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Emily Tan

Dr Emily X X Tan

Lecturer in Music


Emily X. X. Tan holds a DPhil, PGCert(HE), and BA Hons from the University of Oxford, and an MMus in Advanced Musical Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her doctoral research was funded by a Clarendon Scholarship in association with Merton College, and her MMus was fully funded by the Royal Holloway Master's Award. In 2016, her research paper 'Third Diatonicism and Strauss's Most Beautiful Act of Collaboration' won the SMA TAGS prize, and in 2020 her PGCert(HE) portfolio was awarded the Centre for Teaching and Learning Portfolio Prize for the humanities and social sciences disciplines. 

Emily is also Stipendiary Lecturer in Music at Magdalen College, Oxford.


Emily’s research field is historical and analytical musicology. She has a particular interest in liberal humanism, musical modernism, and the idea of musical autonomy. A book project, Richard Strauss, Autonomy and Modernity, is currently in progress for Cambridge University Press. It explores the different ways that Strauss's Metamorphosen and Oboe Concerto respond to issues of autonomy, modernity, and tradition through their formal structures and cultural references. Emily is also working on a new research project considering the relationship of autonomy to the idea of musical value. 


‘A Form of Hope in Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen′. Music Analysis. In Press.

‘Heinrich Schenker in Correspondence: The Unpublished Writing of the Twentieth Century’s Most Influential Music Theorist’. Review of Heinrich Schenker: Selected Correspondence. Edited by Ian Bent, David Bretherton, William Drabkin. HABSBURG (November 2015). Online.