darwin College. Previously, he was professorial research fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he directed the Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM). He has also taught at the University of Hong Kong, University of Sydney, and University of Southampton, where he served as dean of arts.
He is a former editor of the Journal of the Royal Musical Association and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2001.
Musicology is the scholarly analysis and research-based study of music. Musicology departments traditionally belong to the humanities, although some music research is scientific in focus. Some geographers and anthropologists have an interest in musicology so the social sciences also have an academic interest. A scholar who participates in musical research is a musicologist.
Music theory is the study of the practices and possibilities of music. The Oxford Companion to Music describes three interrelated uses of the term "music theory". The first is the "rudiments", that are needed to understand music notation ; the second is learning scholars views on music from antiquity to the present; the third a sub-topic of musicology that "seeks to define processes and general principles in music". The musicological approach to theory differs from music analysis "in that it takes as its starting-point not the individual work or performance but the fundamental materials from which it is built."
New musicology is a wide body of musicology since the 1980s with a focus upon the cultural study, aesthetics, criticism, and hermeneutics of music. It began in part a reaction against the traditional positivist musicology of the early 20th century and postwar era. Many of the procedures of new musicology are considered standard, although the name more often refers to the historical turn rather than to any single set of ideas or principles. Indeed, although it was notably influenced by feminism, gender studies, queer theory, postcolonial studies, and critical theory, new musicology has primarily been characterized by a wide-ranging eclecticism.
Absolute music is music that is not explicitly "about" anything; in contrast to program music, it is non-representational. The idea of absolute music developed at the end of the 18th century in the writings of authors of early German Romanticism, such as Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, Ludwig Tieck and E. T. A. Hoffmann but the term was not coined until 1846 where it was first used by Richard Wagner in a programme to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
Carl Dahlhaus, a musicologist from (West) Berlin, was one of the major contributors to the development of musicology as a scholarly discipline during the post-war era.
Aesthetics of music is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of art, beauty and taste in music, and with the creation or appreciation of beauty in music. In the pre-modern tradition, the aesthetics of music or musical aesthetics explored the mathematical and cosmological dimensions of rhythmic and harmonic organization. In the eighteenth century, focus shifted to the experience of hearing music, and thus to questions about its beauty and human enjoyment of music. The origin of this philosophic shift is sometimes attributed to Baumgarten in the 18th century, followed by Kant.
Music psychology, or the psychology of music, may be regarded as a branch of both psychology and musicology. It aims to explain and understand musical behaviour and experience, including the processes through which music is perceived, created, responded to, and incorporated into everyday life. Modern music psychology is primarily empirical; its knowledge tends to advance on the basis of interpretations of data collected by systematic observation of and interaction with human participants. Music psychology is a field of research with practical relevance for many areas, including music performance, composition, education, criticism, and therapy, as well as investigations of human attitude, skill, performance, intelligence, creativity, and social behavior.
Joseph Wilfred Kerman was an American critic and musicologist. One of the leading musicologists of his generation, his 1985 book Contemplating Music: Challenges to Musicology was described by Philip Brett in The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians as "a defining moment in the field." He was Professor Emeritus of Musicology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Georgina Emma Mary Born, is a British academic, anthropologist, musicologist and musician. As a musician she is known as Georgie Born and is known for her work in Henry Cow and with Lindsay Cooper.
Philosophy of music is the study of "fundamental questions about the nature of music and our experience of it". The philosophical study of music has many connections with philosophical questions in metaphysics and aesthetics. Some basic questions in the philosophy of music are:
Margaret Bent CBE, is an English musicologist.
Gary Alfred Tomlinson is an American musicologist and the John Hay Whitney Professor of Music and Humanities at Yale University. He was formerly the Annenberg Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a Ph.D., in 1979 with thesis titled Rinuccini, Peri, Monteverdi, and the humanist heritage of opera.
Mark Everist is a British music historian, critic and musicologist.
J. P. E. Harper-Scott is a British musicologist, Professor of Music History and Theory at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is a General Editor of the Cambridge University Press series 'Music in Context'.
Katharine Ellis, is a British musicologist and academic, specialising in music history. Since 2017, she has been the 1684 Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge. She previously taught at the Open University, at Royal Holloway, University of London and at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, before serving as Stanley Hugh Badock Professor of Music at the University of Bristol (2013–2017).
Simon Charles Robert Swain, FBA, is a classicist and academic. Since 2000, he has been Professor of Classics at the University of Warwick, where he has also been Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Social Sciences since 2014.
David Richard Widdess, FBA is a musicologist and academic. Since 2005, he has been Professor of Musicology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Thomas James Samson, FBA, commonly known as Jim Samson, is a musicologist and retired academic. Educated at Queen's University Belfast (BMus) and University College, Cardiff, he was appointed to a research fellowship at the University of Leicester in 1972. He moved to the University of Exeter in 1973 as a lecturer; promotions followed, to reader in 1987 and Professor of Musicology in 1992. In 1994, he was appointed Stanley Hugh Badock Professor of Music at the University of Bristol, and was then Professor of Music at Royal Holloway, University of London, between 2002 and 2011.
Murray Smith is a film theorist and philosopher of art based at the University of Kent, where he is Professor of Film and co-director of the Aesthetics Research Centre. He is the author of three books and numerous articles on film and aesthetics, and the co-editor of three collections of essays. He was President of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image from 2014-17, and has served on the editorial boards of Screen, Cinema Journal, the British Journal of Aesthetics, Projections and Series. He has held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2005-6), and a Laurance S Rockefeller Fellowship at Princeton University’s Centre for Human Values (2017-18). He delivered a Kracauer Lecture in 2014 at the Goethe University Frankfurt, the inaugural Beacon Institute lecture in 2015, and the Beardsley Lecture in 2018, sponsored by Temple University at the Barnes Foundation.
Harry White is an Irish musicologist and university professor. With specialisations in a) Irish musical and cultural history, b) the music of the Austrian baroque composer Johann Joseph Fux, and c) the development of Anglo-American musicology since 1945, he is one of the most widely published and influential academics in his areas of research. White is also a poet, with two published collections of poetry.
| 1684 Professor of Music |
University of Cambridge
2009 to 2017
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