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Deirdre Loughridge

I completed my PhD in music history at the University of Pennsylvania. My first book – Haydn’s Sunrise, Beethoven’s Shadow: Audiovisual Culture and the Emergence of Musical Romanticism – is forthcoming in May, 2016 from University of Chicago Press. I teach courses on 18th– and 19th-century topics, music and visual media (including film music), and the history of music and technology.

My research focuses on music, listening, and aesthetics in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and especially their relationship to science and technology. In published articles, I have examined conjunctions of music and optical technology in opera, moving-picture entertainments and musical writings between 1770 and 1820, demonstrating that in this period music acquired metaphysical significance not only through developments in philosophy, but also in connection with new technologies for revealing or manufacturing other realms.  My forthcoming book extends this research, aiming both to ground the romantic metaphysics of music in material conditions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and to redress the absence of music from histories of audiovisual media. By drawing on the history of science and media studies, I apply an interdisciplinary approach to music history, recovering the social and technological conditions that shaped and gave meaning to works by Haydn, Beethoven, and other eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century composers.

My current work is aimed towards developing new perspectives on the long history of music and technology. Comparing cases of music-technological transition from across history provides insight into how and why certain changes have taken place. It also illuminates how the past continues to act upon the present – how the particular values and material conditions of earlier eras have been built into later technologies such as auto-tune, influencing not only the sound of our music but also what our tools help us and hinder us from doing.


Music 128 (The Symphony), Music 128 (Music & Technology: From Bone Flute to Auto-tune), Music 128 (Music Travels), Music 179 (Eighteenth-Century Origins), Music 179 (Film Music), Music 179 (Looking at Music: 1750-1850), Music 220 (Audiovisual Histories), Music 220 (Music & Technology: Historical and Critical Approaches)



Haydn’s Sunrise, Beethoven’s Shadow: Audiovisual Culture and the Emergence of Musical Romanticism (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming May 2016)


“Making, Collecting and Reading Music Facsimiles Before Photography,” Journal of the Royal Musical Association, forthcoming Spring 2016

“When Media Meet” [review essay], Cambridge Opera Journal 26/2 (2014): 203-213.

“Magnified Vision, Mediated Listening and the ‘Point of Audition’ of Early Romanticism,” Eighteenth-Century Music 10/2 (2013): 179-211.

“Who Measured the Wind and Made the Fingers Move” [Rousseau Colloquy], Journal of the American Musicological Society 66/1 (2013): 270-275.

“Haydn’s Creation as an Optical Entertainment,” Journal of Musicology 27 (2010): 9-54.



PhD, music history, University of Pennsylvania, 2011

BA, music (with honors) and biology, University of Chicago, 2004

Honors and Distinctions

ACLS New Faculty Fellow, University of California-Berkeley, 2013-2015

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, University of California-Berkeley, 2011-2013

Mellon Graduate Research Fellow, Penn Humanities Forum, 2009-2011

Dissertation Completion Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 2010-2011

Dissertation Research Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 2009

Benjamin Franklin Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 2005-2010