Music research opportunities


The Department of Music is home to a vibrant research culture; central to this is the work of the academic staff, all of whom are internationally recognised scholars in their respective fields. The department offers a broad range of expertise in musicology, composition and performance, and remarkable diversity of repertory and approaches within four broad specialisms:

  • Music, Space and Place: medieval and renaissance cities; 18th-century Naples; 19th-century London, Paris, Weimar; 20th-century Amsterdam; Vietnam; the Far East; digital heritage.
  • Music-Text-Image: opera; film and TV; music and visual cultures; pervasive media; manuscripts; music and alabasters; technologies.
  • Musical Creativity and Community: jazz; popular music in the Far East; 18th-century pedagogy; musical networks; contemporary performance practice; performance with new technologies; music and health.
  • Music, Politics and Identity: music and conflict; revolution; composer identity; music and social mobility; music and democracy; music and socialism.

The department enjoys strong cross-disciplinary links with a number of other schools in the University. There have been collaborations with colleagues in English studies, history of art, modern languages, philosophy, film and TV studies over recent years. Staff also work with non-academic partners locally, nationally and internationally, including Nottingham Lakeside Arts, the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham Contemporary, Opera North, the Royal Opera House, the British Film Institute, the BBC, and a wide range of professional performers and record labels. Such relationships offer research students in music significant potential for fruitful intellectual exchange and career development.

Research activities

The department regularly organises significant research events, such as:

  • Red Strains: Music and Communism outside the Communist Bloc after 1945 (British Academy, 2011)
  • Music and Philosophy (King’s College London, 2011 and 2012; co-convened)
  • 40th biennial Conference of Medieval and Renaissance Music (Nottingham, July 2012)
  • RMA Study Day, Challenging Musical Ontologies (Nottingham, November 2012)
  • Centenary Conference Britten on Stage and Screen (Nottingham, July 2013)
  • Mapping the Post-Tridentine Motet (2015)
  • Music and Science in 19th-century London (King’s College London, 2015)
  • BFE Study Day, Sounding Ethnicity (Nottingham, 2016)

The department also organises a series of colloquia, with visiting speakers; and occasional study days, workshops and guest lectures under the umbrella of the department’s Centre for Music on Stage and Screen (MOSS).

The exciting series of professional concerts at the Djanogly Recital Hall forms an important adjunct to the activities of researchers. Staff and students have a significant input with regard to programming, and there are numerous opportunities for pre-concert talks and other associated events. There is also a lively concert scene in the city of Nottingham.

Recent research projects 

Recent funded research projects in the department include:

  • Avant-garde music in 1960s Amsterdam
  • Alan Bush: Music and Politics in Modern Britain
  • Music Anthology of Hermann Pötzlinger
  • Music and the Melodramatic Aesthetic
  • Wollaton Antiphonal
  • Britten Letters
  • Tomás Luis de Victoria
  • French Opera and the Revolutionary Sublime
  • Haydn, Solfeggio, and the Art of Melody
  • Musical Minorities
  • Extended Performance Practice

Key facts

  • The department regularly hosts major academic conferences, organises a regular series of music colloquia featuring distinguished guest speakers and research students, and has a vibrant performance culture.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 49% of our publications were judged world-leading, with the remainder judged internationally excellent and internationally recognised. 100% of our impact and environment submissions were judged world-leading and internationally excellent, a result that places us 7th out of 56 UK music departments.
  • Excellent practical and technical facilities including an on-site music library, a dedicated postgraduate study room, an iMac suite, a recording studio, practice rooms, and an orchestral-size rehearsal hall.


Department of Music 
University of Nottingham 
University Park 

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