Staff Profile of Robert Pascall

Robert Pascall
Research Professor
01248 382181


Robert Pascall was born in Colwyn Bay 1944, studied at Oxford 1962-8 with John Caldwell, Egon Wellesz and Sir Jack Westrup, where he was organ scholar at Keble College; doctoral thesis: Formal Principles in the Music of Brahms. He joined the Department of Music at Nottingham University in 1968, serving as Professor and Head of Music there 1988-98. In 1998 he was appointed Professor of Music and Head of the School of Music at Bangor University, retiring in 2005, since when he has been delighted to work for both his universities, at Bangor as part-time Research Professor and at Nottingham as part-time Professor of Music.

My teaching has been in music history, analysis, criticism, editing, harmony and counterpoint, keyboard skills, and performance practice. Several of my PhD students currently hold appointments in universities, including Sarah Callis, David Huron, Mary Ingraham, Martin Leigh, Ellen Townsend. I have given visiting lectures in America, Austria, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Malta, including a recent seminar series on editing at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. I have broadcast on national radio in Britain, Canada, Germany, Holland, and I collaborate with performing artists on historically informed performances of Brahms’s music, including Thomas Dausgaard, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Roger Norrington, Elizabeth Wallfisch.

I founded the International Conference on 19th-century Music, directing the First and Ninth at Nottingham (1978, 1996). I was Chair of the Editorial Board of the Journal Music Analysis 1989-2002, President of the Society for Music Analysis 1996-2000; and am British Corresponding Director of the American Brahms Society 1983-, stellvertretender Vorsitzender (Vice-Chair) of the Johannes Brahms Gesamtausgabe (New Johannes Brahms Complete Edition) 1991-. I founded the series Papers in Musicology (Nottingham 1991-) and Bangor Monographs in Musicology (Bangor 2003-).

My writings are on music from J. S. Bach to Arnold Schoenberg, with primary focus on the music of Brahms, and I work as historian, analyst, and editor.


Main Publications

since December 2000 include:


Johannes Brahms: Symphonie Nr.2 D-Dur Opus 73 [with Michael Struck] (Johannes Brahms Gesamtausgabe: Henle, Munich 2001).

Brahms: Symphonie Nr.2 D-Dur Opus 73: Urtext (Henle, Munich 2005) - study score of the above, with new Introduction and Critical Report.

Johannes Brahms: Symphonie Nr.3 F-Dur Opus 90 (Johannes Brahms Gesamtausgabe: Henle, Munich 2005).


‘Brahms underway to the Adagio of his Clarinet Quintet: A story of stylistic assimilation and enrichment’, in: Rezeption als Innovation: Festschrift für Friedhelm Krummacher, ed. Bernd Sponheuer (Kassel 2001).

‘Thematic Difference and Process in Brahms's Third Symphony: a Study in Cognitive Semiology’, in: Analyse et création musicales: Actes du Troisième Congrès Européen d’Analyse Musicale: Montpellier 1995 (Paris 2001).

‘Frühe Brahms Rezeption in England’, in: Internationaler Brahms-Kongress Gmunden 1997. Kongreß-Bericht, ed. Ingrid Fuchs (Tutzing 2001).

‘Desiderata der Brahmsforschung - Aufführungspraxis’, in: Internationaler Brahms-Kongress Gmunden 1997. Kongreß-Bericht, ed. Ingrid Fuchs (Tutzing 2001).

‘Das Apokalyptische in Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem: Begriff und musikalische Darstellung’ [with Philip Weller], in: Apokalypse. Symposion 1999 ed. Carmen Ottner (Vienna 2001).

‘”Vom Standpunkte des tiefreligiösen Menschen und des Künstlers”: Textverarbeitung und rhetorisch-szenische Darstellung in Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln von Franz Schmidt’ [with Philip Weller], in: Apokalypse. Symposion 1999, ed. Carmen Ottner (Vienna 2001).

 ‘Brahms, Johannes’, in: Oxford Composer Companions: Haydn, ed. David Wyn Jones (Oxford 2002).

‘Sources and Editions’, in: A Performers Guide to Music of the Romantic Period, ed. Anthony Burton (London 2002).

‘Theory and Practice: Schoenberg’s American Pedagogical Writings and the First Movement of the Fourth String Quartet, op.37', in:  Journal of the ArnoldSchönbergCenter 4/2002: ‘Arnold Schoenberg in America (Vienna 2002).

‘Models for Beginners in Composition - Structural Functions of Harmony - Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint - Fundamentals of Musical Composition’, in: Arnold Schönberg . Interpretationen seiner Werke, ed. Gerold Gruber (Laaber 2002).

‘Middle-out Music Analysis and its Psychological Basis’ [with Richard Parncutt], in: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition,Sydney 2002, ed. C. Stevens et al. (Adelaide 2002).

‘Arnold Schoenberg and radical guardianship’, in: Experiencing Tradition: Essays of Discovery, ed. Hinrich Siefken and Anthony Bushell (York 2003).

‘Flexible tempo and nuancing in orchestral music: understanding Brahms's view of interpretation in his Second Piano Concerto and Fourth Symphony’ [with Philip Weller], in: Performing Brahms: Early Evidence of Performance Style, ed. Michael Musgrave and Bernard D. Sherman (Cambridge 2003).

‘Kampf in der Werkstatt - Kampf um die Werkstatt: Spuren von Johannes Brahms’ kompositorischer Arbeit in der 2. Symphonie und ihre editorische Darstellung’ [with Michael Struck], in: Die Musikforschung 56.Jg. 2003, Heft 4.

‘”Lachner spricht echten Suitenton”: Franz Lachners Orchestersuiten im Kontext seiner Zeit’, in: Franz Lachner und seine Brüder: Hofkapellmeister zwischen Schubert und Wagner, ed. Stephan Hörner and Hartmut Schick; Münchener Veröffentlichungen zur Musikgeschichte, Bd. 63 (Tutzing 2006).

‘Brahms Underway to the “1st Symphony”: A Hidden Story of Concept Development’, in: Festschrift Otto Biba zum 60.Geburtstag, ed. Ingrid Fuchs (Tutzing 2006).

‘"Das Werkwerden des Werkes": Editing, Analysis, and the First Movement of Schoenberg’s Fourth String Quartet’ in: "Vom Erkennen des Erkannten". Musikalische Analyse und Editionsphilologie. Festschrift für Christian Martin Schmidt, ed. Friederike Wißmann, Thomas Ahrend and Heinz von Loesch (Wiesbaden/Leipzig 2007).