Dean of Music, Humanities and Media
Thomas’ research includes the history of music and its contexts in the late medieval and early modern periods (broadly 1400-1650) as well as music of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century, particularly of the Austro-German tradition. I am also interested in interdisciplinary approaches regarding music and art, music and literature, music and material culture in these historical periods.
Tel: 01484 472359
Thomas Schmidt is Professor of Musicology and Dean of the Faculty of Music, Humanities and Media at the University of Huddersfield. He studied Musicology, History and Italian literature at the universities of Heidelberg and Chapel Hill (North Carolina), completed a PhD on Felix Mendelssohn's musical aesthetics and his Habilitation on text declamation in the fifteenth-century motet. In 2004-2005 he was Visiting Professor in Frankfurt; 2005-2012 Professor and Chair of Music at Bangor University; and 2012-2017 Professor of Music at Manchester, from 2015 additionally holding the position of Head of the Division of Art History, Drama and Music; he retains an Honorary Professorship at Manchester. In 2017, he took up his current post at the University of Huddersfield.
Thomas' research interests lie in two principal areas: polyphonic music of the 15th and 16th centuries, and instrumental music of the late 18th and 19th centuries. In the first area, he has worked on questions of word-music relationships, with a monograph on text underlay in the 15th-century motet published in 2003. He also has a long-standing interest in the materiality, creation and transmission of polyphonic sources from this period; this latter interest has resulted in a number of articles and book chapters, a facsimile edition of the 'Anne Boleyn' music book (2017) and most importantly in a major AHRC project ‘Production and Reading of Music Sources, 1480-1530’ (www.proms.ac.uk). As a member of the editorial board of the leading German music encyclopaedia Die Musik in Geschichte and Gegenwart, he has authored almost 100 articles on Renaissance topics and composers for this work. In the Classic-Romantic period, his focus has been on the composer Felix Mendelssohn, with a monograph on the aesthetics of his instrumental music published in 1996. Since then, he has contributed to the new Complete Edition of the composer's works, with his editions of the three major symphonies (the 'Scottish' in 2005, the 'Italian' in 2010/11 and the 'Reformation' in 2017). His interest in instrumental music of the period more generally has resulted in a number of publications on Mendelssohn, Mozart, Onslow, Pleyel and Lortzing, as well as in a textbook on the history of the sonata (German edition in 2006, English edition in 2011). He is currently writing a monograph on timbre and texture in nineteenth-century chamber music.