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Dr Rosemary Golding

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Profile summary

Professional biography

Rosemary Golding joined the Open University as an Associate Lecturer in 2009, and as Staff Tutor in Music in 2010. Rosemary studied for a BA and MSt at Merton College, Oxford, and completed her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research has focussed on the history of music as an academic discipline during the nineteenth century, and on the status of music and musicians, particularly through professional institutions and accreditation. More recently, she has begun work on a new project investigating the relationships between music, health and wellbeing in nineteenth-century Britain.

Rosemary is currently Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Arts. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Rosemary will be on maternity leave during the academic year 2015-16. Please allow additional time for responses to emails or contact an alternative member of the department.

Research interests

Rosemary’s research has extended to cover areas of institutional and cultural history of music in nineteenth-century Britain. She is interested in musical identities, and particularly in the history of the music profession. More recently she has written about organists and organ recitals, and professional organisation and accreditation in the 1890s. 

In 2013 her book, Music and Academia in Victorian Britain, was published by Ashgate. Building on work undertaken for the PhD, this book traces the development of music as a university subject at four British universities during the nineteenth century: Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and London.

Rosemary recently convened a conference on the Music Profession in Britain 1780-1920. Details of the papers can be found here:

Rosemary also has long-standing interests in the relationship between music and health, and in the historical perceptions of music's health-giving properties. This intersects with her work on the identities and discourse surrounding music in nineteenth-century Britain. She has begun work on a new project focussed around music in British asylums during the nineteenth century. Her research blog is available here:

Rosemary is keen to hear from students interested in any area of music in nineteenth-century Britain, in the social and institutional history of music, and in music education.


‘Organ Recitals, education, repertoire, and a new musical public in nineteenth-century Edinburgh’, in Ad Parnassum Vol. 12 no. 24 (October 2014), pp. 89-113.
‘Dynamics of Change’ in Times Higher Education no. 2122 (10-16 October 2013); published online as ‘Music and the ‘Mickey Mouse’ degree debate’
Music and Academia in Victorian Britain (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013).
 ‘(Re-)configuring the idea of the Conservatoire in late-nineteenth-century London’ in L. Sirch, M. Sita and M. Vaccarini (ed.), L’Insegnamento dei Conservatori, la Composizione e la Vita Musicale nell’Europa dell’Ottocento (Lucca: LIM, 2012), pp 141- 157.
‘Musical Chairs: the Construction of ‘Music’ in Nineteenth-Century British Universities’, in Nineteenth Century Music Review Vol. 6 (December 2009), pp. 19-39.

Teaching interests

Rosemary has worked as an Associate Lecturer on the introductory interdisciplinary module AA100, and the third-level music module AA302. As Staff Tutor she manages tuition on a range of modules across the Arts disciplines.

Rosemary has been module team chair for the Music MA modules A870 and A871 since September 2011. She has written two online units for the new Music Level 3 module A342. She supervises a number of PhD students, including topics in music and its social history in nineteenth-century Britain.

As Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching Rosemary has responsibilities across the faculty's curriculum, including developing new module content, teaching and assessment policy, employability and accessibility. 

Research Activity

Externally funded projects

Asylum Sounds: Music and its uses in British Asylums, 1780-1910

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Aug/201531/Jul/2016Wellcome Trust
This project is focussed on the nature of musical activity in British asylums c. 1780-1920. I hope to investigate both the nature of activity (asylum balls, ad-hoc music making, choirs and bands, concerts, etc.) and the ideas and discourse surrounding music’s therapeutic properties. Archives will cover both private and public institutions, chosen due to known musical links or a particular reputation for moral treatment: York, Norwich, Bethlem, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Surrey (Holloway and Brookwood).


Organ Recitals, education, repertoire, and a new musical public in nineteenth-century Edinburgh (2014-10)
Golding, Rosemary
Ad Parnassum. A Journal of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Instrumental Music, 12(24) (pp. 89-113)
Musical Chairs: the Construction of ‘Music’ in Nineteenth-Century British Universities (2009-12)
Golding, Rosemary
Nineteenth-Century Music Review, 6(2) (pp. 19-39)
Music and Academia in Victorian Britain (2013-08)
Golding, Rosemary
Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain
ISBN : 978-1-4094-5751-0 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Farnham
(Re)-configuring the idea of the Conservatoire in late-nineteenth-century London (2012)
Golding, Rosemary
In: Sirch, Licia; Sità, Maria Grazia and Vaccarini, Marina eds. L´insegnamento dei conservatori, la composizione e la vita musicale nell´Europa dell´Ottocento. Strumenti della Ricerca Musicale (19)
ISBN : 978870966947 | Publisher : Libreria Musicale Italiana | Published : Lucca