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Elisabeth Giselbrecht

Dr Elisabeth Giselbrecht

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Music

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2122 
Music Department
Office SEB 3A
King's College London 
Strand Campus 


After completing her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Vienna (including a year at New York University), Elisabeth worked on a PhD at the University of Cambridge (completed in 2012). She then held a post-doc position at the University of Salzburg as part of a larger research project, on music printing in German-speaking lands. On 1 January 2015 Elisabeth started a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at King’s, with a project entitled Owners and Users of Early Music Books. Elisabeth has also worked as an external lecturer at the University of Cambridge, University of Salzburg, and Royal Holloway University.

Research Interests and PhD supervision
  • Music printing and manuscript cultures
  • Material culture and material texts
  • Cultural transfer
  • Music and confessionalisation
The production, dissemination and reception of music in the 16th and 17th centuries stand at the centre of Elisabeth’s past and current research. Her PhD thesis explored the printed dissemination of Italian sacred music in German-speaking areas, with an emphasis on the music book as a cultural product and material object, which provides a window into the world of cultural transfer. Her research also expands to the production of various types of music books, such as theory books, pamphlets of occasional music and liturgical publications, with a particular focus on the influence of confessionalisation on the production and reception of music. Her current research investigates the users of these publications; in this context “use” is being defined very widely to include collecting, silent reading, annotating, and performance as some potential interactions of the early modern “reader” with a music book.
Selected Publications
  • ‘Between manuscript and print: Re-discovered songs as addition to Peter Schoeffer’s third song book’, in ‘Teutsche Liedlein’ des sechzehnten Jahrhunderts, edited by Achim Aurnhammer and Susanne Rode-Breymann (forthcoming) 
  • ‘To have and to hold: Music books as collectables’, in Sources of identity, edited by Lisa Colton and Tim Shephard (forthcoming). 
  • ‘Venezianische Musikdrucke in Salzburg’, in Von Venedig nach Salzburg. Kultureller und wirtschaftlicher Transfer, Veröffentlichungen der Forschungsplattform Salzburger Musikgeschichte vol. 3, edited by Gerhard Ammerer, Ingonda Hannesschläger, Thomas Hochradner (forthcoming).
  • with Elizabeth Upper: ‘Glittering Woodcuts and Moveable Music: Decoding the Elaborate Printing Techniques, Purpose and Patronage of the Liber selectarum cantionum’, in Senfl-Studien 1, eds. Gasch, Stefan/ Lodes, Birgit/ Tröster, Sonja, Tutzing 2012 (Wiener Forum für Ältere Musikgeschichte 4), pp. 17-67.
Elisabeth has taught a range of courses on Renaissance music, in general focussing on the influence of a composer’s private and professional situation on their oeuvre. She has also co-taught a course on Mozart and his travels and supervised a range of courses from Machaut to Monteverdi.
Expertise and Public Engagement

Elisabeth's other musical passion is contemporary opera and she has worked with the Bregenz opera festival, writing and editing programme books, giving pre-performance lectures and organising outreach events. In recent years this work has included the organisation of a symposium on the life and work of André Tchaikowsky (1935-1982) and a series of interviews with the Austrian composer HK Gruber (born 1943).

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