DPhil, 2015-18

The Tunebooks of JB Malchair, Oxford, c.1770-1812

From the 1770s until his death JB Malchair (1730-1812), a German-born musician and artist living in Oxford, collected traditional tunes of various nations. His sources ranged from acquaintances at the University to (on at least one occasion) the whistling of a passer-by. Malchair’s collection includes 925 tunes spread across three manuscripts (two in Malchair’s hand and one set of arrangements by William Crotch), possibly with a handful of others unattributed in publications by Crotch.

By comparing his collection with other tunebooks of the period I intend to show that Malchair’s work stands apart from that of his contemporaries in both content and function. Moreover, Malchair’s work represents a collecting practice in the eighteenth century that has not previously been studied, therefore as well as considering the collection’s musical distinction I will put his collecting aims and methods in historical context.

Funding and Prizes
I am very grateful to have received the following awards to support this research:
• Hélène La Rue Scholarship in Music, 2015-18
• Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Oxford Centre for Life-Writing Bursary, 2017-18
• Institue of Historical Research, Friends/Ruddock/Bates Bursary, 2017-8
• Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust grant, 2017, 2016, 2015
• Estella Canziani Post-Graduate Bursary for Research (The Folklore Society), 2016
• St Cross College Travel and Research Grant, 2017, 2016, 2015
• University of Oxford Music Faculty Graduate Research Award, 2017

I have also been awarded the following prizes since starting my doctorate:
• Humanities Poster Competition: Third Prize, 2016
• Inez Oliver Essay Prize: Highly Commended, 2016

More information

Alice's published work on Malchair
Research posters relating to this project
Other resources available online