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J. P. E. Harper-Scott

J. P. E. Harper-Scott (born 3 December 1977[1]) is a British musicologist and formerly Professor of Music History and Theory at Royal Holloway, University of London.[2] He is a General Editor of the Cambridge University Press series ‘Music in Context’.[3]

. . . J. P. E. Harper-Scott . . .

John Paul Edward Harper-Scott was born in Easington, County Durham. He was educated at Shotton Hall Comprehensive School, and received an undergraduate degree at Durham University. He subsequently received a D.Phil at the University of Oxford in 2004, for a thesis “Elgar’s musical language : analysis, hermeneutics, humanity”.[4] He worked at the University of Nottingham and the University of Liverpool before moving to Royal Holloway, University of London.[5] In September 2021, Harper-Scott announced his resignation from Royal Holloway over dissatisfaction with the increasing politicisation of music in academia and attempts to ‘decolonise’ the curriculum.[citation needed]

Known for his work on musical modernism, he has argued that Edward Elgar should be considered ‘a subtle and important harbinger of twentieth-century modernism’.[6] He has also established a link between techniques of music analysis and the theories of Jacques Lacan.[7] According to Lawrence Kramer, Harper-Scott’s The Quilting Points of Musical Modernism poses a challenge to musicology: he writes that ‘the book is a sweeping indictment of musicology and a manifesto for its transformation. Its core thesis is that musicology today is mired in a neoliberal late-Capitalist swamp from which it blindly ignores “our most pressing present concern – to escape the horrors of the present by imagining the transformations of a coming society”.’[8] One result of his work is that ideology critique, traditionally associated in musicology with the philosopher Adorno (1903–69), ‘has a significant role to play in the future of the discipline’.[9]

. . . J. P. E. Harper-Scott . . .

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. . . J. P. E. Harper-Scott . . .

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