Professor Bennett Zon

IAS Fellow (January – March 2007)

Bennett Zon is Professor  in Music at Durham University, with interests in British musical and intellectual culture of the long nineteenth century. He has published articles and reviews in numerous journals. Recent work appears in Representing India (Michael Franklin, ed., Routledge, 2006) and Europe, Empire and Spectacle in 19th-Century Britain (Rachel Cowgill and Julian Rushton, eds, Ashgate, 2006), and upcoming publications include essays in Nineteenth-Century Contexts (2007), Music and Orientalism in the British Empire, 1780-1940: Portrayal of the East (Ashgate, 2007) and The Cambridge History of World Music (CUP, 2008). Dr Zon is founder and General Editor of the Ashgate book series Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain and the international peer-reviewed journal Nineteenth-Century Music Review.

Professor  Zon’s The English Plainchant Revival (Oxford University Press, 1999) reconfigures our understanding of British music and worship by tracing it to the underground repertoire of eighteenth-century Roman Catholicism. In Music and Metaphor in Nineteenth-Century British Musicology (Ashgate, 2000), Professor Zon redraws conventional understandings of British musical history by situating them dialectically within prevailing aesthetic, religious and evolutionary currents. His forthcoming book Representing Non-Western Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain (University of Rochester Press, Eastman Studies in Music, 2007), funded in part by a Research Leave Grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, explores British perceptions of non-Western music and their roots in contemporary anthropological and evolutionary theories. Professor Zon’s current research focuses on evolutionary theories of genius and concepts of musical greatness, with a particular interest in Wagner. This work will be form part of the ‘Music and Evolutionary Thought’ conference which he is organizing jointly with the IAS and the Centre for Music and Science, Cambridge.