PhD students in the Reid School of Music have come together in a symposium to share progress and experiences from their ongoing research.

Building on the success of this year’s Music Research Seminar Series, which featured 19 talks by staff and guests over two semesters, the group heard from nine of their peers, as well as keynote speaker, Professor Simon Frith.

As explained in a short talk by Dr Craig Martin, the event was supported by the University of Edinburgh’s Devolved Researcher Fund.

It featured third and fourth year students at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), including Pete Furniss, who gave a performance-based presentation, and recent 3 Minute Thesis heat winner, Tomke Kossen-Veenhuis, who said: “It gave us the opportunity to practice presenting in a friendly environment, and to get feedback from peers and staff, so was great preparation for conferences outside the department”.

Chancellor’s Fellowship support for the symposium

The event was opened by Dr Benedict Taylor, a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Reid School of Music and organiser of this year’s Music Research Seminar Series.

Benedict teaches on our Music - BMus (Hons) and Musicology - MMus programmes and is highly active in research, with a particular interest in temporality and subjectivity in music.

His latest book, The Melody of Time: Music and Temporality in the Romantic Era, was published in the UK by Oxford University Press in January 2016 and launched at a special meeting of the cross-disciplinary Edinburgh Time Network (led by Chancellor’s Fellow, Dr Michelle Bastian) at ECA.

In 2015, Ashgate published a volume Benedict edited on Mendelssohn for the series ‘The Early Romantic Composers’; his previous publications include Mendelssohn, Time and Memory: The Romantic Conception of Cyclic Form (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

The audience perspective

Diljeet Bhachu is a second year PhD candidate whose research on music in Scottish primary education is funded by the AHRC through the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities.

She attended the symposium to hear from researchers who are a little further along in their PhD journey, saying “It’s always helpful to see how other people present, and especially to gain insight into so many different research projects at different stages. 

Professor Simon Frith’s keynote was particularly useful to us all, questioning the purpose of research and highlighting some problematic assumptions that are often made in PhD research - so helpful to be thinking about at the halfway point! 

Events like this are so important in postgraduate research (PGR) communities, because otherwise it’s not easy to meet our peers”.

List of speakers and talks

Edward Dewhirst: The ‘Spinettina’: Octave Pitch Keyboard Instruments in Italy

Yu-Fen Huang: How conducting movement’s kinematics communicates musical structures?

Cormac Ó Callanáin: The German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the introduction of Stereo

Tomke Kossen-Veenhuis: "Don’t listen to the music!”: A Study of Professional Music & Dance Collaborations in Progress

Dimitris Papageorgiou: trópos | seyir | melody | comprovisation

Fiona Donaldson: The “Historical Concert” according to Frederick Niecks

Paul Harkins: All You Need is…a Conceptual Framework: Thoughts on a Thesis

Alec Cooper: Musical Connectivity in Sitar and Tabla Performance

Pete Furniss: Musical instruments and their practice as evolving assemblages. An illustrated performance-talk

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