PhD Research Project: Musical Networks in early-Victorian Manchester (supported by the AHRC NWCDTP)

I am investigating music-making in early-Victorian Manchester, identifying what musical activity was taking place, who was taking part in such activity, and how this related to the changing structures of industrial society.  I am undertaking this PhD project at the RNCM, supported by an AHRC Studentship from the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership.

Current research activity

Music at the Manchester Mechanics' Institution, Manchester Athenaeum and Royal Manchester Institution; the Hargreaves Choral Society; music and philanthropy in early-Victorian Manchester; musical entrepreneurship in nineteenth-century Manchester; the cultural history of music in industrial society; nineteenth-century British flute music; music in Manchester during World War I; History of the Humanities; the history of military music.


‘Music, propaganda, recruitment and the press: Military bands in Manchester during the First World War’, Nineteenth-Century Music Review (forthcoming; journal special edition based on the RNCM / AHRC Music in Manchester during WW1 project)

'The Agency of Music in Industrial Society: A Comparative Study of the Royal Manchester Institution, Manchester Athenaeum and Manchester Mechanics Institution, 1834-1860’, Journal of Victorian Culture (forthcoming – accepted December 2019)

‘Reading Between the Lines: George Smart’s Annotated Programmes for Manchester’s 1836 Grand Musical Festival’, electronic British Library Journal (2018)

Book Review: John Carnelly, George Smart and Nineteenth-Century London Concert Life  – Nineteenth-Century Music Review (published online FirstView 2 May 2017)

‘Best Laid Plans: Lessons from a PhD Pregnancy’, RMA Research Student Blog, May 2016

Recent research events:

Research Forum Roundtable - The Anvil: An Elegy for Peterloo, with Prof. Emily Howard (composer RNCM), Prof. Michael Symmons Robert (librettist, MMU) and Prof.David de Roure (Oxford), RNCM, January 2020

Paper - Music at Manchester's Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857, Royal Musical Association Conference, Manchester 2019

Paper - The Hargreaves Choral Society's Programme Notes, Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain Conference, Canterbury, 2019

Paper - Reading between the Lines: George Smart's annotated programmes for Manchester's Grand Musical Festival of 1836, NetMatNW Workshop 'Distinctive Networks: Taste in the Archives', RNCM, May 2019

Paper - Music and Identity in early Victorian Manchester, RNCM, May 2019

Paper - Manchester, 1819: Music, Ideology and the Peterloo Massacre, invited paper, British Music and Ideology Symposium, Institute for Musical Research, London, May 2019

Paper - Music Lecturing in early nineteenth-century Manchester, The Making of the Humanities Conference, Oxford, September 2017

Paper - Musical Entrepreneurship in Early-Victorian Manchester, Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain Conference, Birmingham, June 2017

Paper - The contested roles of music in the institutions of early-nineteenth-century Manchester, Music & Politics Conference, KCL, May 2017

Paper - Musical Entrepreneurship in Early-Victorian Manchester, Musical Cultures Conference, Hull, April 2017

Paper - Networks of musical sociability: Manchester's Madrigal Society, Gentlemen's Glee Club, and Amateur Glee and Catch Club, RMA Research Student Conference, Canterbury, January 2017

Lecture Series - Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Glossop Guild, November/December 2016

Paper - Miltary Music and Manchester's Great War, RNCM Music in Manchester during WW1 Study Day, Manchester Histories Festival 2016

Paper - Materialities, Music and the 'Manchester Man', Material Cultures/Material Worlds conference, Nineteenth Century Studies Association, Boston, March 2015

Paper - Networks of musical provision in the Institutions of early-Victorian Manchester, RMA and Lucem Study Day on Amateur Music-Making in the British Provinces, University of Leeds, 18 June 2014

Paper - The Hargreaves Choral Society 1841-49, RNCM Research Student Symposium, 14 May 2014

Paper - 'Musical transformations of the public sphere in newly-industrialised Manchester', Joint RMA/BFE Study Day on Music and the Public Sphere, Manchester University, 11 April 2014

Paper - 'Musical Publics in Early-Victorian Manchester', Panel on Sport and Leisure History in Manchester, Manchester Histories Festival 2014

Paper - 'Music at the Manchester Mechanics' Institution', RMA Research Student Conference, January 2014

Paper - 'Reading between the lines: Sir George Smart's annotated programmes for the 1836 Manchester Musical Festival', RNCM Research Student Symposium 2013

Other research interests

Nineteenth-century British flute music; Military music history; Flute performance practice; Music and Society