Durham offers outstanding opportunities to explore your musical passions. Our innovative, research-led undergraduate course combines a solid foundation of core skills with great flexibility and choice, with an emphasis on the development of independent research skills. Flexible postgraduate opportunities give you the chance to study at a higher level under the supervision of world-leading researchers. The university and city are teeming with musical life, with dozens of high-quality musical ensembles from orchestras and choirs to jazz bands and our beautiful Javanese gamelan.
Our premises are situated on a UNESCO World Heritage Site adjacent to Durham's magnificent medieval Cathedral. These historic buildings house up-to-date technological resources, including unique studios dedicated to composition and audio-visual documentation. Our staff offer expertise in areas including contemporary music (with internationally renowned composers and performers of both acoustic and electroacoustic music), ethnomusicology (we run one of the biggest programmes in Europe), and nineteenth- and twentieth-century music (including aesthetics and critical theory). We attract staff and students the world over and strive to make our department a supportive, friendly and stimulating environment in which all can fully realise their academic and creative potential.
- Durham Klang 13
- Durham research student's film to be screened at the RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film
- New Elgar Songs Published
- Durham Music student awarded a Licentiate of Trinity College London
- Dr Nick Collins to Join the Music Department
- Professor Tuomas Eerola to join the Music Department
- Durham research student received award for promising young musicologist
- Violin Sonata unearthed by Durham Student to receive first performance at this year’s English Music Festival
- John Snijders joins the Music Department
- Neil Combstock joins the Music Department
Research Forum: Bjorn Heile
'Erik Bergman, Cosmopolitanism and the Transformation of Musical Geography'
Modernism is haunted by its disavowal of what Homi Bhabha calls ‘the location of culture'. Accordingly, while discourses in popular music studies and ethnomusicology frequently circulate around such issues as cultural identity, difference and hybridity, debates surrounding new music continue to be based on largely unreflected notions of Eurocentrism and universalism, as if globalisation and postcolonialism never happened or as if they had nothing to do with contemporary classical music.
My discussion of the work of the Finnish composer Erik Bergman (1911-2006), whose centenary is celebrated this year, is intended as a case study in the cultural geography of new music and is informed by current debates surrounding cosmopolitanism in the social sciences. Coming from the periphery of musical modernism, Bergman was unusual in rejecting romantic nationalism, associating himself instead with the international avant-garde. However, he quickly contrasted this form of universalist internationalism with a deep interest in and compositional engagement with non-Western music, long before the American and European avant-gardes discovered ‘the orient'. This form of ‘globalism' is in turn complemented by Bergman's rediscovery of the local, the sounds and musical cultures of his native environment. In so doing, Bergman is however not interested in the self-exoticising characteristic of nationalism, but in uncovering the strangeness within the self.