Dorian Bandy

Research title

Melodic Embellishment in Mozart

Research summary

My research focuses on two parallel projects:

  • An exhaustive study of Mozart’s notated melodic embellishments. I am compiling a catalogue in which all notated ornamental figures are sorted according to underlying rhythmic gesture, embellished interval, and melodic context. Because Mozart’s melodies and ornamentation share so many features (i.e. pervasive chromaticism, rhythmic variety, harmonic acceleration), this lexicon is not just a list of ornaments, but, incidentally, a study of Mozart’s melodic vocabulary and structural technique. It is also of great potential use to performers.
  • A trenchant examination of the philosophy of historical performance. Current interests include: the intersections of compositional and performative evidence; the effect of performance experience on compositional technique; the role of treatises and other textual sources in understanding past performance styles; intention, intentionality, and meaning in music; Popperian knowledge-creation and the fallacy of induction; memetic theory. My project also (by necessity) defends the notion of authenticity in historical performance and attempts to undermine the ‘work concept’. 

I also maintain an active career as a performer and lecturer. Please visit for more information.


  • Kenneth Elliott/Sound Thought Scholarship