Annette Davison profile picture

Job title:

Senior Lecturer, Music


Room 3.05, Alison House, 12 Nicolson Square, Reid School of Music


I am a musicologist specialising in audio-visual media: the history, analysis and aesthetics of music for the screen and for the stage. Much of my research seeks to understand the impact of institutions on music for screen/stage media, and I'm keen to develop and maintain links with practitioners and industry. 

I studied at City University, the University of Exeter and the University of Sheffield. I was appointed Lecturer in Music at the University of Leeds in 2000, and moved to the University of Edinburgh in 2004. 

My current research focuses on audio-visual media in relation to the energy humanities. I am writing a book about "oil films" of all types (including promotional media, films of presenting corporate social responsibility, feature films and documentaries)—Gushing!: Oil films and audio-visual media—supported by the award of a British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship (January-December 2024).

Previously, I was co-investigator (with Prof Julie Brown) on the AHRC-funded network, The Sounds of Early Cinema in Britain, which resulted in a co-edited collection of essays: The Sounds of the Silents in Britain (OUP, 2013). I was a partner on the Leverhulme Trust-funded International Network that explored The Phantom on Film — Screen Adaptations of Le Fantôme de l'Opéra: Routes of Cultural Transfer. After productive meetings in Pordenone, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong - this project resulted in a special issue of Opera Quarterly, with further publications and a film to follow. 

I have written monographs, co-edited books, articles and book chapters. Recent publications explore Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise (1974), title sequences, music "postfaces", industrial and "oil" films. I continue to be fascinated by the cultural history of title sequences for television serials, and music for short form promotional media more generally (such as, titles, teasers and trailers).

I am currently on the editorial boards of American Music; Music, Sound and the Moving Image; and the Journal of Film Music.

Research interests

  • Film music and film sound (all periods)
  • Aesthetics and politics in relation to screen/stage media
  • Aesthetics and institutions in relation to screen/stage media
  • Screen/stage media and adaptation
  • Energy humanities and audio-visual media



  • Music - BMus (Hons) Music
  • Musicology - MMus Musicology
  • Music - PhD/MSc by Research

Current PhD students

PhD Supervision Topics

  • Music for Screens (TV/Film/Advertising)
  • Music for Stage
  • Energy Humanities

Related programmes