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Matthew Head

Professor Matthew Head

Professor of Music

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2122 
Room 17B South West Block

Music Department
King's College London
Strand Campus


Matthew Head was schooled in the State sector in south-west Cornwall in the days before OFSTED. A boy treble, he fell for the flute when his voice broke. He studied music at Oxford (1985-88) and Yale (1988-95). After postgraduate studies in music theory and history in the States, he returned to the UK with with a Leverhulme Special Research Fellowship at the University of Southampton where he subsequently worked as a lecturer. He came to King's in 2007 and became a Reader in 2008, and a Professor in 2014.

Research Interests and PhD supervision
  • Enlightenment subjectivity
  • Keyboard music and song

Matthew studies the music of the German-speaking eighteenth-century. His work to date focuses on marginal and problematic repertories, or repertories that can appear as such: the fantastic style in C. P. E. Bach; exoticism and orientalism in Mozart and Haydn; female composers and the discourse of femininity. He is currently exploring the rise of subjectivity in keyboard culture, with a particular focus on expressive practices of terror, melancholy, love, desire and humour in Haydn, Mozart and C. P. E. Bach.

Matthew welcomes applications for PhD topics related to any of his research interests. 

For more details, please see his full research profile.

Selected Publications
  • ‘Musicology on Safari: Orientalism and the Spectre of Postcolonial Theory’. Music Analysis 22/1-2 (March-July 2003), 211-30
  • ‘Cultural Meanings for Women Composers: Charlotte (“Minna”) Brandes and the Beautiful Dead in the German Enlightenment’. Journal of the American Musicological Society 57/2 (Summer 2004), 231-84
  • ‘Haydn’s Exoticisms: “Difference” and the Enlightenment’. In C. Clark ed., The Cambridge Companion to Haydn (Cambridge: CUP, 2005), 77-94
  • ‘Beethoven Heroine: A Female Allegory of Music and Authorship in Egmont’, 19th-Century Music 30/2 (Fall 2006), 97-132
  • ‘Genre, Romanticism and Female Authorship: Fanny Hensel’s “Scottish” Sonata in G Minor (1843)’ 19th-Century Music Review 4/2 (December 2007), 67-88
For a complete list of publications, please see Matthew's full research profile.
Matthew enjoys teaching topics in the cultural history of music in the long eighteenth century, cultural theory, and harmony and counterpoint. He particularly likes to challenge, provoke and stimulate students, through a combination of formal lecturing, discussion and in-class activities.
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