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Dr Wiebke Thormahlen

Wiebke Thormählen joined the Royal College of Music in September 2013 as Area Leader in History.

Her research, previously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and The Austrian Academic Exchange Service, explores the formulation of music as a language of emotions and its particular role in educational theories and policies since the eighteenth century. Having worked on aesthetic and educational ideals in Viennese salons of the late 18th century during her PhD, she now focusses on Britain in the late Georgian period, exploring music in domestic settings with a particular focus on arrangements of large-scale works, and domestic devotional music. Her interest in music as a social activity extends outwards from the domestic to the development and meaning of amateur choral societies in England.

She has contributed articles and reviews to the Journal of Musicology, Eighteenth-Century Music, Early Music, Notes, Acta Mozartiana and Neues Musikwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch and is currently working on a book exploring the meaning of different forms of “musical engagements” in early 19th-century London.

Wiebke is a Co-Investigator on Music , Home and Heritage, Sounding the Domestic in Georgian Britain,  a three year AHRC -funded research project with the University of Southampton.

Selected publications

Thormählen W (forthcoming), Sound, music and narrative: The disenchantment of music in the twentieth century, in J Damousi & J Davidson (eds.) Bloomsbury Cultural History of Emotions, Vol. 6, The Twentieth Century (pp. 77-122), Bloomsbury [ISBN 9781472515063].

Thormählen W (forthcoming), Perceptions of music, dance and emotions in nineteenth-century Europe, in S Matt (ed.), Bloomsbury Cultural History of Emotions, Vol. 5; The Age of Romanticism, Revolution and Empire, Bloomsbury [ISBN 9781472515063].

Thormählen W (forthcoming), ‘Circulation (incl. Arrangements)’ and ‘London & England’, in C Clark & S Day-O’Connell (eds.), The Cambridge Haydn Encyclopedia, Cambridge University Press [ISBN 9781316422847].

Thormählen W (2015), The muse as hero(ine): gender and creative process in Hildegard von Hohenthal, in T Irvine, W Thormählen & O Wiener (eds.), Musikalisches Denken im Labyrinth der Aufklärung: Wilhelm Heinse’s Hildegard von Hohtenthal (pp. 187-206), Are Musikverlag [ISBN 9783924522506].

Thormählen W (2015), Vom Hören und Singen: Musik als Medium der Sensibilisierung, in B Neumann & B Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp (eds.), Themenheft: Emotionen, Wissen und Aufklärung: Gefühlskulturen im Großbritannien des 18. Jahrhunderts, Das Achtzehnte Jahrhundert, Deutsche Gesellschaft für die Erforschung des Achtzehnten Jahrhunderts, Jhg. 39 Heft 2 (pp. 221-232), Wallstein Verlag [ISBN 978-3-8353-1697-3].

Thormählen W (2014), Lamenting at the piano: domestic music-making and well-being in eighteenth-century Britain, in W Sandberger (ed.), Göttinger Händelbeiträge: The Power of Musick: Music and Politics in Georgian Britain (pp. 144-160), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht [ISBN 9783647278322].

Thormählen W (2014), Physical distortion, emotion and subjectivity: musical virtuosity and body anxiety, in J Kennaway (ed.), Music and the Nerves, 1700 – 1900 (pp. 191-215), Palgrave Macmillan [ISBN 978-1-137-33950-8].

Thormählen W (2010), Playing with art: musical arrangements as educational tools in van Swieten's Vienna, Journal of Musicology, 27 (3), 342-76 [DOI].

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Faculties / departments: Programmes, Research

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Dr Wiebke Thormahlen

Area Leader in History