Death of a real musicologist

Death of a real musicologist


norman lebrecht

June 25, 2018

Nigel Simeone has written a fine obituary of Robert Pascall, editor of the critical edition of Brahms  symphonies who has died at 74.

Pascall was an exemplary musicologist. He studied the notes between the manuscript staves.

Read here.



  • Sue says:

    There are plenty of ‘real’ musicologists in the institutions but we seldom hear from them. This man obviously did great work and the husband and wife combo reminds me of HC Robbins and Christa Landon.

  • william osborne says:

    At the same time, we’re happy for unreal musicology, since it deals with a wider range of reality.

  • william osborne says:

    Pascall’s bio on the Cambridge U. website says, ” He believed in useful and joined-up musicology.” What is joined-up musicology?

    • John Borstlap says:

      Joined-up musicology is musicology that informs or defines performance. After all, only if performance follows musicology, can it make itself felt outside the study.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Musicology is not limited to study of the notes between the manuscript staves or to the creation of weird theories. Anyone who has picked up a scholarly book or dictionary about music knows that.

  • Neil Saunders says:

    I have only found out belatedly (18 June 2020) that Robert had died.

    He was my supervisor through the 1990s (I was researching the music of Franz Schmidt), and I cannot adequately express my sorrow at learning of his passing.

    I spent many wonderful and (to me) highly illuminating hours in his company, absorbing, as best I could, some of his phenomenal knowledge of the whole repertoire of Western music.