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Dr Rachael Durkin

Senior Lecturer

Department: Humanities

Dr Rachael Durkin leads the performance and pedagogical strands of the Foundation and BA Music degrees at Northumbria University. Her research interests focus on the history of musical instruments (organology), particularly string instruments of the baroque era, and the relationship between music and literature. Her monograph on the history of the viola d’amore will be published by Routledge in 2020, and she is lead editor of the Routledge Companion to Music and Modern Literature to be published in 2021. Her latest research considers the role of musical instruments in Victorian literature, examining their use and how they help to contextualise the narrative in fin de siècle culture. 

Rachael Durkin

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • The Adventure of the Stradivarius, Durkin, R. 14 Aug 2020, In: Journal of Victorian Culture
  • The Viola d'Amore, Durkin, R. 24 Jul 2020
  • BOOK REVIEW: Michael Fleming and John Bryan, Early English Viols: Instruments, Makers and Music (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2016), Durkin, R. 1 Aug 2018, In: Music and Letters
  • Westworld’s player piano is the great character that keeps getting overlooked, Durkin, R. 18 Apr 2018
  • David Bowie’s late revival belongs to a grand tradition dating back to Beethoven, Frayn, A., Durkin, R. 10 Jan 2017
  • Sherlock Holmes and the case of the forged Stradivari: did we miss a vital clue for 130 years?, Durkin, R. 3 Jul 2017
  • She's a Straddle Vawrious at least! The Spurious Stradivari Violin and its Role in the Contextualisation of George MacDonald's Robert Falconer, Durkin, R. 19 Jul 2017
  • The Adventure of the Stradivari: Victorian Violin Forgery and Literary Influence in the Sherlock Canon, Durkin, R. 30 Jun 2017
  • The Dancing-Master's Toolkit: a Summary of the Pochette of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries and its Role in Society, Durkin, R. 1 Apr 2017, In: The Galpin Society journal


  • Philosophy PhD
  • DipABRSM Instrumental Teaching
  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy FHEA

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

  • History of musical instruments (organology)
  • Music and Literature studies
  • Cultural history of music 1600–1900


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