Dr Tim Shephard

image of Dr Tim ShephardDepartment of Music
The University of Sheffield
Jessop Building
34 Leavygreave Road
S3 7RD

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 0483

Email : t.shephard@sheffield.ac.uk


I was appointed Lecturer in Musicology at the University of Sheffield in September 2012, following posts at the Universities of Nottingham and Oxford. I’m a historical musicologist, which means that I’m interested in musical cultures of the past. Most of my research has been set in Renaissance Italy, covering more-or-less the period and locations featured in the TV series The Borgias. I’m particularly interested in finding out what music meant to people and what purposes it served – as an aspect of personal identity, as a way of communicating messages about oneself, and as a tool of statecraft. My approach is very context-led, so I don’t always look in the most obvious places for musical information; in particular, I’m known as an expert in the relationship between music and visual culture (painting, sculpture, book illustration, and all the discussion surrounding them).

I have published extensively in all my areas of expertise and regularly speak at conferences all over the world. Aside from several journal articles, my work on Renaissance Italy will be published by Oxford University Press in 2014 as the monograph Echoing Helicon: Music, Art and Identity in the Este Studioli. Also, I am co-editor of the important anthology The Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture, to be published in September 2013. Alongside my academic publications, I take great pleasure in talking about Renaissance music to a wider audience. I enjoy a strong relationship with St Marie’s, the Catholic cathedral in Sheffield, where I have spoken several times, and in the last couple of years I have also spoken for the Sheffield Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Society and at the National Gallery in London (who featured me in their monthly podcast). I am also leading a project taking our students into local primary schools to talk about the Tudors and their music.

I am an enthusiastic and interactive teacher with responsibilities right across the curriculum at Sheffield. I teach practical harmony in the 1st year Musicianship module and choral conducting in the 2nd year Practical Skills module. In the 2nd and 3rd years I offer options on Renaissance music, and music and visual culture, as well as co-teaching the module Music in Culture and Society, and I am convener of the 3rd year Dissertation module. I am also closely involved in the vigorous performing life of the department. I work with the University Organist to run the Chamber Choir, and am conductor of the Chamber Orchestra. I am also the member of staff responsible for the department’s impressive collection of historical musical instruments, a duty that I share with a student holding the post of Curator of the Historical Instrument Collection.

I studied music at Manchester as an undergraduate, then turned briefly to art history, completing the PGDip at the Courtauld Institute, before doing my PhD in music at the University of Nottingham (2005-9) with the help of an AHRC award. Somewhere along the way I took a couple of years out from academia, teaching the cello as a peri for Brighton council, playing professionally in London, and working as an art handler for Dulwich Picture Gallery. Before coming to Sheffield I held the posts of Associate Lecturer at the University of Nottingham (2009-11), and Junior Research Fellow and Lecturer in Music at Worcester College, University of Oxford (2011-12). I currently hold a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Centre for Music, Gender and Identity (MuGI), University of Huddersfield.

Research Interests

  • Renaissance music
  • Music and identity
  • Music and visual culture
  • Music patronage
  • Music manuscripts and early music printing

Selected Publications

‘Princely Piety and Political Philosophy in Italy, ca.1430-1530’, Viator 46.2 (2015), 375-93.

Echoing Helicon: Music, Art and Identity in the Este Studioli (Oxford University Press, 2014).

ed. with Anne Leonard, The Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture (Routledge, 2013).

‘Constructing Isabella d’Este’s Musical Decorum in the Visual Sphere’, Renaissance Studies 25 (2011), 684-706.

‘Constructing Identities in a Music Manuscript: The Medici Codex as a Gift’, Renaissance Quarterly 63 (2010), 84–127.