My PhD examined domestic making in New Zealand from 1840 to 1940, in particular the role of the music seller in facilitating access to popular music and thus positioning New Zealand within a global popular musical culture. An important strand of this research was the role of women in the buying, playing and selling of popular piano music which led to the creation of owner bound volumes of their sheet music collections.
I was awarded the Bowen Prize in 2018 and the Zander and Dryden Families Prize for History in 2019.
Papers on aspects of this research were presented at the 1869 Conference, Dunedin (2019), the New Zealand Historical Association Conference, Auckland (2017), the Australasian Victorian Studies Conference, Melbourne (2017) and the IAML (NZ) Conference, Dunedin (2016).
I have given presentations on my research on Charles Begg & Co Ltd at the Conservatorium of Music, Melbourne and to the New Zealand Piano Tuners and Technicians’ Guild, the School Library Association of New Zealand, the Squeaky Record Club and Around the Piano. My interview with Jim Sullivan of Radio New Zealand on Begg’s can be heard here.
I am currently co-curating a website on New Zealand musical personalities active between 1840 and 1920, featuring composers, music retailers and publishers. Musical Notables of New Zealand was launched in 2019 and is an ongoing project.