Benjamin Earle


  • Associate Professor, Music

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I have supervised PhD and MA research dissertations on a wide range of twentieth-century musical topics, including: the piano music of Erik Satie; British musical Wagnerism; the solo Cello Sonata of Zoltan Kodaly; the choral music of Ton de Leeuw; the experience of temporality in Olivier Messiaen's Visions de l'Amen; music, politics and philosophy in the work of Luciano Berio; Maltese chamber music; Michael Tippett and Jungian psychology; harmony and form in orchestral music by Toru Takemitsu; and the legacy of Morton Feldman in contemporary experimental music. Current research students are working on topics including: the operas of Giorgio Federico Ghedini; the history of the saxophone in Italy; performance practice in twelve-note string music before Darmstadt; and the music of Nikolai Roslavets.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


I have been teaching at the University of Birmingham since 2004. Before that I held a Junior Research Fellowship at St John’s College, Oxford.

Research interests

My research interests are in the history, analysis and criticism of twentieth-century concert music and opera, mostly Italian and British, though I have also written about the music of the Second Viennese School. In my work, I generally try to bring the close reading of musical texts into contact with the history of philosophical aesthetics, especially as represented by Marxist thinkers such as Theodor W. Adorno and Fredric Jameson. I am also interested in the cultural politics of music, especially in the context of fascism in Italy and its aftermath. Several of my publications have been concerned with the concept of musical modernism; future plans include the elaboration of a theory of musical realism.


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