Elizabeth Randell Upton studies vocal music, performance, the experience of music, historiography, and codicology from the perspectives of material history and play theory. She understands music to be a process, created by the interactions between composers, performers, and listeners, and believes that exploring the relationships between these categories of musicians can further understanding of musical experience in the historical past. Her primary research focus is medieval music, with a secondary focus on medievalism and music, especially the reception and performance of Early Music in later periods.
Upton is the author of Music and Performance in the Later Middle Ages (“The New Middle Ages” series, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), which examines late fourteenth and early fifteenth century vocal music to discover evidence for the experiences of performers and listeners in the medieval past, recorded in surviving musical notation.
Her next book will explore mid-twentieth century Early Music revivals in the UK and US, moving beyond the usual focus on musicological scholarship and classical music traditions to examine Early Music’s interactions with both folk music revivals and popular music. At UCLA Professor Upton teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on medieval and twentieth-century music, including the popular GE courses “The Beatles” and “Getting Medieval: Medievalism in Music and Culture”.