Professor Stephen Rose

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 leads an AHRC-funded project A Big Data History of Music, a collaboration with the British Library which analyses musical-bibliographical records as Big Data.


Since 2016 he has been 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 member of the Peer Review College of the Arts and Humanities Research Council; and he is active as an organist and keyboard continuo player.


At Royal Holloway he has held the administrative roles of Director of Research, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Director of Exams in the Music Department.


He teaches on the core undergraduate History of Music and Theory & Analysis courses, and leads courses on 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 seven PhD students to completion, and currently has a further five PhD students. His PhD students work on such topics as:

  • 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;
  • servants and music in 18th-century England;
  • sacred music and print culture in Jacobean and Caroline England. 

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