Dr Matthew Pritchard

Dr Matthew Pritchard


I was appointed Lecturer in Musical Aesthetics in 2015, following a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. My work addresses aspects of aesthetics, ethnomusicology and music theory from a primarily historical and critical perspective, and includes articles relating to historical aesthetic issues from the eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth, translations (from German and Bengali), and two co-edited collections of essays.

A book manuscript tracing the history and consequences of the "aesthetics of feeling" is currently in preparation, as well as a grant application related to Tagore's songs. 

Research interests

My research interests include the history of music aesthetics and music theory since the late eighteenth century, particularly in German-speaking lands, and the music of Bengal, with a focus on the songs of Rabindranath Tagore. In the former area I am particularly interested in the application of historical approaches from the history of emotions to the recent "affective turn" in music scholarship, and the intersection of these concerns with thinking about feeling and affect within early German Romantic philosophy. The undervalued role of ‘functional’ music (Gebrauchsmusik) and pre-twentieth-century popular music traditions in the development of music aesthetic thought is an additional focus of investigation. Alongside this sits a critical genealogy of aesthetic attitudes within twentieth-century musical modernism and music analysis, including explorations of debates and other aesthetic interactions between Romantic and modernist currents of thought.

My interest in Bengali traditions combines an examination of aesthetic writings by Tagore and others with a concern to translate and disseminate their lyrical productions, above all Rabindrasangit (Tagore songs). 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Music
  • MPhil in Historical Musicology
  • BA (Mus)

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology

Student education

I have taught aesthetics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the School, and have also contributed to and/or led modules on music history, music analysis, research skills, and critical musicology, as well as supervising dissertations and examining performance students from level 2 to Masters level. 

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>