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Stephen Rose


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Personal profile

Research interests

Stephen Rose joined the Royal Holloway Music Department in 2005, previously holding a Research Fellowship at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He specialises in music between 1500 and 1750, particularly in German-speaking lands and in England. His research focuses on five areas:

  • digital musicology; he led an AHRC-funded project A Big Data History of Music, a collaboration with the British Library which analysed musical-bibliographical records as Big Data.


He is the joint editor of the Oxford University Press journal Early Music (having served as reviews editor 2004 to 2015); he serves on the Advisory Council of Bach Network UK; he is a sub-panellist in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework; and he is active as an organist and keyboard continuo player.


Since 2016 he has been Director of Research in Royal Holloway's Music Department. In this role he led Music's submission to REF 2021 (jointly with Drama); he develops and implements research strategy, and mentors colleagues in their research plans and grant applications. From 2019 to 2021 he was also Co-Director of Research in the School of Performing & Digital Arts. Previously, as Director of Undergraduate Studies, he designed and implemented a new BMus programme structure. He has also held the role of Director of Exams in Music. 


He teaches on the core undergraduate History of Music and Theory & Analysis courses, and leads courses on Digital Tools for Music Studies, J. S. Bach: Context and Reception, Music and Society in Purcell’s London, The Art and Craft of 18th-Century Composition, and Baroque Performance Practice. He teaches the MMus courses Techniques of Historical Musicology and Techniques of Performance Studies. 


He has successfully supervised eleven PhD students to completion, and currently has a further six PhD students. He has supervised collaborative PhDs with the British Library and the Foundling Museum. His PhD students work on such topics as:

  • music at the convents of exiled English Catholics c.1700;
  • concerts, commerce and charity in Georgian London;
  • servants and the sociology of 18th-century English music-making;
  • the transmission of French styles of performance in England c.1700;
  • the theological and intellectual contexts of Johann Kuhnau's sacred music;
  • music and charity schools in 18th-century England;
  • music and politics at the court of Elizabeth I;
  • music and confessional identity in 16th-century Heidelberg; 
  • music-cultural exchange between Rome and the British Isles in the late 17th century;
  • Christophe Plantin as music printer and distributor;
  • iconography of early modern Italian women making music;
  • pitch organisation in 17th-century Italian ensemble music;
  • the 18th-century composers Johann Georg Roellig and Johann Christian Roellig;
  • keyboard arrangements and the rise of the musical canon in England and German-speaking lands, 1750-1800;
  • antiquarianism and amateur musicians in 18th-century England;
  • sacred music and print culture in Jacobean and Caroline England;
  • the Bergreihen in 16th-century German lands. 


  • cultural exchange
  • music
  • musicology
  • performance practice
  • book history
  • print culture
  • creativity
  • authorship
  • Selfhood
  • Social History
  • early modern
  • England
  • music history
  • Bach
  • Purcell
  • early music
  • editing
  • Schein
  • Kuhnau
  • Schelle
  • Leipzig