Critical reception studies

Our work on musical reception covers a wide historical and geographical span, but shares a focus on the intersections between performance history, audience consumption and critical reception.

It includes examination of contemporary and near-contemporary critical opinion, seen, for example, in:

  • Roddy Hawkins's work on the politics surrounding reception of new music in the 1970s and 1980s;
  • Anne Hyland's examination of the pejorative views of Schubert's music that developed in critical opinion of later 19th-century performances of his symphonies, and which informed invasive editorial practices in the early 20th century.

In contrast, James Garratt and Rebecca Herissone have focused on diachronic investigation of the role that revivals of much earlier repertory have played in later musical cultures, and how these in turn have created posthumous images of composers and repertories that are frequently as pervasive as they are misleading.

Staff in this core research area

Barry Cooper

Reception of children's compositions.

David Fanning

National and international reception of Soviet music, especially Shostakovich and Weinberg.

James Garratt

Palestrina, Handel and Bach revivals in the 19th and 20th centuries; critical reception of early music in 19th-century historiography.

Roddy Hawkins

Consumption and critical reception of avant-garde music in the 1970s and 1980s.

Rebecca Herissone

Intersections between reception and consumption of Restoration music in the 18th to 20th centuries.

Anne Hyland

Performance history and critical reception of Schubert's large-scale instrumental music; the ways by which editorial intervention is influenced by and constitutive of reception history.