My teaching reflects my passion for music history and is strongly influenced by my research expertise. I aim to foster a spirit of inquiry and intellectual curiosity among my students and encourage them to develop their own research skills and interests.
Undergraduate teaching comprises modules such as:
- Introduction to Western Music History, 1800 to the present
- Case Studies in Music History: the Middle Ages to 1800
- elective modules such as Words and Music, Music in Vienna around 1800, Richard Wagner's Music Dramas, Opera and Politics
- Dissertation and Interdisciplinary Dissertation
For the MA in Music I offer:
- Advanced Musicology 1: Approaches to 19th-Century Music
- contributions to Research Skills and Applied Research
Currently I supervise one PhD student working on religion in fin-de-siècle Italian opera, and co-supervises several creative and musicological projects. Inquiries from prospective PhD students who want to focus on 19th-century music, opera or music in early-modern culture are always welcome.
My research interests fall into two areas: On the one hand she interrogates issues of music and identity, particularly (German) national identities in the "long" nineteenth century, as demonstrated in her monograph History in Mighty Sounds: Musical Constructions of German National Identity, 1848-1914 (Boydell, 2012). I'm also returning frequently to the operas of Richard Strauss and the music dramas of Richard Wagner, preparing an in-depth study of Wagner's "minor" characters.
My other main research area is sacred music in the "Age of Confessionalization", particularly music as a gendered practice in South-German nunneries and monasteries, and the works of Orlando di Lasso. I have published widely on both sixteenth- and nineteenth-century music and frequently speak at national and international conferences.
Research group membership
- Co-director, with Dr Alexandra Wilson, of OBERTO (Oxford Brookes: Exploring Research Trends in Opera), the opera research group at Oxford Brookes University. We organise annual study days, conferences and lectures on topical themes in opera studies, edit publications and disseminate our opera-related research to wider audiences.
- Council member of the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society.
- Member of the Royal Musical Association, Gesellschaft für Musikforschung and the International Musicological Society as well as the German Studies Society and the Historischer Verein für Mittelfranken.
Research grants and awards
The research project "Music as a gendered practice in South-German nunneries and monasteries" was supported by a British Academy Small Research Grant. The Music & Letters Trust funded a presenation at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Vancouver 2016.
I disseminate my research to wider audiences beyond academia through public lectures, radio broadcasts and accessible writings such as programme notes for Bavarian Radio or liner notes for recordings. Recent activities include:
- a pre-concert talk at a "Proms Extra" event, introducing Wagner's orchestral writing.
- interval talks for BBC Radio3's "Opera on 3" broadcasts and contributions to their online Opera Guides (e.g. Tannhäuser).
- curating the musical exhibits for the exhibitionMichael Ostendorfer und die Reformation in Regensburg
- text for a recording of Orlando di Lasso's Requiem and motets by Girton College Choir and Gareth Wilson (Toccata classics TOCC0397)
For further information and downloadable papers and publications please visit my Academia profile.
Areas of expertise
My main areas of expertise, as demonstrated in my publications and public-engagement activities, are
- music in the "long" nineteenth century, especially the German tradition
- opera studies, particularly Wagner, Strauss and romantic opera
- music historiography
- music and early-modern culture in the "Age of Confessionalisation"
Membership of professional bodies
- Member of the AHRC peer review college
- Member of the international editorial board of the journal Muzyka
Invited international and national conference appearances include:
- June 2017: The musical heritage of the Reformation, Augsburg: ‘Musik in Augsburger Männer- und Frauenklöstern: Verfall und Neubeginn’
- November 2016: annual meeeting of the American Musicological Society, Vancouver: 'The Woman at the Well: Divine and Earthy Love in Orlando di Lasso’s Parody Masses'
- May 2016: Lexikographie, Gender und Musikgeschichtsschreibung, Hamburg, invited international respondent
- March 2016: Für Auge und Ohr: Die Chorbücher der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München, Munich: ‘Strandgut der Säkularisation: Die Klosterchorbücher der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek’
- October 2014: Christoph Willibald Gluck. Bilder – Mythen – Diskurse, Vienna: ‘Zurück in die Zukunftsmusik: Gluck und die Idee der deutschen Nationaloper’
- November 2013: Symposium Wagner – Gender – Mythen, Oldenburg: ‘Eine Mittheilung an meine Freunde: Lebens- und Schaffensmythen in der letzten Zürcher Kunstschrift’
- January 2013: Research seminar of the University of Huddersfield: ‘The good, the bad and the ugly: Wagner’s music dramas from the perspective of the minor characters’
- November 2012: Symposium Wagner and Opera between Nationalism and Globalisation, Berne Switzerland: ‘Die Wagnerianer in London und die Suche nach einer englischen Nationaloper’
- October 2012: Symposium Strauss in Stuttgart – 100 Jahre Ariadne auf Naxos, Stuttgart: ‘Spielt sie immer nur sich selbst? Einige Überlegungen zur Rolle der Zerbinetta’
- January / February 2012: All Souls College, Oxford, and Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw: ‘Faithfully Yours: Monastic Music and Its Patrons’
09/2007 – 08/2009 Lecturer in Musicology at Goldsmiths College, University of London
Since 07/2007 Honorary Research Fellow at Prifysgol Bangor University
01 – 07/2007 Non-Stipendiary Lecturer in Music at St Peter's College, Oxford
09 – 12/2006 Retained Lecturer in Music at Magdalen College, Oxford
09/2001 – 06/2002 Copy editor at record company Orfeo International Music GmbH, Munich
Press, publicity and reviews
Reviews for History in Mighty Sounds: Musical Constructions of German National Identity, 1848-1914:
"Certainly makes for an impressive opening volume. (...) A very well-researched, cogently argued, as well as sympathetic, treatment of a fascinating subject, equally fruitful for the historian and the musicologist, and perhaps still more so for the scholar and reader who would be both." MUSIC AND LETTERS
"This work is a valuable contribution for anyone wishing to chart the trends and developments of German music during a crucial era." GERMAN HISTORY
"Eichners Buch bietet eine hervorragende, klar geschriebene Einführung in die Thematik und ein breites Panorama an Beispielen mit einer Vielzahl neuer Fakten, Schlussfolgerungen und Querbezüge. Besonders hervorzuheben ist die gelungene Verbindung von einfühlsamer Werkanalyse und kulturgeschichtlicher Kontextualisierung." DIE TONKUNST
"Eichner's thesis is ambitious. The book, after all, is designed to be as much about nationalism as it is about musicology; she even classifies it as a 'study into German national identity' (...), rather than a study of music per se. To that end, the introduction is an impressive assault on the ivory towers of German historiography. Eichner demonstrates formidable understanding of the forces at play in the pre-unification era, and her citations reflect a mastery of the relevant historiography. Once the text wades into the arcane detail of German musicology, Eichner is clearly on familiar ground. She demonstrates deep understanding of and passion for her chosen field. (...) this work is a valuable contribution for anyone wishing to chart the trends and developments of German music during a crucial era." GERMAN HISTORY
Follow me on Twitter: @BarbaraEichner
Academia profile: http://oxfordbrookes.academia.edu/BarbaraEichner