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Daniel Leech-Wilkinson

Professor

    • Strand - Main Building
      King's College London
      Strand
      London

      United Kingdom

    • 252
      Citations

    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Until 2002 Daniel Leech-Wilkinson's main research was in fourteenth-century French music, though he has also published on performance practice and Renaissance topics, and his analytical interests include the French Baroque and music since 1945. He published books on fourteenth-century compositional technique and on Machaut's 'Messe de Nostre Dame', as well as the first complete edition of Machaut's autobiographical romance 'Le Voir Dit' (Garland, 1998). His 2002 book, The Modern Invention of Medieval Music (Cambridge, 2002) looked at the way medieval music was reimagined through the 19th and 20th centuries, seeing it as a case study of the ideology of historical musicology. Since 2006 he has been focusing on the interaction of early recorded performance, beliefs about musical performance and meaning, and music psychology, in order to rethink the nature and practice of musicality. His article on 'Portamento and Musical Meaning' was published in the Journal of Musicological Research in 2006. A book on the study of musical performances,  The Changing Sound of Music, appeared in 2009. His article 'Compositions, Scores, Performances, Meanings' in Music Theory Online (2012) questions what we study when we study music. He received funding for a five-year project on 'Expressivity in Schubert Song Performance' within the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM) and directed a large-scale digitisation project, making available 78rpm recordings from the King's Sound Archive online. He was also responsible for the CHARM discography and web project, which provides easy access to very large quantities of data and contextual information enabling research in recorded performance. From 2009-14 he directed a collaborative research project in music psychology, studying performers' and listeners' sense of shape in sound and music, within the AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice. An edited book, Music & Shape, was published by Oxford University Press in 2018. His current research probes and challenges the teaching and policing of performance norms in western classical music. In this connection he is working with performers developing new approaches to the interpretation of classical scores: https://challengingperformance.com. 

    Research interests (short)

    Recorded performance practices; performance expressivity; music cognition; the politics of performance norms.

    Biographical details

    Daniel Leech-Wilkinson studied composition, harpsichord and organ at the Royal College of Music (1972-6), then took the MMus at King's College London (1976-7), specialising in 15th-century music including issues of representation in transcription and editing. Following doctoral research at Clare College, Cambridge (1977-80), working on 14th-century techniques of composition, he became a Fellow of Churchill College (1980-84), publishing analytical studies of 14th-cent. songs and motets, while developing a research interest in early recorded performance and its implications for beliefs about music. During a year as a research fellow at Queen's University Belfast (1984-5) he worked on medieval counterpoint theory. He taught at Nottingham (1982-3) and Southampton universities (1985-97), teaching early and modern music and producing books and articles on 14th-cent. French music and poetry, before rejoining the Music Department at King's College in September 1997. At King's he was able to develop his interest in early recorded performance, drawing on an archive of 150,000 78rpm discs given to the College in 2001 by the BBC which he managed and developed. The collection fed the CHARM digitisation project (www.charm.kcl.ac.uk/sound/sound.html), which he directed from 2004-9. He was also responsible for the CHARM discography and web project, which provides easy access to very large quantities of data and contextual information enabling research in recorded performance. His teaching at King's covered medieval music, performance practice, music philosophy and music psychology. He retired in October 2017 to focus on research and writing.

    Keywords

    • M Music
    • Performance Studies
    • Music Psychology

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