Julie Brown

Julie Brown


  • TW20 0EX

Personal profile

Personal profile

Julie Brown's research broadly concerns the cultural and media histories of twentieth-century music. Her work on Schoenberg and Bartók tackles questions of race, gender and ideological Wagnerism; her work on film and television music likewise considers gender, but also screen manifestations of music-as-idea and silent film music. Among her publications are Schoenberg and Redemption (Cambridge, 2014), Bartók and the Grotesque (Ashgate, 2007), and the edited collection Western Music and Race (Cambridge, 2007), which was awarded the Ruth A. Solie Award by the American Musicological Society. She is contributing editor, with Annette Davison, of The Sounds of the Silents in Britain (Oxford University Press, 2013), and with Nicholas Cook and Stephen Cottrell for Defining the Discographic Self: ‘Desert Island Discs’ in Context (Oxford University Press, 2017), which followed a jointly-convened conference about the famous BBC Radio 4 programme at the British Academy. She also serves on the editorial board of the scholarly journal Twentieth-Century Music, and on the advisory boards of Music, Sound, and the Moving Image and Music Analysis.

Julie's current research focusses on the cultural and technological contexts of silent and transition film performance. As Principal Investigator for the AHRC-funded Research Network 'The Sounds of Early Cinema in Britain' she co-organised four separate events between 2009 and 2011; the final conference, held in April 2011 in conjunction with London's Barbican Cinema and the British Silent Film Festival, included a live performance (conductor, Philip Ellis) of her re-synchronisation of Frederick Laurence's original 1925 British score for the 40-minute soviet film Morozko [Father Frost] (Yuri Zhelyabuzhsky, 1924). She was also Principal Investigator for a British Academy Research Development Award entitled '"Film fitting" in Britain, 1913-1926'. In November 2013 Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra (conductor, Andrew Gourlay) performed her recreation of the music used for original screenings of the silent film The Epic of Everest (J.B. Noel, 1924). The score was then recorded and included on a DVD release of the BFI's recent restoration of the film print, along with original live prelude music and other musical extras curated by Julie.  

Julie is now working on articles on the performance of early travelogue films, as well as a monograph on cinema performance in 1920s Britain, focussing on the role played by the extended Goossens family.

She teaches a range of courses at Royal Holloway and welcomes applications from potential PhD students on film music and early twentieth-century music topics.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


  • film music
  • silent film