Jenny Nex profile picture

Job title:

Curator, Musical Instrument Collection and Lecturer in Musical Instruments


St Cecilia's Hall


Following her early education in Cambridge, Jenny studied music at the University of Edinburgh from where she went on to specialise as a singer in historical performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She gained her MA in Museum and Gallery Management from City University in 1997 and in August 2005 took over as Curator of the Museum at the Royal College of Music. In 2013, she moved to a similar role in the Musical Instrument Museums Edinburgh based at St Cecilia’s Hall. Jenny’s research interests include the context, design and construction of historical musical instruments and in particular the business and economic activities of musical instrument makers working in London in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which she explored in her PhD from Goldsmiths College in 2013. Jenny was jointly awarded the Frances Densmore prize by the American Musical Instruments Society for the work she published in The Gaplin Society Journal in 2014 with Dr Lance Whitehead. The work investigated the records of the Sun Fire Office between 1710 and 1779. Jenny continues to sing whenever possible, notably with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus and thechoir of Old Saint Paul's Church.

Research interests

  • Musical Instruments
  • Economic aspects of musical instrument making in Britain, 1700-1900
  • Women's roles in musical instrument making
  • Material culture
  • Performance practices in the 18th century


  • Musical Instruments
  • Research Methods


Research interests

  • Socio-economic aspects of musical instrument making
  • The design, construction and history of musical instruments
  • Social and cultural contexts of musical instruments

Research activity

  • The business of musical instrument making in early industrial London
  • The Erard firm, as seen through archives and letters
  • Insurance records as sources of information for musicologists
  • Women in musical instrument making

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