Edison Fellowships from British Library 2009: History of recordings of classical music and music in performance

The Edison Fellowships are designed to encourage scholarship devoted to the history of recordings of classical music and music in performance through creating the conditions for concentrated use of the Library’s collections of recordings.

The British Library is offering on a competitive basis an Edison Visiting Fellowship between September 2009 and August 2010. This may be held as a full- or part-time appointment. Proposals will be considered which treat any aspect of the history of recording and the performance of western art music.

The proposed research may be in pursuance of requirements for a higher degree. Applications will be considered from scholars of any age. The Library reserves the right to make no award in the event that no suitable applications are received.

The period of the Fellowship will be agreed at the time that the Fellowship is offered, but the tenure will not exceed four months’ continuous residence nor the award exceed £5000. The Fellow will have reserved desk space.

The Fellow will have access to the specialist skills and knowledge of the collections possessed by the Sound Archive’s curatorial staff.

The subjects of research under the scheme have included:

  • historical performance analyses of Bach’s B Minor Mass and of Bartók’s string quartets
  • an examination of the changing vocal techniques that resulted from the introduction of verismo opera styles
  • the creation through gramophone records of new audiences for classical music in Britain and in France up to the middle of the 20th century
  • performance styles of the Hungarian Violin School 1910-1940
  • landmarks of the evolution of flute performance style on record
  • Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’
  • recordings of Beethoven string quartets
  • acoustic recordings of Wagner in languages other than German

The British Library does not require the work undertaken necessarily to result in a publication or public lecture but the Library would expect to receive an acknowledgement of its assistance in any published work or talks which did make use of the work carried out during the Fellowship.

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