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Staff Profile of Dr Barbara Eichner

Barbara Eichner
Dr Barbara Eichner
Honrary Research Fellow, CREaM
01248 382181


  • Honorary research fellow.
  • CReaM


Barbara Eichner has been an honorary research fellow at Bangor University since 2008. She studied Musicology, German Literature and Scandinavian Studies at Munich and Southampton, and in 2006 obtained a DPhil from the University of Oxford with a thesis on nationalism in 19th-century German music. This study was published in 2012 as a monograph entitled History in Mighty Sounds: Musical Constructions of German National Identity, 1848–1914 (Woodbridge: Boydell).

Further research interests in 19th-century music include the operas of Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss and Ethel Smyth.

Barbara’s second area of research directly contributes to the Centre for Research in Early Music (CReaM): She currently investigates music as a gendered practice in South-German nunneries and monasteries between 1555 and 1632; this work has already resulted in several publications and the discovery of hitherto unknown and unedited music. In the near future she plans to bring together researchers from different countries and disciplines for an international project on ‘Monastic music around 1600’.

In addition to publications and regular appearances at national and international conferences, Barbara also disseminates her research to wider audiences through writing programme notes for Bavarian Radio, Munich, and appearing as guest speaker on BBC Radio 3 opera broadcasts.

You can follow Barbara’s work on academia, where you will find regularly updated information on papers and publications.


Barbara Eichner is currently Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, where she teaches modules on music history ranging from the first-year introduction to Western Music History to postgraduate seminars on 19th-century music. She also supervises a dissertation on the music of Arthur Sullivan and the question of a English national opera. You can find a list of her current teaching commitments on her Oxford Brookes profile page.


  • music and (German) national identity in the nineteenth century
  • Richard Wagner, especially the ‘romantic’ operas
  • gender studies, from nuns to male choirs
  • music in South-German nunneries and monasteries around 1600


a) Books

b) Articles and chapters (selection)

Early music

  • Getting Properly 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 Renaissance, ed. David Burn, Stefan Gasch (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011) (pp. 269–295).
  • ‘Sweet singing in three voices: a musical source from a South-German nunnery?’, Early Music 39/3 (August 2011), pp. 335–347.
  • ‘Musizieren und Komponieren in süddeutschen Frauen- und Männerklöstern. Bedingungen und Begrenzungen’, in Das Kloster. Ort kulturellen Handelns von Frauen in der frühen Neuzeit, ed. Susanne Rode-Breymann (Cologne, Weimar: Böhlau, 2009), pp. 93–115.
  • ‘Gottlieb Freiherr von Tuchers Kirchengesänge der berühmtesten älteren italiänischen Meister (1827/28) und die Wiederentdeckung der Alten Musik’, Musicologica austriaca 23 (2004), pp. 57–80.

Nineteenth-century music

  • ‘Though English not an infidel“: Britinnen in Rom zwischen Sixtina und Salon’, Jahrbuch Musik und Gender vol. 4: Musikalisches Reiseziel Rom, ed. Rebecca Grotjahn, Sabine Meine (Hildesheim et al.: Olms, 2011), pp. 33–43.
  • ‘Gender und nationale Identität in der bürgerlichen Männerchorbewegung des 19. Jahrhunderts’. Kompendium Musik und Gender, ed. Rebecca Grotjahn and Sabine Vogt (Laaber: Laaber, 2010), pp. 142–157.
  • ‘In Schönheit sterben: Frederick Delius’ A Village Romeo and Juliet’, Frederick Delius, ed. Ulrich Tadday (Munich: edition text+kritik, 2008) (Musik-Konzepte, NF 141/142), pp. 139–158.
  • ‘Vier Hochzeiten oder ein Todesfall: Die Inszenierung des Kudrun-Epos als Nationaloper’, in Bühnen der Politik. Die Oper in europäischen Gesellschaften im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, ed. Sven Oliver Müller, Jutta Toelle (Vienna & Munich: Oldenbourg, 2008), pp. 54–75.
  • ‘Rose Oil and Pineapples: Julius Cyriax’s Friendship with Wagner and the Early Years of the London Wagner Society’, together with Guy Houghton, The Wagner Journal i/2 (July 2007), pp. 19–49.
  • ‘In träumerischer Entrückung auf pfadlosen Wegen: Verwandlungsmusiken in Der Ring des Nibelungen und Parsifal’, in Studien zur Wertungsforschung 48, ed. Andreas Dorschel (Vienna, London, New York: Universal Edition, 2007), pp. 273–307.
  • ‘Singing the Songs of Scotland: the German Musician Johann Rupprecht Dürrner and Musical Life in Nineteenth-Century Edinburgh’, in Nineteenth-Century British Music Studies 3, ed. Peter Horton, Bennett Zon (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), pp. 171–191.

c) Encyclopaedia / dictionary contributions

  • ‘German identity’, ‘Lohengrin’, ‘Lohengrin’, ‘Elsa’ and ‘Ortrud’ for The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia, ed. Nicholas Vazsonyi (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2013).
  • ‘Ahlefeldt’, ‘Hoffnaß’, ‘Leonarda’, ‘Meyer-Baer’, ‘Cosima Wagner’, ‘Chorknabe’, ‘Kloster’, in Gender-Handbuch Musik, ed. Annette Kreutziger-Herr, Melanie Unseld, Florian Heesch (Kassel, Basel u.a.: Bärenreiter, 2009).
  • ‘Dürrner, Johannes (Rupprecht)’ and ‘Zenger, Max’ for Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart 2.
  • ‘Dürrner, Johann(es) Rupprecht)’ for New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians 2.

Recent research papers

The list below is a selection; for a more comprehensive list of conference papers with abstracts see Barbara’s profile on

  • November 2012, Wagner und das Musiktheater zwischen Nationalismus und Globalisierung, Bern / Switzerland: ‘Die Wagnerianer in London und die Suche nach der englischen Nationaloper’
  • October 2012, Strauss in Stuttgart, Stuttgart / Germany: ‘Spielt sie immer nur sich selbst? Einige Überlegungen zur Rolle der Zerbinetta’
  • July 2012, Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference, Nottingham: ‘Protecting the Muses, promoting the Church: Lassus’ Patrocinium musices reconsidered’
  • May 2012, annual conference of the Royal Musical Association: “Love to Death: Transforming Opera“, Cardiff: ‘One Apple a Day: Age and Ageing in Wagner’s Ring
  • January / February 2012, All Souls College, Oxford, and Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw / Poland: ‘Faithfully Yours: Monastic Music and Its Patrons’
  • July 2011, annual conference of the Royal Musical Association: Horizons, University of Sussex, Brighton: ‘Irony and/or apotheosis in finale of Ariadne auf Naxos
  • June 2011, symposium Meinrad Spieß in der süddeutschen Klostermusik des 18. Jahrhunderts, Schwabenakademie Irsee / Germany: ‘Musikpflege im Kloster Irsee im 17. Jahrhundert‘
  • November 2010, annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung, Rome / Italy: ‘Though English not an Infidel: Britinnen in Rom zwischen Salon und Sixtina’
  • October 2010, Opera and Nation. International Musicological Conference, Budapest / Hungary: ‘From Bestseller to Box Office Hit: German Opera in the Age of Historicism’
  • June 2010, European Sacred Music 1500–1800. New Approaches, Fribourg / Switzerland: ‘A New Song: The Introduction, Creation and Dissemination of Polyphonic Music in Early-Modern Monasteries’
  • October 2009, Directions in Musical Research, Institute of Musical Research, London: ‘The Swan on the Barricades: The Case of Lohengrin Reconsidered’
  • July 2009, 2000th Anniversary of the Battle in the Teutoburg Forest, Detmold / Germany: ‘Der erste (singende) Deutsche: Hermann der Cherusker in der Musik’
  • November 2008, Ethel Smyth (1858–1944) and her generation, Oxford: ‘Love, Death and the Sea: Ethel Smyth’s Three Moods of the Sea (1913) and other water music’
  • November 2008, Exploring National Identity in Music. Postgraduate Conference, Goldsmiths, London: Keynote Address ‘Music – Nation – Identity. Revisiting Some Key Issues from a German Perspective’
  • July 2008, Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference, Bangor: ‘“I never have heard sweeter singing in three voices”: The Tricinia Repertoire in Southern-German Nunneries’
  • June 2008, Interdisciplinary Seminary ‘Das Kloster. Ort kulturellen Handelns von Frauen in der Frühen Neuzeit’, Hanover: ‘Gender als Kategorie musikalischer Praxis in Männer- und Frauenklöstern der frühen Neuzeit’
  • November 2006, Päpstliches Liturgieverständnis im Wandel der Jahrhunderte, German Historical Institute, Rome / Italy: ‘Mulier taceat in ecclesia – Kirchenmusikalische Praxis von Frauen in der päpstlichen Gesetzgebung’
  • September 2006, Deutscher Historikertag, Constance / Germany: ‘Eisenmänner, Riesenweiber und edle Völkerchöre: Die deutsche Nation auf der Opernbühne’


  • appearances as guest presenter on BBC Radio 3 opera broadcasts
  • programme notes for the Symphony Orchestra, Radio Orchestra and Chorus of Bavarian Radio, Munich