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Job title:

Senior Lecturer in Early Music


ECA Director of Research Innovation


Room 3.03, Alison House, 12 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh EH8 9DF


James joined the Reid School of Music in 2017, having previously been a University Teacher in Music at the University of Sheffield, a Lecturer at Bangor University, a Supervision Tutor at the University of Cambridge, and an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Nottingham. After completing his doctorate on Fifteenth-Century English Mass Cycles, supervised by Peter Wright and Philip Weller, James held a number of short-term post-doctoral fellowships followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Society for Renaissance Studies, during which he worked on the apparent decline in interest in English music in the later fifteenth century. He works mainly on early music and is especially interested in music of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries – the period that falls neatly between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

James is also interested in the representation of early music on stage and screen, be that the use of ‘real’ early music in multimedia productions, the imaginative re-scoring of historical dramas, or even the popular medievalism of the fantasy genre. He was co-founder of the REMOSS (Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen) study group which organises regular roundtables and conferences in this area. If you’d like to hear more, please do sign-up to their newsletter (

James has published on both ‘traditional’ aspects of early music and on its reception in popular culture. His co-edited book (with Alex Kolassa and Adam Whittaker) Recomposing the Past: Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen will be available shortly through Routledge in the Ashgate Music on Screen series, to be followed shortly by his monograph The Mass Cycle in England and the English Mass Cycle Abroad. James is involved in a number of large research projects, most notably the ‘Music and Alabaster’ project hosted jointly at the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham, and the ‘Prosopography of Pre-Reformation English Church Musicians’, hosted at the University of Huddersfield and Royal Holloway, and is always looking for more collaborations.

Outside of the University, James works with the internationally renowned ensemble The Binchois Consort as Scholar in Residence, is the Membership Officer of the Society for Renaissance Studies, and also sits on the British Academy’s Early English Church Music Fifteenth-Century Sub-Committee. He also gives many public talks.


James has, at one point or another, taught most subjects within the music curriculum, with a particular focus in historical musicology, cultural musicology, harmony, counterpoint, and technical studies, and notation and edition.

This year, he will be teaching Style Studies 2, Music History 2A, and Composition 1 as well as some individual lectures on other courses.


  • Music - BMus (Hons)
  • Music - MA


• Early Music

• Fifteenth-Century English Music

• Cultural Exchange

• Music for Film and TV

• Ludomusicology

• Institutional Studies

• Manuscript Studies

• Notation and Edition

Current PhD students

Huw Keene

Sight, Song and Sociability: Amateur Drawing and Domestic Music Production in the Sixteenth-Century Netherlands

PhD Supervision Topics

  • Early music: especially English music, fifteenth-century music, edition-based projects, archival research, medievalism, or early music on stage and screen
  • Liturgical music more generally
  • Cultural exchange
  • Ludomusicology

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