Dr David Beard
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 74388
Fax: +44(0)29 208 74379
Location: 37 Corbett Road (Annexe), Room 0.21
David Beard studied music at Durham University before completing an MMus in music theory and analysis at King’s College London, and a DPhil at the University of Oxford on the early instrumental music of Harrison Birtwistle. His book Musicology: The Key Concepts, which he co-authored with Kenneth Gloag, reflects the learning environment at Cardiff, especially the MA courses in Musicology, and in Music, Culture and Politics. He has given research papers at UK universities as well as in Germany, Switzerland, Serbia and the USA, and has contributed programme notes, essays and articles for the London Sinfonietta, BBC Proms, Wexford Opera Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Bregenz Festival, Cheltenham Festival, Salzburg Festival, Music Theatre Wales, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He is currently a member of the American Musicological Society (AMS), the Society for Music Analysis (SMA), and the North American British Music Studies Association (NABMSA).
David Beard currently teaches undergraduate modules on British music since 1900 (year 2) and the birth of modernism (year 3), and supervises undergraduate dissertations (year 3). He teaches a Masters module on ethnicity, race and identity in Western music, and contributes to the Research Skills and Language of Music modules. He is Director of Postgraduate Research Studies.
Harrison Birtwistle’s Operas and Music Theatre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)
Nominated for the American Musicological Society's Lewis Lockwood Award, and awarded Honorable Mention by the North American British Music Studies Association, Diana McVeigh Prize for Best Book on British Music, 2013.
(with Kenneth Gloag) Musicology: The Key Concepts (London: Routledge, 2005)
Book Chapters, Journal Articles and Published Papers
‘La communication des emotions et des affects vocaux et instrumentaux: L’exemple de Punch and Judy. Le point de vue du musicologue, Acto [Le journal du cercle du Grand Théâtre et du Grand Théâtre de Genève] 7 (Juin 2011), 12–14.
‘The Shadow of Opera: Dramatic Narrative and Musical Discourse in Gawain’, in Margaret Notley (ed.), Opera After 1900; Vol. 6 of The Ashgate Library of Essays in Opera Studies (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), 319-55 [a republished item that originally appeared in twentieth-century music 2/2 (2005); see below]
‘“Batter the Doom Drum”: The Music for Peter Hall's Oresteia and Other Productions of Greek Tragedy by Harrison Birtwistle and Judith Weir', in P. Brown and S. Ograjensek (eds), Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 369-97.
‘From Heroische Bogenstriche to Waldeinsamkeit: Gender and Genre in Judith Weir's Heroic Strokes of the Bow and Blond Eckbert', in Beate Neumeier (ed.), Dichotonies: Gender and Music (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2009), pp 77-95.
'Taverner: An Interpretation', in Kenneth Gloag and Nicholas Jones (eds), Maxwell Davies Studies (Cambridge: CUP, 2009), 79-105
‘Blurring the Boundaries. Geschlechterbeziehungen und Körperbilder
in Harrison Birtwistles The
Corridor und Semper Dowland, semper dolens’ in Klang zu Gang Gedanken zur Musik in heutigen
Theaterformen, Recherchen 73 (Berlin: Theater der Zeit, 2009), 37–48
‘Birtwistle’s Labyrinth [a preview of The Minotaur]’ Opera, 59/4 (April 2008), 372-381
(With Danijela Spiric-Beard) 'The Liminality of Song: Illusion and Reality in the Films of Emir
Kusturica', Texte und Töne: Zeitschrift zum Kopfschütteln 1/1 (March 2008), pp. 50-7.
‘Beauty and the Beast: A Conversation with Sir Harrison Birtwistle’, The Musical Times 149/1902 (Spring 2008), 9-25
' "A Face like Music": Shaping Images into Sound in The Second Mrs Kong', Cambridge Opera Journal, 18/3 (2006), 273-300
‘The Shadow of Opera: Dramatic Narrative and Musical Discourse in Gawain', twentieth-century music, 2/2 (September 2005), 159-95
‘Meta-Narratives and Multidimensional Opera: Harrison Birtwistle’s 'The Mask of Orpheus', in Music and Networking, Tatjana Markovic and Vesna Mikic (eds) (Beograd: Fakultet Muzicke Umetnosti, 2005), 143-53
‘The Endless Parade: Competing Narratives in Recent Birtwistle Studies’, Music Analysis, 23/1 (March 2004), 89-127
‘Britten’s Ambiguities; Tippett’s Times; Metzer’s Borrowings’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 129/2 (2004), 305-23
'From the Mechanical to the Magical: A Pre-Compositional Plan for Birtwistle's Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum', Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung, 14 (April 2001), 29-33
Reviews in Music & Letters, twentieth-century music and The Musical Times, in addition to programme notes for various music festivals and opera houses.
Following publication of Harrison Birtwistle’s Operas and Music Theatre (Cambridge, 2012) in CUP’s ‘Music since 1900'’series, a project supported by the British Academy and the AHRC, David is currently editing Harrison Birtwistle Studies for CUP; research for his own chapter in this book was supported by a Music Analysis Development Fund award from the Society of Music Analysis. He is also revising and updating Musicology: The Key Concepts, for Routledge, and preparing the first book on music by Judith Weir.
His other interests include: music since 1900; British music since 1945; opera, music theatre and incidental music since 1960; Steve Reich and minimalism; sketch studies and genetic criticism; music and politics; cultural theory and aesthetics; ethnicity, gender and identity; popular music, especially Robert Wyatt and electronica.
Research Papers, Public Lectures and Seminars
Invited talk for ‘Birtwistle at 80’, a Study Day jointly run by the Institute of Musical Research and the BBC, to be held in the Barbican Centre, London, on 25 May 2014
‘‘Stand back and light the fuse’: Harrison Birtwistle and the redistribution of authorial subjectivity’, invited talk at Liverpool University, Department of Music, 18 February 2014
'Instinctive interventions: Birtwistle at the National Theatre and beyond', talk at 'Poetry, Music, Drama: the creation of contemporary opera', a one-day conference bringing together poets, composers, producers and academics to discuss the collaborative processes involved in the creation of contemporary opera, Institute of Musical Research, University of London, 16 January 2013
‘Wagnerian opera transformed: Birtwistle’s Io Passion’, paper delivered at the ‘Love to Death’ opera conference, Wales Millennium Centre, 31 May 2012
An invited talk to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Peter Hall’s 1981 production of the Oresteia, organized by the APGRD, Classics Faculty, University of Oxford, held in the Taylorian Main Hall, Ashmolean Museum (other speakers included Tony Harrison and Oliver Taplin), 19 November 2011
Invited academic and public talks and participation in workshops on emotion communication in music, with emphasis on the vocal functions underlying the production of affect bursts and speech prosody, in conjunction with singers and instrumentalists performing Daniel Kramer’s award winning production of Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy. The Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, the University of Geneva, and the Grand Théâtre de Genève, 4–5 April 2011
‘When Actors Meet Musicians: The Music for Peter Hall’s Oresteia and “the Agamemnon Experiments”’, invited lecture and seminar, University of Aberdeen, 19 March 2010
'"Incidental" Music? Settings of Greek Tragedy by Judith Weir and Harrison Birtwistle', invited lecture, The Faculty of Classics and The Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, University of Oxford, 27 October 2008
'From Heroische Bogenstriche to Waldeinsamkeit: Gender and Genre in Music by Judith Weir', invited paper, 'Dichotonies: a Workshop on Gender and Music', Cologne University (part of the Klang.Körper Festival for Contemporary Music and Gender), 15 June 2008
'Escaping the Labyrinth: Deciphering the "scene-agent ratio"' in Harrison Birtwistle and Tony Harrison's Yan Tan Tethera', Second biennial conference of the North American British Music Studies Association, Saint Michael's College, Colchester VT, 4 August 2006; also given as an invited lecture at Bristol University, 2 May 2006 and University of Cambridge, 29 March 2006
'A Theatre of Sculptural Sound: Birtwistle’s Concept of a Secret Drama in Gawain’, invited lecture, Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre, University of Sussex, 24 November 2004
‘The Music of The Second Mrs Kong’, invited talk and round-table discussion with the composer and librettist, BBC SO, Royal Festival Hall, London, 6 November 2004
‘Meta-Narratives and Multidimensional Opera: Harrison Birtwistle’s The Mask of Orpheus’, invited paper, Music and Networking Conference, University of Belgrade, 14-17 April 2004
‘Subject Position, Style and Genre in Contemporary Electronica and Dance Music’, invited lecture, University of Surrey, November 2003; also presented as an invited lecture at the University of Durham, October 2003, and at the Third Biennial Conference on Twentieth-Century Music, University of Nottingham, June 2003
Current PhD Candidates
Ian Pace, ‘The emergence of the West German musical avant-garde and its institutions, 1945–55’.
Leo Tobisch, 'Music and May '68'
Martin Curda - 'The music of Pavel Haas'
Alicia Stark - 'multi-media, virtuality and Gorillaz'