Francesca Brittan

Assistant Professor


Francesca Brittan, appointed Assistant Professor of Music at Case in 2009, is a scholar of nineteenth-century music and aesthetics. She holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University (2007), and was a Research Fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge between 2006-08. Her current book project centers on music and fantastic aesthetics in nineteenth-century France, drawing together musical, literary, visual, and scientific texts. Recent publications related to the project include “Berlioz and the Pathological Fantastic: Melancholy, Monomania, and Romantic Autobiography” (Nineteenth-Century Music, 2006) and “On Microscopic Hearing: Fairy Magic, Natural Science, and the Scherzo fantastique” (forthcoming in JAMS); also, a scholarly edition of Jean-Etienne Soubre’s Sinfonie fantastique. Brittan also works on popular music, especially blues and early rock and roll; her essays on these and related topics have appeared in the Journal of Popular Music Studies and in the collection On Bathos (Continuum, 2009).

In addition to her scholarly activities, Brittan is also active as a harpsichordist and fortepianist. She has been the recipient of several international grants for performers, including the Chalmers Award, and spent  three years at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (1998-2000), where she worked with Patrick Ayrton and Bart van Oort. She is particularly interested in late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century melodrama and related traditions of romantic declamation, and, in recent years, has given a series of performances showcasing this material in Europe and North America.

Haydn Hall 215


19th-Century Music, Popular Music, Fortepiano


Musicology, Cornell University, 2007