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Musicology

Musicology research includes renowned experts on Bach, Handel, Mozart, Dvorak and Elgar. The main research interests of staff lie in the eighteenth and late nineteenth / early twentieth-century periods, with particular strengths in source studies, and institutional and reception history.

Current Research

Professor Jan Smaczny has just finished editing an extensive book on Music in 19th-century Ireland, to which he is also a contributor, which is to be launched at the Society for Musicology in Ireland ’s annual conference at the Dublin Institute of Technology in May 2007.  Future plans include an edition for the New Dvorak Complete Edition of his last opera, Armida, and a biography of the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu.

Professor Yo Tomita is currently working on a project on Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, examining how Bach composed and revised, and how the work was received by the later generations through the study of surviving manuscript and early printed sources.  His future projects include the development of powerful mechanisms for extracting and assessing information in music manuscripts using AI techniques.  Professor Tomita also maintains the on-line Bach Bibliography.

Professor Ian Woodfield is studying early manuscript copies of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte with a view to tracing their compositional history before and after the premières, and also their early reception history.

Dr Martin Dowling's current research involves fieldwork with traditional Irish musicians in Ireland, the United States, and continental Europe on the subject of music and identity, and archival research preparatory to the writing of a monograph history of Irish traditional music from the death of harpist-composer Turlough Carolan (1738) to the first performance of Riverdance (1994). The fieldwork project is focused on developing, editing, and annotating a database of interviews with performers of Irish traditional music in four cities on the globe (Minneapolis, Rome, Belfast, and Dublin), employing a methodology of semi-structured interviewing developed on the Contemporary Irish Identities research project at University College Dublin (2004-2006). The historical research and writing is currently concerned with material relating to the decades of the Irish Revival (1890 to 1920), particularly the place of Irish traditional music in relation to the origins and early development of the Gaelic League and the Feis Ceoil Association, and the place of music in the literary revival of those decades.

Dr Sarah McCleave has recently completed her long-awaited monograph, Handel and the Dance: His London Operas in Context.  She will be involved in making several presentations on the dancer Marie Sallé (1707-1756) during the year of her tercentenary.  Future projects will include the development of a series devoted to the analysis of dance music; McCleave is actively seeking research students in this area.  As a member of the Irish RISM committee and a founding member of the Centre for 18th Century Studies at Queen’s, Dr McCleave is also actively involved in developing the Thomas Moore Collection at Queen’s.

Dr Aidan Thomson is currently writing a monograph Demythologizing Elgar which, through placing Elgar in his social and cultural context, both in Britain and Germany, offers new perspectives about the composer that challenge the received view of him.  He is also beginning a project on composers inspired by the Celtic twilight movement (particularly Bax) and their relationship with both English pastoralism and Sibelius.

Dr Gascia Ouzounian recently wrote the introduction to the monograph Paul DeMarinis/Buried in Noise (Kehrer Verlag 2010) and is currently writing a chapter on spatial sound for the forthcoming edited volume Music, Sound, and the Reconfiguration of Public and Private Space (Cambridge University Press). Her research is focused on experimental music and sound art traditions after 1950, with particular interests in site-specific sound, sound installation art, conceptual art, and intermedia composition.