Dr David Beard
BA (Hons) Dunelm, MMus (theory and analysis) KCL, DPhil Oxon
Reader in Musicology
I 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.
My research is focused on contemporary music, in particular intersections between archival, analytical and critical-theoretical perspectives on post-1945 concert music, experimental music theatre and opera. My interests include: composers Judith Weir, Harrison Birtwistle, Michael Finnissy, Peter Maxwell Davies and Simon Holt; creative practice; avant-garde music and theatre; Steve Reich; popular music.
I am author of Harrison Birtwistle's Operas and Music Theatre (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and co-editor of Harrison Birtwistle Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2015). My book Musicology: The Key Concepts (Routledge, 2005; second revised edition 2016), which I co-authored with Kenneth Gloag, reflects the learning environment at Cardiff, especially the MA courses in Musicology, and in Music, Culture and Politics. I have been an invited speaker at public events in Germany, Italy, Serbia, Switzerland, the UK and the USA, and contributed programme notes, essays and articles for the London Sinfonietta, BBC Proms, Music Theatre Wales, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Grand Théâtre Genève, London Southbank, and numerous international music festivals, including Aldeburgh, Bregenz, Cheltenham, Salzburg, and Wexford Opera.
I am a Trustee and Member of the Editorial Board of Music & Letters (Oxford University Press) and a member of the Advisory Board for the book series 'Theory and Analysis of Music Since 1900' (Routledge).
I am currently (2016-17) on sabbatical funded by the Cardiff University Research Leave Fellowship scheme.
My teaching is focused on music since c. 1890 to the present and embraces a range of historical, cultural, political and music-analytical perspectives on European cultural centres (The Birth of Modernism), on the one hand, and the varied topography of British music since 1900 (Topics in Musicology 2B). I devised a module on Ambient music (Sounded Out) and supervise dissertations on a range of topics, including popular music, concert programming, and experimental contemporary art music.
My Masters teaching includes seminars on academic reading and writing, early modernism, ecomusicology, music and race, ethnicity and identity.
From 2014-16 I was Director of Postgraduate Research. My own PhD students are working on the emergence of the avant-garde in West Germany in the 1940s, virtual bands and vocaloids, and the music of Pavel Haas.
My chapter 'Listening to the River's Roar: Stance, Texture and Space in the Concertos', is forthcoming in D. Charlton (ed.), The Music of Simon Holt (Boydell & Brewer 2017), and I am currently writing the first book on the music of Judith Weir (Master of the Queen's Music).
I am author of Harrison Birtwistle's Operas and Music Theatre (Cambridge University Press, 2012), co-editor of Harrison Birtwistle Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and co-author of Musicology: The Key Concepts (Routledge, revised second edition 2016). I have published widely in peer-reviewed journals, including Music Analysis, Cambridge Opera Journal, Twentieth-Century Music and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, and I have chapters in Peter Maxwell Davies Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Ancient Drama on the Modern Stage (Oxford University Press, 2010), The Ashgate Library of Essays in Opera Studies (Routledge, 2010), and Dichotonies: Gender and Music (Universitatsverlag, Winter, 2009). I am a Trustee and Member of the Editorial Board of Music & Letters (Oxford University Press) and a member of the Advisory Board for the Routledge book series Theory and Analysis of Music Since 1900.