The Music Research Seminars series is our main seminar series for research into the cultural, historical, political and social dimensions of musical life. With contributions from researchers and musicians from within the Reid School and beyond, it’s a place to encounter and discuss new ideas, and gain fresh perspective on some old ones.  

The Music Research Seminars currently take place on Thursdays during the teaching weeks of each semester from 5:15 p.m in Lecture Room A of Alison House, 12 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9DF. The seminars last about an hour and are followed by a drinks reception. 

If you have specific access needs, please contact us in advance.

Admission is free.


17 Sep 2018 | Collecting and archiving music histories from political detention centres in Pinochet's Chile (1973-1990), Katia Chornik (University of Manchester and Surrey County Council) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm 

27 Sep 2018 | Representing Renaissance Rome – Beyond Anachronism in Showtime’s The BorgiasJames Cook (University of Edinburgh) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm 

4 Oct 2018 | Working with Words – Revisions of Declamation in Fanny Hensel’s Lied Autographs, Harald Krebs (University of Victoria) | Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square | 5:15pm - 6:15pm  

11 Oct 2018 | Decolonising music educationDiva Mukherji (VP Education, EUSA), Radhika Govinda (University of Edinburgh), 皚桐 (Glasgow School of Art POC Society), chaired by Diljeet Bhachu (University of Edinburgh) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

17 Oct 2018 (Rescheduled date, time and location) | How-to session: Organising a postgraduate conference | Student Common Room, Alison House | 2pm - 4pm

18 Oct 2018 | A Scattered Heritage – Britain’s Georgian Legal Deposit Music, Karen McAulay (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm 

1 Nov 2018 | Anne Desler (University of Edinburgh) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

15 Nov 2018 | The Curious Case of Cluas-chiùil (‘Musical-ear’) – Evidence for Early Musical Semantics in Gaelic Scotland?, William Lamb (University of Edinburgh) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm 

22 Nov 2018 | Panel discussion: Teaching music history in higher education | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

29 Nov 2018 | “Music is a way of listening” – Liberal personhood and auditory labour in English music education policy, 1973-1992Patrick Valiquet (University of Edinburgh) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

17 Jan 2019 | Fostering musical autonomy through playing by ear from recording, Maria Varvarigou (Canterbury Christ Church University) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

24 Jan 2019 | Being moved by music – A prosocial emotional response?, Jonna Vuoskoski (University of Oslo)| Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

31 Jan 2019 | Hearing Impairment: Disability, Autonomy, and Jazz Performance Practice – A Case for Lennie Tristano, Marian Jago (University of Edinburgh) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

7 Feb 2019 | Politics of Emotion and Feeling in Music | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

14 Feb 2019 | Perspectives on the nineteenth-century Bach revival, Tom Wilkinson (University of Edinburgh) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

28 Feb 2019 | Traditional Cultural Practices and HIV Interventions in South Africa, Nanette de Jong (University of Newcastle) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

7 Mar 2019 | Music, asylum-seeking and the mobile phone: accountability in a post-peace era, Rachel Beckles Willson (Royal Holloway University of London) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

14 Mar 2019 | Listening and Learning with Link: Explorations in Listening to Video Games, Tim Summers (Royal Holloway University of London) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

21 Mar 2019 | The American ‘lady composer’ in Hollywood musicals of the 1930s: Towards a history of fictitious female composers, Matthew Head (King's College London) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

28 Mar 2019 | Improvisers, instruments and nonlinear dynamics, Tom Mudd (University of Edinburgh) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

4 Apr 2019 | Conceptual (in)congruence in Marvin Hamisch’s score for "The Informant!", Dave Ireland (University of Leeds) | Lecture Room A, Alison House | 5:15pm - 6:15pm

Research Seminar
Image courtesy of Ben Shmulevitch

Previous series


28 Sep | Jenny Nex (University of Edinburgh) | Fraud, Burglary and Sex in the Musical Instrument Workshops of Georgian London

5 Oct | Gareth Williams (University of Edinburgh) | From Text to Song 

12 Oct | Simon Keefe (University of Sheffield) | Mozart’s Late Chamber Music (1786-90): the Performer-Composer at Work and its Biographical Implications 

19 Oct | Steven Vande Moortele (University of Toronto) | The Sorcerer as Apprentice: Trial, Error, and Chord Magic in Early Wagner 

2 Nov | Thomas McGeary | Farinelli in England: ‘One God’ or the Devil? 

9 Nov | Felipe Trotta (Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil) | Annoying music: sound and spaces in everyday life 

16 Nov | Martin Suckling (University of York) | Post-post-spectral: a personal history of petty theft, not-always-deliberate misunderstanding, and microtonal music

23 Nov | Inja Stanovic (University of Sheffield) | J. Donaldson’s Piano Sonata: analytical, historical and interpretational contexts 

30 Nov | Morag Grant (University of Edinburgh) | Proving Music Torture 

18 Jan | Tom Western and Penny Travlou (University of Edinburgh)Sound and Citizenship in Public Space in Athens 

25 Jan | Katherine Campbell | Robert Burns's 'Westlin Winds' and its Eighteenth-Century Tunes 

1 Feb | Michael Fend (King’s College London) | Opera - A Philosophical Essay 

8 Feb | Catherine Haworth (University of Huddersfield) | Composing By Numbers? Reading RKO’s Music Department through its archives 

15 Feb | Sarah Hibberd (University of Bristol) | Cherubini’s 'Elisa': Alpine Virtue During the Terror 

1 Mar | James Cook (University of Edinburgh) | Representing Renaissance Rome: Beyond Anachronism in Showtime’s The Borgias 

8 Mar | Katia Chornik | Collecting and Archiving Music Histories from Political Detention Centres in Pinochet’s Chile (1973-1990) 

15 Mar | ‘Matt Gio’ Giannotti (University of Edinburgh)Compositional Voice: Markov Chains, Texture, and the Digital Acoustic 

22 Mar | Martin Farias (University of Edinburgh)Music and Politics in the Chilean Documentary (1970-1973) and Amando Lobo (University of Edinburgh) | Title to be confirmed

29 Mar | Sarah Hendriks (University of Edinburgh) | Title to be confirmed and Cormac Ó Callanáin (University of Edinburgh) | Title to be confirmed

5 Apr | Kyle Devine (University of Oslo) | Musicology Without Music?



29th September 2016 | Special Round Table: Benedict Taylor, Annette Davison, & Peter Nelson

(University of Edinburgh) | Publishing and Presenting Your Work as a Postgraduate Student      

6th October 2016 | Matthias Bonde Korsgaard (Aarhus University) | The Role of Popular Music in Audiovisual Remixes

13th October 2016 | Special Round Table: Benedict Taylor, Katie Overy, & Noel O’Regan (University of Edinburgh) | Presenting Your Work as a Postgraduate Student 2: A Guide to Conferences

20th October 2016 | Tim Taylor (University of California Los Angeles) | Taking the Gift out and Putting it Back In: From Cultural Goods to Commodities

1st November 2016 | Philip Tagg (Leeds Beckett University & University of Salford) | Popular music studies and the need for an urgent reform of music theory

3rd November 2016 | Marilou Polymeropoulou (University of Oxford) | Networked Creativity in the Chipscene Network: Theorising Electronic Music-Making in Digital Realms

10th November 2016 | Graeme Wilson (University of Edinburgh) | Three Different Thoughts at Once: Understanding within Group Improvisation

17th November 2016 | Tuomas Eerola (Durham University) | Structure of Sadness Associated with Music

24th November 2016 | Ben Hackbarth (University of Liverpool) | Audioguide: Creating a New Tool for Authoring Music

1st December 2016 | Elaine Kelly (University of Edinburgh) | Musical Diplomacy in the Middle East: the German Democratic Republic on Tour in the 1960s

8th December 2016 | Luciano Azzigotti (Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero) 

19th January 2017 | Dr Elaine King (University of Hull) | Performer’s Perspective on ‘Feel’ in Music

26th January 2017 | Professor Laura Tunbridge (University of Oxford) | Lieder singers in London between the World Wars

2nd February 2017 | Dr Victoria Williamson (University of Sheffield) | The Power of Music in our Memories

9th February 2017 | Professor Julian Johnson (Royal Holloway, University of London) | Debussy and the Aesthetics of Appearing

16th February 2017 | Professor Nigel Osborne MBE (University of Edinburgh) | What and where, exactly, is the "real world"?  

8th March 2017 | Professor David Hargreaves (University of Roehampton) | The psychology of musical development - 30 years on

2nd March 2017 | Dr Ioannis Tsioulakis (Queen’s University Belfast) | ‘Like wet colours on a canvas’: rehearsing the Greek ethnik-jazz aesthetic

9th March 2017 | Dr Annette Davison (University of Edinburgh) | Sounds Industrial

16th March 2017 | Professor Amanda Bayley (Bath Spa University) | Creating New Music across Cultural Boundaries

23rd March 2017 | Professor Michael Bull (University of Sussex) | Siren Sounds: From Myth to Materiality

30th March 2017 | Dr Jeremy Barham (University of Surrey) | Mahler's Fifth Symphony and Thomas Koschat: an Enigma Resolved?



Aleks Kolkowski (Science Museum, London) | Hearing Artefacts: Revealing Incarcerated Sounds within Museum Collections

Simon Zagorski-Thomas (London College of Music) | Classical Music “Hyper-Production”

Andreas Jacob (Folkwang University of the Arts) | Hector Berlioz':"Shakespeare... qui m’eût aimé peut-être“. Literature reception as self-image projection

Maiko Kawabata (University of Edinburgh) | Synaesthesia and Pseudosynaesthesia in Music

Peter Nelson (University of Edinburgh) | But does the world listen? Some thoughts on rhythmic bonding between humans and the sounding world          

Nicole Grimes (Keele University) | Nähe Fern: Wolfgang Rihm and the Constellation of Aesthetic Humanism

Sean Williams (University of Edinburgh) | Parallels in practice between instrumental and electronic music: Stockhausen, Koenig, Schütz and the WDR Studio for Electronic Music

Patrick Valiquet (University of Edinburgh) | “We cannot but be realistic (that is to say, indeterministic)”: Pierre Schaeffer’s solfège and information theory

Alan Howard (University of Cambridge) | Contrapuntal Artifice in Purcell’s Late Canzonas

Marina Frolova-Walker (University of Cambridge) | Stalin's Playlist

Aidan Thomson (Queen’s University Belfast) | Bax and the Easter Rising

David Clarke (University of Newcastle) | Music and consciousness: the current state of play

Tom Wagner (University of Edinburgh) | "Very space opera": The Scientology aesthetics of L. Ron Hubbard's music

Thomas Schmidt (University of Manchester) | "Seven or eight intelligent people in conversation"? On texture and timbre in large-ensemble chamber music of the early nineteenth century

Chloe Alaghband-Zadeh (University of Cambridge) | Listeners' experiences of North Indian classical music: how embodied ways of listening perform imagined histories and social class

Leanne Langley (Goldsmiths, University of London) | Art Music: J.S. Sargent as Listener, Patron, Practitioner, Performer

Scott Burnham (Princeton University) | Voices Late and Last: Beethover, Schubert and the End of the Classical Style

Rachel Moore (University of Oxford) | Performing Propaganda: Music and National Identity in Paris and London, 1914-1918

Michael Allis (University of Leeds) | Reading music through literary scholarship: Granville Bantock, Shelley and The Witch of Atlas



Florian Scheding (University of Bristol) | Strategies of Migration

Matt Brennan (University of Edinburgh) | Give The Drummer Some! A social history of seven drummer stereotypes

John Dack (Middlesex University) | Pierre Schaeffer's "Traité des objets musical" and the concept of "instrument"

Ruth Davis (University of Cambridge) | Ethnomusicology and Nation Building in Mandatory Palestine: Exploring Robert Lachmann’s “Oriental Music” Broadcasts, 1936-1937

Kate Lacey (University of Sussex) | Listening and the Media: Variations on a theme

Sam Hayden (Trinity Laban) | (Pre)compositional strategies and computer-generated notation in Transience

Stephen Rose (Royal Holloway, University of London) | Censoring creativity from Plato to Bach

Benedict Taylor (University of Edinburgh) | Of the Search for Lost Time: Multiple time and temporal inordinance in Franck’s String Quartet

Jessica Aslan & Emma Lloyd (University of Edinburgh) | Stages of (in)determinacy in the creation of new music (Aslan), Instrumental extension and development of a mutual aesthetic (Lloyd), The seminar included a demonstration of the speakers' collaborative work 

Noel O'Regan (University of Edinburgh) | ‘Because of the music the streets were full’. The importance attached to music in the activities of early modern Roman confraternities.

Jill Morgan & Claire Renfrew (University of Edinburgh) | Those who sing together stay together: exploring lifelong musical engagement and its role in the health and well-being of couple relationships in retirement (Morgan)

Investigating the Musical Identities of Professional Classical Musicians (Renfrew)

John Butt (University of Glasgow) | Hitchcock, Psycho, and the aesthetic of 'absolute music'

Eero Tarasti (University of Helsinki) | The music of Jean Sibelius

Jonathan Mills (Visiting Professor, University of Edinburgh) | Ethereal Eye - a musical meditation for an un-built city

Simon McVeigh (Goldsmiths, University of London) | Writing Concert History in the Digital Age: Data, Big Data, Narrative

Julian Horton (Durham University) | Form and Meaning in the Andante of Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto

Anne Desler (University of Edinburgh) | "The little that I have done is already gone and forgotten": Farinelli and Burney Write Music History

Katya Emolaev (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Princeton University) | Crafting the Musical Image of a Medieval Tsar: The Prokofiev-Eisenstein Collaboration on Ivan the Terrible

Nick Prior (University of Edinburgh) | On Vocal Assemblages

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