Photo credits:
Johan Wahlgren

Ruth Tatlow

Fellow, SCAS.
Visiting Researcher, Department of Musicology, Uppsala University

After studying the clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music, London, Ruth Tatlow completed a
BMus in 1983 at King’s College, University of London, winning the Purcell Prize. She was then
awarded a PhD in music theory and analysis in 1987, funded by a scholarship from the British
Academy and a DAAD stipend to spend a semester at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen.

Tatlow’s background as a practical musician motivates her interest in musical structure. Her
rediscovery of the history of the paragram form is published in Bach and the Riddle of the
Number Alphabet
(Cambridge, 1991, 2006). Her second monograph, Bach’s Numbers: Com-
positional Proportion and Significance
(Cambridge, 2015), awarded Choice’s ‘Outstanding
Academic Title 2016’ award, features the source-based foundations and demonstrations of her
ground breaking theory of proportional parallelism. She has taught at the universities of London
and Stockholm, and at Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, NY. In 2004 she co-founded
Bach Network, and in 2006 designed its open access, peer-reviewed journal Understanding Bach,
which she co-edited until 2017. She serves as chair of the Bach Network Council and is a member
of the editorial board of the American Bach Society.

During her time at SCAS, Tatlow will explore the transmission of proportional thinking by studying
compositions by composers who took Bach’s music and methods as a model, and by investigating
the changing ideals and significance of proportional ordering and symmetry in writings by contemporary
German thinkers. This is part of a larger study towards her third monograph on Bach and number.

This information is accurate as of the academic year 2019-20.