Conferences and Events

Upcoming Events

Conference Organising:
Soldiers' Tales: Collecting and Sharing Military and Musical Heritage
As Event Organiser for the Musical Instruments Resource Network, Alice has helped put together this event with the Army Museums Ogilby Trust to present a day of training and skills sharing, focusing on issues surrounding the role of music and instruments in military contexts.
Find out more here.
Faculty of Music, University of Oxford
Thursday 22nd August 2019

Anthony Baines at the Bate Collection/Galpin Society
This paper will introduce Alice's research at the Bate Collection using the archive of Anthony Baines, the Collection's first curator, and a founding member of the Galpin Society.
Musical Instrument Collectors and Collections conference, University of Oxford
Friday 23rd August 2019

Conference organising:
Musical Instrument Collectors and Collections: three day international conference at the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, in collaboration with the Galpin Society
This conference explores how instruments are collected, displayed and conserved; who collects them, how and why; the relationships between makers, musicians, collectors, curators, dealers and scholars, as well as current research taking place in musical instrument collections in and outside museums around the world.
Find out more at
Faculty of Music, University of Oxford
Friday 23rd-Sunday 25th August 2019

Education at the Bate Collection, University of Oxford: Past, Present and Future
The Bate has always allowed and encouraged students to play the instruments in its collection, and the Anthony Baines Archive reveals how this aim was originally conceived and carried out. This paper will describe how instruments in the Collection are used by students today, and plans for the future.
Annual meeting of CIMCIM - International Committee for Museums and Collections of Instruments and Music
Wednesday 4th September 2019

Papers and workshops delivered

John Malchair, John and William Crotch, and eighteenth-century 'national music'.
'National music', what we often today call 'folk music', was collected by a range of people in the eighteenth century, including John Malchair and half-brothers William and John Crotch. Using their manuscript tunebooks, I described the sorts of tunes they collected and how they described and categorised them, and used marginalia in the tunebooks to reveal what they thought of the tunes they collected.
Traditional Tunes and Popular Airs conferenece, University of Sheffield
Saturday 8-Sunday 9th June 2019

John Malchair: Musician, Artist, and Teacher
John Malchair (1730-1812) was not only leader of the Oxford Music Room band, but also taught drawing to a range of undergraduates and others. In this talk, Alice gave examples of some of the rules Malchair set down in his art teaching, detailed Malchair’s network of pupils, and described how Malchair’s unpublished music collection might also be viewed as a teaching resource, particularly the fourth volume, which contains an introduction addressed to the reader. The talk was followed by a round table discussion.
Education in the Long Eighteenth Century Seminar,
Institute of Historical Research, London
Saturday 9th February 2019

John Malchair, William Crotch, and 'national music' in Oxford, 1790-1805.
This talk will describe the life of Oxford’s musicians in the late eighteenth century, and detail the friendship between Malchair and Crotch, as well as revealing for the first time their thoughts on the music they each collected, based on marginalia in their manuscript tunebooks.
Graduate Research Colloquium,
Faculty of Music, University of Oxford
Tuesday 29th January 2019

Historical Conceptions of Englishness
Alice chaired a roundtable discussion about what it meant to be 'English', and how this was understood both in England and elsewhere in the past.
Tuesday 20th November, Oxford Centre for Life Writing, Wolfson College, Oxford

The Anthony Baines Archive at the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments
An introduction to the archive, and Alice's new role as Research Associate at the Bate. This fascinating archive contains unpublished musical research covering a wide range of topics and periods: from European woodwind to Chinese strings, and from the medieval to the modern day.
Monday 12th November,
Musical Instruments Unwrapped: Telling Social Histories through Musical Instruments conference, St Cecelia's Hall, Edinburgh

The Life - and Times? - of John Malchair, 1730-1812
This paper presents the music of John Malchair alongside the important events of his day, and asks what light a knowledge of the latter sheds on out understanding of Malchair's life.
Biography and Public History conference, University of Nottingham
Wednesday 20th June 2018

It’s not what you know… John Malchair’s network of drawing pupils
In this paper Alice read extracts from Malchair’s treatise to reveal his teaching philosophy, showed examples of his artwork and that of his pupils, and discussed the networks Malchair built up through his teaching practice and how these fed into other areas of his life.
EAERN (Eighteenth-Century Arts Education Research Network) Colloquium, University of Glasgow
Wednesday 6th June 2018

The Tunebooks of J. B. Malchair: some conclusions
This presentation to members of the Music Faculty looked at the main conclusions of Alice's doctoral thesis, and asked whether a historical or musical approach brings most insight.
GRACIAS, Music Faculty, University of Oxford
Monday 14th May 2018

Eighteenth-century music collecting in England: where are all the women?
In this presentation Alice listed the female figures that have appeared in her research so far, and explored ways to balance the genders in a thesis focused on the work of one man.
Women's Studies Group Annual Workshop, Foundling Museum, London
Sunday 13th May 2018

How much evidence do you need?
A look at life writing from a historical perspective: how can you be sure that events – or thoughts or feelings – actually happened? This talk will use examples from the marginalia of John Malchair, William Crotch and their circle of musical friends in eighteenth-century Oxford.
Oxford Centre for Life Writing, Wolfson College, Oxford
Tuesday 13th February 2018

For the sake of difference: John Malchair’s tune comparisons, 1760-95
Traditional Tunes and Popular Airs, English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) at Cecil Sharp House, London
6th-7th October 2017

Music Across Borders: categorising ‘national music’ in eighteenth-century Oxford
Interdisciplinary conference, Borders, Boundaries, and Beyond in the Long Eighteenth-Century, University of Sheffield
Friday 21st April 2017

The Music of J. B. Malchair - stories and tunes from William Crotch's 'Malchair MS', including Malchair's own compositions, with live music provided by Alice Little (violin) and Danny Chapman (cello).
St Cross College, University of Oxford
Tuesday 14th March 2017

Seasonal Songs and Forgotten Tunes: an exploration of the song collections of Percy Manning - a composition workshop with an introduction to Manning's music collections.
Music Faculty, University of Oxford
Sunday 12th March 2017

Categorising ‘national music’ in eighteenth-century Oxford
Eighteenth-Century Research Seminar, University of Edinburgh
Wednesday 1st March 2017

Collecting Places: John Malchair’s drawings of eighteenth-century Oxford, in the context of his music collecting - including a chance to examine some of Malchair's artwork from the Ashmolean's collection.
Reading Images Seminar, Ashmolean Museum
Wednesday 15th February 2017

What did Oxford sound like in 1784? A musical snapshot based on the tune collections of J. B. Malchair
Graduate Seminar in History, University of Oxford
Wednesday 1st February 2017

How to Die: Victorian working-class attitudes towards death in broadside ballads
Death and Culture Conference, University of York
1st-3rd September 2016

Events convened and chaired

The Process of Publishing: a discussion
To support the music postdoctoral community in particular, Alice worked with TORCH to organise this special event on publishing for early career researchers. Professors Philip Bullock and Jo Quinn answered questions on issues including how to choose the right publisher for a monograph, how the process of publishing varies between publishing houses, and how early career researchers can meet the competing needs of specialist and generalist audiences.
Tuesday 26th February 2019

Seminar series: Instruments of the Eighteenth Century
During Hilary Term 2018, Alice convened a second series of seminars on the topic of 'Instruments of the Eighteenth Century', asking what can be gained by applying a musical lens to our research?

Seminar titles took the form 'Instruments of...', for example, 'Instruments of War' considering the experiences of conflict from the point of view of militia bands.

This series took place at the Bate Collection of Musical Instrument, and received funding from BSECS, and support from interdisciplinary TORCH network, RECSO (Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Studies, Oxford).

Click the image to view the poster for the second term of events - the first term's seminars are shown below; abstracts for each week in Hilary Term are available here.

Seminar series: Instruments of the Eighteenth Century
During Michaelmas Term 2017 Alice convened the first half of a series of seminars on the topic of 'Instruments of the Eighteenth Century'

Click the image to view the poster for the first series of seminars - the second term's events are given on the poster above; abstracts for each seminar in Michaelmas Term are available here.

Reviews are available to read as follows:
Instruments of War: Eamonn O'Keeffe on militia band instruments
Instruments of Emancipation: Francis Knights on keyboard instruments
Instruments of Love: Isobel Clarke and Douglas MacMillan on recorders
Instruments of Status: Dr Elizabeth Ford on flutes

Study Day and Reading Group: Cultures of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century Britain and Ireland
Humanities Centre, University of Oxford
Alice was convenor and chair.
Friday 17th February 2017, Reading Group 10th February

Click to view the event poster; and to read the detailed programme for the day, which includes the recommended reading provided by the speakers.

The Reading Group took place a week before the Study Day as a way to allow participants to consider and discuss the speakers' work in advance.

Comments relating to the day can be found under the #culturesofcollecting hashtag on Twitter; and a review was published on the RECSO blog.