M.A. (Hons), University of Glasgow; M.Mus, Ph.D, King’s College London
Morag began her musicological career at the University of Glasgow, where she studied music as part of a general arts degree. Her interest in twentieth century art music took her to London and thereafter Berlin, where she lived for almost twenty years before joining the University of Edinburgh in 2017.
Morag's work combines sociological, anthropological and historical perspectives to investigate what musical communication in the broadest sense can tells us about human social life. Her writing on post-war serial and experimental music, for example, explores how this music challenges Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment ideas about what music is. She has also worked extensively on the historical anthropology of music in Britain, with a particular focus on Scotland, and on songs and singing.
Currently, most of Morag’s work investigates music and violence – specifically, how music is used to promote, facilitate and accompany collective and political violence. From 2008-2014, as a junior professor of musicology at the University of Göttingen, she led the research group "Music, Conflict and the State": alongside projects on music and genocide, in armed conflict and in the context of colonialism, the group helped pioneer research into the use of music to torture. Morag's work in these areas has also been supported by a fellowship at the Käte Hamburger Centre of Advanced Study “Law as Culture” at the University of Bonn, a research visitorship at the at the University of Vienna from the Balzan research project “Towards a Global History of Music”, and a major grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.
Previously, Morag has taught musicology at the European College of Liberal Arts (now Bard College Berlin), and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in addition to the University of Göttingen She has also delivered training on human rights and human rights activism, and taught political and religious rights at the Leuphana-Universität Lüneburg. She is a member of the Editorial and Advisory Board of the Musica Scotica Trust and the Editorial Board of Contemporary Music Review.
Morag is currently the course organiser for the MMus Musicology courses Introduction to Musicology and Individual Research Project, and also contributes to the MMus courses Research Methods and Music, Philosophy and Politics. At undergraduate level, she is currently course organiser for the second-year music history survey course Music and Ideas: From Romanticism to the Late Twentieth Century and also contributes to Music and Ideas: From the Middle Ages to Viennese Classicism.