Funded "Doctoral Studentship in Hearings of Wagner's Letimotives" Available

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 | 6:08:00 pm

For graduates with an interest in Wagner, a chance like this rarely comes along - especially with a tax-free stipend starting at £13,726 per annum and the supervision of Prof. Laurence Dreyfus and and Prof. David De Roure. Might we suggest that if this not for you mention it to anyone you think it might?

AHRC Doctoral Studentship in Hearings of Wagner's Letimotives for the Ring, 1876—1976

Applications are invited for a three-year Doctoral Studentship in Musicology, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, located at the Music Faculty of the University of Oxford, under the collaborative supervision of Prof. Laurence Dreyfus(Faculty of Music) and Prof. David De Roure (Director, Oxford e-Research Centre). The deadline for applications is Friday 8th November 2013; interviews will take place in the week beginning 18th November 2013. The Studentship will commence at the beginning of Hilary Term (January) 2014.
The Studentship

The leitmotivic practices employed in Richard Wagner's Ring des Nibelungen have received a rich and varied reception since the work was first staged in 1876. Wagner's leitmotives have been understood differently in different European cultures. Not only are different names assigned, but the morphology of individual motives as well as the complete 'lexicon' for each of the mature music dramas differ in appreciable ways. 19th- and early 20th-century sources for these leitmotivic lists include opera guides with musical examples and stand alone leitmotivic booklets but also scores for piano alone and piano with voice issued by a range of music publishers across Europe and in America, which have never before been studied as a genre of musical cognition, perception, and interpretation. Beginning in 20th century, there are also 'audio' guides which present excerpts from specific recordings in an attempt to structure a listener's understanding in particular of Wagner's Ring. There is little uniformity within these various forms of leitmotivic identifications - indeed, publishers may have gone out of their way to differentiate their products from those of their competitors in the context of a single market. In the case of dramatic guides – in the tradition of Hans von Wolzogen's thematic leading threads (Thematische Leitfaden) – the embedding of leitmotivic identification within an overarching narrative account of the operas sheds light on how audiences were encouraged to hear and appreciate the drama, and in a more general theoretical sense, how music, language and dramatic action coincide within the Wagnerian experience.

The doctoral project 'Hearings of Wagner's Leitmotives for the Ring, 1876-1976' will collate, catalogue and analyse these variant forms as a primary guide to the contrasting forms of Wagner reception in different cultural contexts. The work will marry traditional historical and philological research on leitmotives with insights gleaned from the data retrieval and analysis as well as from the psychological studies on perceptions of leitmotives. To make the research manageable and productive, this will focus on a limited musical corpus, most likely a single stage work, cataloguing and comparing the significance of the naming and identification of Wagner's leitmotives in a variety of European cultures (France, Italy, England and Germany), each of which developed a distinctive approach to the operas. The thesis will emerge from a methodological engagement with old and new 'technologies' in two modes of reception studies – working out how Wagner was heard in historical contexts and how he is being heard and analysed today.

The studentship is offered as part of the AHRC funded "Transforming Musicology" project which explores the effect of digital methods on music scholarship and people's interactions with music more broadly. Consequently, it is expected that the doctoral student will collaborate closely with technical experts working on this project and integrate some of these advanced methods into the work.

This three-year studentship is for fees plus a tax-free stipend starting at £13,726 per annum. Further details of the AHRC scheme including terms and conditions can be found here:

For more information please follow this link