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Dr Rosemary Golding

Rosemary Golding photo

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, on the status of music and musicians, particularly through professional institutions and accreditation, and on the relationships between music, health and wellbeing in nineteenth-century Britain. She has recently published a book on music in nineteenth-century English lunatic asylums (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), and is preparing a documentary history on music in nineteenth-century Britain for Routledge. 

As Staff Tutor in Music Rosemary has oversight of teaching in various Arts subjects, based in the central-south region of England. Rosemary was seconded from this role to the post of Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching in Arts between January 2014 and November 2015. She has contributed to Music modules including A342 (Central Questions in the Study of Music) and has served on module teams from level 1 to MA. Rosemary is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Rosemary currently works part-time; her usual core working days are Monday and Wednesday mornings, and all day Thursday and Friday.




Research interests

Rosemary’s research covers 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, professional organisation and accreditation in the 1890s, and music in lunatic asylums. 

Rosemary's current research draws on her 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. Her current project is focussed around music in British asylums during the nineteenth century and she has published a monograph on this subject, drawing on a rich body of archive material: Her research blog is available here:

Some other recent research has been published in a blog post here:

Rosemary recently published an edited collection of essays on the Music Profession in Britain 1780-1920. Details of the book and its contents can be found here:

In 2013 her first monograph, Music and Academia in Victorian Britain, was published by Ashgate. This book traces the development of music as a university subject at four British universities during the nineteenth century: Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and London. See

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

Selected Publications

For a full list please see the publications tab

Music and Moral Management in the Nineteenth-Century English Lunatic Asylum (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)

'Introduction' and 'Music teaching in the late-nineteenth century: a Professional Occupation?' in The Music Profession in Britain 1780-1920: New Perspectives on Status and Identity (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018)

'Seeking a Philosophy of Music in Higher Education: The Case of Mid-nineteenth Century Edinburgh' in Philosophy of Music Education Review Vol. 24 no. 2 (October 2016), pp. 191-212

‘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)

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 chaired the Music MA modules A870 and A871 between September 2011 and November 2014 and the second-level module A224 between August 2017 and February 2018. She has written two online units on research skills for the Music Level 3 module A342 and a case study for MA Music module A873. 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 in Arts (2014-15) Rosemary had responsibilities across the faculty's curriculum, including developing new module content, teaching and assessment policy, employability and accessibility. 

Externally funded projects

Asylum Sounds: Music and its uses in British Asylums, 1780-1910
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01 Jun 201531 Aug 2017WELLCOME Wellcome 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).


Music as Therapy for the ‘exceptionally wealthy’ at the Nineteenth-Century Ticehurst Asylum (2021)
Golding, Rosemary
Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle ((In Press))

‘Appeasing the unstrung mental faculties’: listening to music in nineteenth-century lunatic asylums (2020-12)
Golding, Rosemary
Nineteenth-Century Music Review, 17(3) (pp. 403-425)

The Society of Arts and the Challenge of Professional Music Education in 1860s Britain (2017-04-01)
Golding, Rosemary
Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, 38(2) (pp. 128-150)

Seeking a Philosophy of Music in Higher Education: The Case of Mid-nineteenth Century Edinburgh (2016-10-31)
Golding, Rosemary
Philosophy of Music Education Review, 24(2) (pp. 191-212)

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 Moral Management in the Nineteenth-Century English Lunatic Asylum (2021-09)
Golding, Rosemary
Mental Health in Historical Perspective
ISBN : 978-3-030-78524-6 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Cham, Switzerland

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

Music and Mass Education: Cultivation or Control? (2019-05-31)
Golding, Rosemary
In: Collins, Sarah ed. Music and Victorian Liberalism: Composing the Liberal Subject (pp. 60-80)
ISBN : 9781108628778 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press

Finding Musicology in nineteenth-century Britain: contexts and conflicts (2018-11-30)
Golding, Rosemary
In: Wald-Fuhrmann, Melanie and Keym, Stefan eds. Wege zur Musikwissenschaft / Paths to Musicology
ISBN : 9783761824429 | Publisher : Bärenreiter Verlag

Introduction (2018-03-26)
Golding, Rosemary
In: Golding, Rosemary ed. The Music Profession in Britain, 1780-1920: New Perspectives on Status and Identity (pp. 1-11)
Publisher : Routledge

Music teaching in the late-nineteenth century: a professional occupation? (2018-03-26)
Golding, Rosemary
In: Golding, Rosemary ed. The Music Profession in Britain, 1780-1920: New Perspectives on Status and Identity. Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain (pp. 128-148)
Publisher : Routledge

(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

The Music Profession in Britain, 1780-1920: New Perspectives on Status and Identity (2018-03-28)
Golding, Rosemary ed.
Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain
ISBN : 9781138291867 | Publisher : Routledge