Benedict Taylor


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Music theory and analysis (especially Formenlehre and Neo-Riemannian theory/late-Romantic harmonic practice); late 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century music (especially relating to Mendelssohn and/or Hensel; German Romanticism; later 19th-c national traditions; British music); aesthetics and philosophy of music (especially temporality and subjectivity).

Personal profile


  Benedict is Reader in Music at the University of Edinburgh, where he teaches topics in the analysis, philosophy and history of music in the Reid School of Music and serves as Director of Research.  He received his MA and PhD from St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, subsequently holding fellowships at Heidelberg, Princeton and Berlin, and worked previously at Oxford as Lecturer in Music and Senior Research Fellow at Magdalen and New College.  

  Benedict’s research and teaching interests include musical temporality and subjectivity, theory and analysis (especially 19th-century form and late-Romantic harmonic practice), philosophy, and the history of music c. 1770–1945 (with particular focus on the Mendelssohns and German Romantic music, British music, and later nineteenth-century music).  He is the author of five monographs: the first, Mendelssohn, Time and Memory: The Romantic Conception of Cyclic Form, published by Cambridge University Press in 2011, offers the first substantial account of the development of cyclic form in the nineteenth century.  The second, The Melody of Time: Music and Temporality in the Romantic Era, is an analytical and philosophical study of the relation between music and time from Beethoven and Schubert to Franck and Elgar, published by Oxford University Press in 2015.  Another project explores the harmonic usage of late 19th-century composers outside or on the periphery of the Austro-German tradition, extending recent work in neo-Riemannian theory and the geometries of tonality into wider cultural issues pertaining to nationalist discourses and historiography. Some of this work was published in late 2016 as an RMA Monograph, Towards a Harmonic Grammar of Grieg’s Late Piano Music: Nature and Nationalism.  A further study, Arthur Sullivan: A Musical Reappraisal, appeared in August 2017 in Routledge’s Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain series.  His latest monograph, a critical study of the idea of musical subjectivity, focussing on the music of Robert Schumann, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.  He is the editor of Rethinking Mendelssohn (Oxford, 2020) and The Cambridge Companion to Music and Romanticism (2021), and the co-editor of a special issue of 19th-Century Music on subjectivity and song (spring 2017).  In addition, he has published on a broad range of music from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries in leading journals such as 19th-Century Music, Music & Letters, Music Theory Spectrum, Music Analysis, Journal of Music Theory, Journal of Musicology, Musical Quarterly, Cambridge Opera Journal, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, and Eighteenth-Century Music.

  Benedict was Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin in 2019–20, and has held fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt and Andrew W. Mellon Foundations.  He is the recipient of the Jerome Roche Prize from the Royal Musical Association for the article ‘Cyclic Form, Time and Memory in Mendelssohn's A minor Quartet, Op. 13’, Musical Quarterly, 93/1 (2010), which explored the relationship between musical form, time and memory from an analytical and phenomenological perspective.  Future projects include a Cambridge Music Handbook on Fanny Hensel's String Quartet (1834), due out in 2023; Fanny Hensel and Felix Mendelssohn in Context from Cambridge University Press (as co-editor); and a large-scale collaborative study of sonata form in the nineteenth century (with Steven Vande Moortele and Julian Horton).  He is currently co-editor of Music & Letters and also serves on the editorial board of Music Analysis.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Cambridge

Award Date: 23 Apr 2007

Master of Music, King's College London

Award Date: 15 Sept 2003

Master of Arts, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 28 Jun 2002


  • M Music
  • Analysis and Theory of Music
  • Temporality
  • Subjectivity
  • 19th-century music
  • British Music
  • Music and Philosophy
  • German Romanticism
  • BH Aesthetics


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