Current PhD students

Cole Bendall

Marie-Claude Codsi

Eric Grunstein

PhD Supervision Topics

Music Analysis and Theory
19th-Century Music; more broadly, Western music from Haydn to the Second Viennese School (especially German and British music) Philosophy and Aesthetics Romanticism Cultural History

Benedict has been in Edinburgh since September 2013, where he teaches topics in the analysis, philosophy and history of music in the Reid School of Music.

He received his MA and PhD from St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and subsequently held fellowships at Heidelberg, Princeton and Berlin before going to Oxford in 2011 as a Senior Research Fellow of New College and Lecturer in Music at Magdalen.

He is the author of Mendelssohn, Time and Memory: The Romantic Conception of Cyclic Form (Cambridge University Press, 2011), The Melody of Time: Music and Temporality in the Romantic Era (Oxford University Press, 2016), and has published articles on a wide range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century music in such journals as 19th-Century Music, The Journal of Musicology, The Musical Quarterly, Music Theory Spectrum, Music & Letters, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Eighteenth-Century Music and Music Analysis

His article ‘Cyclic Form, Time and Memory in Mendelssohn’s A minor Quartet, Op. 13’ (Musical Quarterly, 93/1, 2010) was the 2011 recipient of the Jerome Roche Prize from the Royal Musical Association for a distinguished article by a young scholar. 

His most recent book, Towards a Harmonic Grammar of Grieg’s Late Piano Music: Nature and Nationalism (RMA Monographs), has just been published in December 2016. Its publication was supported through the Joseph Kerman Endowment by the American Musicological Society, who also supported The Melody of Time through the John Daverio Endowment.

  • Y1 Music Analysis 1A (Course Organiser)
  • Y1 Set Works 1B
  • Y1 Ways of Listening
  • Y2 Music Analysis 2 (Course Organiser)
  • Y2 Music 2B: Music and Ideas from Romanticism to the Late Twentieth Century
  • Y3-4 Mendelssohn and the Making of 19th-Century Musical Culture (Course Organiser)
  • Y3-4 Music Analysis 3 (Course Organiser)
  • Y3-4 Harmony 3 (Course Organiser)
  • Y3-4 Research Methods in Music
  • MMus Music, Philosophy and Politics (Course Organiser)
  • MMus Research Methods A
  • Supervisor for a number of undergraduate, Master's, and PhD students

Benedict convenes the Music Research Seminar Series, held on Thursday evenings during term-time, and also runs the Music and Philosophy Reading Group on Monday lunchtimes.

Research interests

  • Temporality and Subjectivity in Music
  • Music Theory and Analysis (especially Formenlehre and late-Romantic harmony)
  • 19th- and early 20th-Century Music (with particular focus on Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Dvořák, Grieg, Sibelius, Mahler and the Second Viennese School)
  • British Music, c. 1860–1940 (especially Sullivan and Elgar)
  • Philosophy and Aesthetics

Benedict’s research interests concentrate historically on Classical-Romantic music from Haydn to the Second Viennese School, though he has published more broadly on music stretching from Handel to Messiaen, and his background specialisation in German and British music is counterbalanced by a sympathy for a far wider range of European and American musics.  Although ranging from theoretical accounts of form and harmony to more philosophical studies of time and subjectivity, generally his work seeks to meld close analytical engagement with the musical work and its experience with wider aesthetic questions of meaning.

Research activity

Benedict's recent books include The Melody of Time: Music and Temporality in the Romantic Era, an analytical and philosophical study of the relation beteween music and time from Beethoven to Elgar, published by Oxford University Press in late 2015, and an RMA Monograph entitled Towards a Harmonic Grammar of Grieg’s Late Piano Music (published in December 2016), which investigates the use of harmony and tonality in the late piano music of Edvard Grieg.  Future projects include a study of instrumental form in the first half of the nineteenth century, an account of the idea of musical subjectivity, and a co-authored volume Rethinking Mendelssohn (forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2018).

Recent and forthcoming conference papers and colloquia:

  • 'Mendelssohn’s Songs: Ein guter Geist in Schumann’s Musical Circle’, public talk at the Oxford Lieder Festival Study Day ‘Schumann’s Friends and Followers: a literary world and its legacies’, St Hilda’s College Oxford, 16thOctober 2016.
  • ‘Sibelius, Subjectivity, and the Nature of the Musical Landscape', invited paper at ‘Music and Landscape’, University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria, 29th October 2016.
  • ‘Mendelssohn and Sonata Form: The Case of Op. 44 No. 2’, part of ‘Rethinking Romantic Form: Mendelssohn’s Sonata-Form Practice’, panel co-convened with Steven Vande Moortele, American Musicological Society/Society for Music Theory Annual Meeting 2016, Vancouver, 6thNovember.
  • ‘Monotonality and Scalar Modulation in Sibelius’s Tapiola’, Guest Lecture, Department of Music, Durham University, 13th December 2016.
  • ‘Absent Subjects and Empty Centres: Eichendorff’s Romantic Phantasmagoria and Schumann’s Liederkreis Op. 39’, Research Seminar, Department of Music, Queen’s University Belfast, 1st February 2017.
  • ‘Missing Centres and Absent Subjects: Temporal Displacement and Phantasmagoria in Schumann’s Liederkreis Op. 39’, Research Colloquium, Department of Music, King’s College London, 15th February 2017.
  • ‘Hearing Oneself Singing: Coming to Lyricism and self-consciousness in Schumann’, International Musicological Society 20th Quinquennial Congress, Tokyo University of the Arts, 21st March 2017.