Research and Teaching Portfolio
Daniel Leech-Wilkinson works on how the mind constructs music in response to expressive performance, seen in the light of recent work on music cognition, evolution and neuroscience. Within the CHARM project he studied changing approaches to the singing of Schubert songs, documented through 100 years of recordings. As a spin-off from that project his article ‘Portamento and musical meaning’ examined vocal (and by extension, instrumental) portamento in the light of the trans-cultural phenomenon of infant directed vocalisation (popularly known as parentese, motherese, or baby talk), proposing that portamento acquires its sentimental associations by automatically evoking carer responses in the listener, responses that may be unwelcome in certain historical-cultural contexts (including Western modernity). Other recent studies have focused on the analysis of performance style (‘Sound and meaning…’, ‘Performance style in Elena Gerhardt…’), the mechanisms underlying performance style change (‘Recordings and histories…’) and response to performance expressivity (‘Listening and responding…’). His latest book, The Changing Sound of Music, is an introduction to approaches to studying performance style. Currently he is leading an AHRC-funded team investigating the concept of shape in performance, with research fellows and students deploying a variety of techniques from psychology, sociology and computer science to focus on a commonly-used metaphor in teaching, preparing and criticising performances. His solo research currently deals with the pianist Alfred Cortot (1877-1962) and his uniquely bold approach to expressivity.
Until 2002 Daniel Leech-Wilkinson’s research was focused on fourteenth-century French music, especially that of Guillaume de Machaut. He has published editions of his Messe de Nostre Dame and Le Livre dou Voir Dit, as well as books and articles on his Mass, motets and songs, alongside articles on other aspects of medieval and early renaissance music. His last book on early music, The Modern Invention of Medieval Music, which examined the ways in which 19th- and 20th-century musicologists created performance and analytical practices for medieval music, and the mechanisms underlying the forming of their hypotheses, won the 2002 Royal Philharmonic Society book prize.
Edward Breen: The performance practice of David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London
YuanPu Chiao: The Changing Style of Performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Music (Edison Fellowship 2008; King's College Overseas Research Students Award and Humanities Research Studentship)
Anna Scott: “Now, with expression…”: Historically-Informed Performing Practices in the Late Piano Music of Johannes Brahms (DocArtes)
Eugene Feygelson: Classical Improvisation: Underlying Mechanisms and Performance Strategies (Performance PhD)
Mats Küssner: Shaping music in performance (School of Arts & Humanities studentship)
Catherine Lloyd: From ars antiqua to ars nova (AHRB Award)
Hannah Vlcek: Musica ficta in Machaut
Edward Wickham: The four-voice Mass 1440-1480: Scoring and ensemble
David Knight: The Organs of Westminster Abbey and their Music
Gwendolyn Tietze: Writing the Middle Ages: Medieval music in the 1920s (AHRB Award and School of Humanities Research Studentship)
Amy Blier-Carruthers: Sir Charles Mackerras: Private Recordings – Public Performance (AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award)
Abigail Dolan: Flute performance traditions on record (Edison Fellowship 2006; AVI Award)
Miriam Quick: Modernity on Record: The String Quartets and String Trio of Anton Webern (AHRC Award)
The Philosophy and Psychology of Music Perception; Performance Practice on Record; Musical Quality and Musical Taste; Medieval Music, 850-1300; Medieval Music, 1300-1420; Early Renaissance Music; Music since 1945.
Performance, Gesture, Meaning; Schubert Song on Record; The Invention of Medieval Music.