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Professor Trevor Herbert


Trevor Herbert is a former foundation scholar of the College. He was a trombone player (modern and period instruments) with various orchestras and ensembles, particularly the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, the Taverner Players and the Wallace Collection.  He is Emeritus Professor of Music at the Open University where he developed a global reputation as an expert on the history and performance practices of brass instruments.

The scope of his research, which is characterised by a strong cultural history theme, runs from the middle ages to the modern period and includes jazz and vernacular music.  His books include The British Brass Band: A Musical and Social History (Oxford 2000), The Trombone (Yale 2006), and Music and the British Military in the Long Nineteenth Century (Oxford 2013, with Helen Barlow); and he is the joint editor of both the Cambridge Companion to Brass Instruments (1997) and the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Brass Instruments (2018).  He is a prolific contributor to the world’s major music reference works. His book on research method, Music in Words: A Guide to Researching and Writing about Music (ABRSM and Oxford), has had three editions, and he is joint editor of The Cultural Study of Music: A Critical Introduction (Routledge 2003; 2nd edition 2012).  He has been the recipient of various awards and prizes, including several AHRC and British Academy awards.

He was the 2002 recipient of the Christopher Monk Award of the Historic Brass Society and was awarded the Anthony Baines Prize of the Galpin Society in 2014. In 2016 he was elected a fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. 

Selected publications

Herbert T, Myers A & Wallace J (eds.) (forthcoming), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Brass Instruments, Cambridge University Press [ISBN 9781107180000].

Herbert T & Barlow H (2013), Music and the British Military in the Long Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press [ISBN 9780199898312].

Herbert T (2013), Brass and military bands in Britain - performance domains, the factors that construct them and their influence, in Reily S & K Brucher (eds.), Brass Bands of the World: Bands: Militarism, Colonial Legacies, and Local Music Making (SOAS Musicology Series) (pp. 33-54), Ashgate [ISBN 9781409444220].

Herbert T (2006), The Trombone, Yale University Press [ISBN 9780300100952].

Herbert T (2011), "…men of great perfection in their science…": the trumpeter as musician and diplomat in England in the later fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Historic Brass Society Journal, 23, 1-23.

Herbert T (2012), Music in Words: A Guide to Researching and Writing about Music (2nd ed.), Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Publishing [ISBN 9781848491007], (US edition 2009 Oxford University Press [ISBN 9780199888320]).

Herbert T (ed.) (2000), The British Brass Band: A Musical and Social History, Oxford University Press [ISBN 9780198166986].

Faculties / departments: Research

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Professor Trevor Herbert

Professor of Music Research