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Melanie Plesch is an Argentine musicologist currently based in Australia. Her work focuses on the intersections of music, politics and society, with particular emphasis on the relationship between music and the construction of national identities. She has done extensive research on the construction of Argentina's national identity through music and music imagery. Her approach combines recent theories about nationalism, mainly Benedict Anderson's idea of "imagined communities", and Hobsbawm's concept of "invention of tradition", with a rhetorical and topical musical analysis derived from the work of Leonard Ratner, Kofi Agawu and Raymond Monelle.
She studied music and musicology in her native Argentina at the prestigious Conservatorio Provincial 'Juan José Castro', where she received degrees in Music Performance (classical guitar), Music education, and Musicology. She completed her doctoral dissertation "The guitar in 19th century Buenos Aires: Towards a Cultural History of an Argentine Musical Emblem" at the University of Melbourne in 1998, working under Professor Catherine Falk.
She has been awarded a number of research grants, including the Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellowship (DEST, 2006) and research fellowships from the National Council for Scientific Research (1991–1993; 1993–1995 and 1996), the Antorchas Foundation (1987–89 and 1998) and the National Fund for Science and Technology (2000–2003) (Argentina).
Since 1988 she has been reading scholarly papers in national and international conferences. She has also given talks on topics related to her research in numerous universities and institutes of higher learning, both national and international, such as the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Mendoza, Argentina), Universidad Nacional de Villa María (Córdoba, Argentina) Universidad de Valladolid (Spain), Institut für Musikwissenschaft der Universität Innsbruck (Austria), Conservatoire Populaire de Musique, Geneva (Switzerland); Universidad de Barcelona (Spain), Conservatorio Real de Madrid (Spain), and the Instituto de Musicología (Barcelona, Spain).
She has lectured extensively both in Argentina and Australia. Before relocating to Australia in 2005 she was Associate Professor at the University of Buenos Aires and at the Catholic University of Argentina. In what has been described as the "longest commute in history", she continued teaching at both institutions during 2006 and 2007. Melanie is currently a Lecturer in Musicology at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, where she teaches subjects in music history, research methods and Latin American music.