Jason Weir

Degrees BMus (KCL), MMus (KCL)
Course DPhil in Musicology
College Magdalen
Address Magdalen College
  • Late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century music
  • Fin-de-siècle Vienna and Austria: encompassing both classical and vernacular traditions
  • Auditory culture and social history
  • Urban rhythms and temporalities

I’m currently in my fourth year of the DPhil degree and my thesis, supervised by Prof. Daniel Grimley, is provisionally titled ‘Music and Vernacular Culture in fin-de-siècle suburban Vienna’.

This thesis argues for a recentring of musicological narratives on the subject of ‘Vienna 1900’ and offers a series of case studies which examine the transformation of popular and folk genres alongside the expansion of the city from the late 1880s to 1911. I propose an alternative set of paradigms for reconfiguring our understanding of the city by investigating the musical life of distinctive suburban cultures and the impact of urban planning on changing attitudes towards street music and noise.

By emphasising the materiality of music-making at street level, the social fabric of suburban musical establishments, and the physicality of place, I aim to draw out some of the contradictions in those narratives which stress fin-de-siècle Vienna’s exceptionalism in spite of such quotidian realities. In doing so, I argue that it is in the very identification with place-marking that one can begin to understand more fully how the accelerated spatial reconfiguration of the city towards the end of the nineteenth century contributed to a unique remapping of consciousness along both physical and symbolic boundaries.

Conference Presentations

‘Wienerlieder 1900: Musical Journalism for the Masses’, RMA Annual Conference (Online, Sept 2020)

‘Noise Abatement, Street Music, and the Desynchronised City in fin-de-siècle Vienna’, AMS Annual Meeting (Boston, Nov 2019)

‘Rioting beyond the Ring: suburban echoes in fin-de-siècle Vienna’, BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference (University of Sheffield, Jan 2019)

‘Blindness and Insight in Verdi’s Don Carlos.’, ICTM-IE/SMI Postgraduate Conference (University College Dublin, Dec 2016)


Book Review: Klaus Hödl, Entangled Entertainers. Jews and Popular Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna (Berghahn Books, 2019) – In progress

Oxford-Leon E and Iris L Beghian Graduate Scholarship

Anglo-Austrian Society Doctoral Award and Otto Harpner Award (2019-21)

Music & Letters Award (2019)

AMS Professional Development Travel Grant (2019)

Modernism in Vienna 1900 – 1935

Pastoral Idylls: the Nineteenth-Century Symphony