James Davies

associate professor, music scholarship

An associate professor in the music department, James Davies was born in Cape Town, South Africa and earned his first degree (majoring in performance) in Johannesburg. He did post-graduate work at Gonville & Caius College at the University of Cambridge, where he was later a junior research fellow in Music. Davies' research interests include cultural performance, singers and voice, keyboard practice, anthropologies of listening, colonial melodrama, history of science, 19th-century physiology and sciences of the mind. He has published on such topics as colonial melodrama, diva-concepts, aging castrati, musical gift albums, histories of pianistic touch, township opera and danced Beethoven symphonies. Currently, Davies is exploring ways in which musicology might engage with historians of science in thinking about questions of physiology, neurology and physiognomy in musical performance. He is also working towards a cultural history of hands (particularly keyboard-playing hands) and voice (in relation to disciplines of vocal production) mostly in Paris and London.

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