Music

Danuta Mirka

Primary position:
Reader in Music

Background

The University of Southampton
Dr Danuta Mirka's photo

I am the Head of Research in Music, and Research Fellow of the Leverhulme Trust. Due to my current research fellowship I do not offer any courses in the academic years 2014/15 and 2015/16. In the past I taught the first-year core music history survey (Antique Music Roadshow 2: Materials of Music History, 1750–1900) and elective second- and third-year courses in theory and analysis of eighteenth-century music (Music and Rhetoric, Musical Topics of the Eighteenth Century). I also taught analytical techniques to master’s students, and served as their academic advisor and personal tutor in my capacity as the MMus Programme Co-ordinator.

Apart from classroom teaching I have supervised undergraduate and graduate dissertations in my areas of interest and expertise, which include music theory and analysis, music semiotics, eighteenth-century music and Polish music since 1950. These interests are reflected in my publications, including the award-winning Metric Manipulations in Haydn and Mozart and The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory. I welcome master’s and PhD candidates interested in theory and analysis of eighteenth-century music, topic theory, and analysis of meter and rhythm.

Research

Research Interests

My early research focused on Polish contemporary music. It originated in my undergraduate study of music theory at the Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice and doctoral studies in the areas of music semiotics and structuralism at the University of Helsinki. In my dissertation/book, The Sonoristic Structuralism of Krzysztof Penderecki (1997), I challenged the common view of Penderecki’s compositional procedures by reconstructing the technique employed in the composer’s ‘sound mass’ compositions of the early 1960s.

From Polish contemporary music, I moved to the study of musical communication in the eighteenth century. Thanks to a Fulbright Research Grant, I began pursuing this line of research at Indiana University, Bloomington, and continued to do so during my research fellowships at the University of Freiburg, Germany. In 2005 I organised the workshop ‘Communicative Strategies in Music of the Late Eighteenth Century’, which brought together Anglo-American and German music theorists and historians interested in diverse aspects of musical communication from its cognitive bases to social and cultural contexts. The collection of articles Communication in Eighteenth-Century Music (2008), which I edited together with Kofi Agawu, is based upon papers presented at that workshop. Building upon this event and involving some of its participants, I designed and edited The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory (2014). The volume defines musical topics as cross-references between styles and genres. Grounding this concept in eighteenth-century music theory, aesthetics and criticism, it relates topical analysis to other methods of music analysis conducted from the perspectives of composers, performers and listeners.

In my own study of musical communication I am particularly interested in integrating aspects of historical music theory with those of contemporary music-theoretical research, including cognitively-oriented music theory and cognitive musicology. In my book Metric Manipulations in Haydn and Mozart: Chamber Music for Strings, 1787–1791 (2009), which won the 2011 Wallace Berry Award from the Society for Music Theory, I apply this approach to the study of meter and rhythm. The subsequent book will be a study of hypermeter and phrase structure in late eighteenth-century music and feature a similar integration of perspectives from historical and contemporary music theory. My current research toward this book is supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

Affiliate research group:  Musicology and Ethnomusicology

Biography

I studied music theory in Poland and earned a PhD in musicology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. In 2001–2 I was Senior Fulbright Fellow at Indiana University, Bloomington, and in 2002–6 Humboldt Fellow and Research Fellow of the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) at the University of Freiburg, Germany, where I obtained my further qualification (Habilitation). Before coming to the University of Southampton, I taught at the Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland.

I am the co-editor, with Kofi Agawu, of Communication in Eighteenth-Century Music (2008) and the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory (2014). My books include The Sonoristic Structuralism of Krzysztof Penderecki (1997) and Metric Manipulations in Haydn and Mozart: Chamber Music for Strings, 1787–1791 (2009), which won the 2011 Wallace Berry Award of the Society for Music Theory. My articles have appeared in such scholarly journals as The Journal of Musicology, Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Online, Eighteenth-Century Music, The American Journal of Semiotics, Semiotica, and The Musical Quarterly. A former vice president of the Society for Music Analysis, I serve on the editorial boards of the Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Spectrum, Music Theory and Analysis and Eighteenth-Century Music.

Contact

Dr Danuta Mirka
Building 2 Department of Music University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ UK During academic years 2014–15 and 2015–16, please use the following address: Sundgauallee 39 79114 Freiburg Germany

Room Number: 2/2005

Telephone: (023) 8059 3721
Facsimile: (023) 8059 3197
Email: D.Mirka@soton.ac.uk