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Dr Barbara Eichner

DPhil (Oxford), MA (LMU Munich)

Senior Lecturer in Music

School of Arts

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment

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Phone number: +44 (0)1865 484986


Location: Richard Hamilton Building

Barbara Eichner is Senior Lecturer in Music with an active teaching and research portfolio. Her main areas of expertise are the music of the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is also Subject Co-ordinator for the undergraduate Music programme.

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.

Modules taught

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.

Research impact

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)

Further information

For further information and downloadable papers and publications please visit my Academia profile.


  • Eichner B, History in mighty sounds: musical constructions of German national identity, 1848-1914, Boydell & Brewer (2012)
    ISBN: 9781843837541

Journal articles

Book chapters

  • Eichner B, 'Musikalisches Mit- und Gegeneinander in Regensburg im 16. Jahrhundert' in Wagner C, Delarue D (ed.), Michael Ostendorfer und die Reformation in Regensburg, Schnell & Steiner (2017)
    ISBN: 978-3795432249
  • Eichner B, 'A new light on the biography of Johannes Nucius' in Gancarczyk P (ed.), Ars musica and its contexts in medieval and early modern culture, Liber Pro arte (2016)
    ISBN: 9788392343844
  • Eichner B, 'Wagner in London and the Quest for an English National Opera' in Stollberg A, Rentsch I, Gerhard A (ed.), Gefühlskraftwerke für Patrioten? Wagner und das Musiktheater zwischen Nationalismus und Globalisierung, Königshausen & Neumann (2016)
    ISBN: 978-3-8260-5433-4
  • Eichner B, 'Eine Mittheilung an meine Freunde: Lebens- und Schaffensmythen in der letzten Zürcher Kunstschrift' in Fornoff C, Unseld M (ed.), Wagner - Gender - Mythen, Königshausen & Neumann (2015)
    ISBN: 978-3-8260-5729-8
  • Eichner B, 'Kirchenmusikerinnen zwischen Ausgrenzung und Professionalisierung' in Körndle F, Kremer J (ed.), Der Kirchenmusiker. Berufe - Institutionen - Wirkungsfelder, Laaber (2015)
    ISBN: 978-3-89007-693-5
  • Eichner B, 'Chorwerke' in Werbeck W (ed.), Richard Strauss Handbuch, Metzler, Bärenreiter (2014)
    ISBN: 9783761820582
    Abstract Website
  • Eichner B, 'Getting proper-ly started: Heinrich Isaac's Choralis Constantinus at the Benedictine Abbey of Neresheim' in Heinrich isaac and polyphony for the proper of the mass in the late middle ages and the renaissance, Turnhout Brepols Publishers (2011)
    ISBN: 9782503542492
    Abstract Website
  • Eichner B, '"Though english not an infidel". Britinnen in Rom zwischen Sixtina und Salon' in Sabine Meine, Rebecca Grotjahn (ed.), "Dahin!..." Musikalisches Reiseziel Rom: Projektionen und Realitäten, Georg Olms Verlag (2011)
    ISBN: 9783487147086
  • Eichner B, 'Musizieren und Komponieren in süddeutschen Frauen - und Männerklostern. Bedingungen und Begrenzungen' in Susanne Rode-Breymann (ed.), Musikort Kloster: kulturelles Handeln von Frauen in der frühen Neuzeit, Böhlau Verlag (2009)
    ISBN: 9783412203306
  • Eichner B, 'In Schönheit sterben Frederick Delius' "A Village Romeo and Juliet"' in Frederick Delius, edition text+kritik (2008)
    ISBN: 9783883779522


  • Eichner B, review of Das mehrstimmige Repertoire der Benediktinerabtei St. Ulrich und Afra in Augsburg (1549-1632), in Jahrbuch des Vereins für Augsburger Bistumsgeschichte (2016)
    ISSN: 9783959760676 eISSN: 9783959760676
  • Eichner B, review of Alexander J. Fisher, Music, Piety, and Propaganda: The Soundscapes of Counter-Reformation Bavaria, in Renaissance Studies 30 (5) (2015) pp.784-787
    ISSN: 0269-1213 eISSN: 0269-1213
  • Eichner B, review of Beghinae in Cantu Instructae: Musical Patrimony From Flemish Beguinages (middle Ages - Late 18th C.), in Music and Letters 92 (2012) pp.639-641
    ISSN: 0027-4224 eISSN: 0027-4224
  • Eichner B, review of Hidden Sounds. Inventory of Traditional Hand-written Music From the Luneburger Convent to About 1550. With a Presentation of Music Iconography From Ulrike Volkhardt., in Music and Letters 91 (2010) pp.412-413
    ISSN: eISSN:

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’

Other experience

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

Further information

Follow me on Twitter: @BarbaraEichner

Academia profile: