Professor Tim Shephard

Department of Music

Professor of Musicology

Tim Shephard Profile picture

Full contact details

Professor Tim Shephard
Department of Music
Jessop Building
Leavygreave Road
S3 7RD

Tim studied Music at the universities of Manchester and Nottingham, and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Before entering academia he was a professional cellist and cello teacher. He has taught at the universities of Nottingham and Oxford, arriving at Sheffield in 2012.

Tim held a Junior Research Fellowship at Worcester College, Oxford in 2011-12, and from 2012-16 was Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Music, Gender and Identity, University of Huddersfield. He has led two major research projects funded by the Leverhulme Trust: 'Music in the Art of Renaissance Italy c.1420-1540' (2014-17), and 'Sounding the Bookshelf 1501: Music in a Year of Italian Printed Books' (2020-23). He currently holds a parallel, status-only appointment as Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Toronto.

Tim's expertise lies broadly in medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music, with a particular focus on Italian music in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Research interests

Tim's research builds towards what can be roughly described as an ethnographic reconstruction of Italian musical cultures around 1500, using types of historical sources usually under-used by musicologists, such as pictures, objects, and books with no music notation in. He is particularly interested in the musical activities and understandings of non-professional musical participants, and the place of musical experience and knowledge in everyday life.

Earlier in his career Tim also published extensively on music in Italian Renaissance court culture, particularly in relation to the construction of elite identities.



  • (2022) The Museum of Renaissance Music. A History in 100 Exhibits. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Shephard T, Raninen S, Sessini S & Stefanescu L (2020) Music in the Art of Renaissance Italy 1420-1540. London: Harvey Miller. RIS download Bibtex download


  • Shephard T & Raninen S (2022) Music, notation, and embodiment in early sixteenth-century Italian pictures In Schuiling F & Payne E (Ed.), Material Cultures of Music Notation: New Perspectives on Musical Inscription (pp. 79-97). New York: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Shephard T () Aporia and the Harmonious Subject In Henry C & Shephard T (Ed.), Music and Visual Culture in Renaissance Italy New York: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Shephard T () 56. Ceiling with the Muses and Apollo In Shephard T & Borghetti V (Ed.), The MUseum of Renaissance Music: A History in 100 Exhibits (pp. 266-273). Turnhout: Brepols. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Shephard T () 24. Venus In Shephard T & Borghetti V (Ed.), The Museum of Renaissance Music: A History in 100 Exhibits (pp. 118-123). Turnhout: Brepols. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Shephard T () The Domestic Life of the Syrinx In Borghetti V & Hatzikiriakos AM (Ed.), The Media of Secular Music in the Medieval and Early Modern Period (1100-1650) RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Tim is keen to supervise research in early music, especially Renaissance and Early Modern Italian music.

Current PhDs

  • Ciara O'Flaherty - 'Performative Constructions of Authorship in Italian Verse, 1460s-1540s'
  • Oliver Doyle - 'Beyond The Courtier: Music in Italian Lifestyle Literature, c.1480-1530'
  • Wu Danqing - 'Cello Repertoire and Performance Practice in Modena under Francesco II d’Este: Giuseppe Colombi, Giovanni Battista Vitali and Domenico Galli'
  • Zhang Fengyi - 'Performance Ideals in Contemporary Chinese Piano Pedagogy'
  • Samantha Chang (at University of Toronto) - 'Music in the Early-Modern Artist's Studio'
  • Arianna Rigamonte (at Royal College of Music) - 'Sounding Marvels: Musical Instruments between Reality and Imagination in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Italy'
  • Eliza Jane Cassey (at University of Huddersfield) - 'Caterina Vannini Evades the Neoplatonic Paradox: Intersections of Mysticism and Musical Practices in the 16th-century Northern Italian Convertite'
  • Livio Ticli (at University of Huddersfield) - 'Singer-Players, Multi-Skilled Performers, and Integrated Performance in Renaissance North-Italy'
  • Marcello Mazzetti (at University of Huddersfield) - 'Music and Performance Practice in Late Renaissance Brescia: The Opus of Floriano Canale'

Completed PhDs

  • Momoko Uchisaka - 'VIVA LA PAZZIA: Representations of Madness in Early Music-Theatre in Italy'
  • Federico Furnari - 'The York Symphonies of Giovanni Battista Serini: Study and Edition'
  • Laura Stefanescu - 'Staging and Painting Musical Heavens: Performance and Visual Culture in Fifteenth-Century Florence'
  • Serenella Sessini - 'Angels in the Home: Music, Art and Education in the Domestic Sphere in Renaissance Italy'
  • George Parsons - 'Metaphor as a Tool for Theologically-Informed Musical Analysis of Sir James MacMillan's Triduum'
  • Michael Sargeant - 'The Green Man: Creating, Performing and Educating through Medieval Music'
Professional activities and memberships

Tim is a regular contributor to the media on Renaissance music topics, and has contributed to public events at several major museums, galleries and music venues, including the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Music in the Round. He collaborates with celebrated performers the Orlando Consort.

He is also a council member of the Society for Renaissance Studies and the co-editor of the Routledge series 'Music and Visual Culture'.