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Welcome to Music at Durham

We have been consistently rated as one of the top UK music departments running in The Complete University Guide and Guardian University League Table.

Find out more about us
6th in the UK for Research Output Quality in Music, Research Excellence Framework 2021
Athena Swan
Athena Swan Bronze Award since 2018
Top Ten
Top Ten Complete University Guide 2024
6th in the Times / Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024
QS World University Rankings 2024

World-leading status affirmed in QS World University Rankings 2024

Durham is now ranked 78th in the world top 100 universities. We are also ranked joint 30th in a new category of Sustainability, and 50th in the Employer Reputation category.

Learn more about the QS World University Rankings

Study with us

  

Undergraduate Study

Our expertise in this area impacts the lives of our students and many others, beyond Durham.
TAPPUCINO by DIM and Buttered Toast live performance

Postgraduate Study

The Music Department’s vibrant postgraduate research environment attracts high-calibre applicants from all over the world.
A person onstage reading a book during a lunchtime concert

 

 

Work with us

The Department of Music is one of the very best UK Music Departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students.

Ranked #3 in REF2014, the Department of Music has internationally renowned research strengths in interdisciplinary research in musicology, theory and analysis, ethnomusicology, music psychology, performance, composition, and music technology.
See our recruitment pages for more opportunities
Music Students Work in the Electroacoustic Studio

 

 

What's new?

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  • International Women’s Day 2024

    The Music Department, with partners across Durham University, is hosting an exciting series of events to mark International Women’s Day 2024. At the heart of our programme are two concerts celebrating women’s achievement in music.
    A student playing a violin
  • siúil go ciúin - new piece available on YouTube

    Dr. Eric Skytterholm Egan’s siúil go ciúin, a 50-minute cycle for prepared piano, was premiered in Norway in September and the recording is now available online.
    Performance of 'siúil go ciúin'
  • Durham Lecturers Mark Lindisfarne Gospels’ Return to the North East in Music

    Durham Music Department lecturers James Weeks and Katherine Hambridge recently took part in the opening concerts of the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s season at the Sage Gateshead, which were programmed to mark the exhibition of the Lindisfarne Gospels at Newcastle’s Laing Gallery.
    Panel for the 19 September (L-R): Jaswinder Singh, Stu Herring, Katherine Hambridge, Helen Savage
  • “in One |1” by Eric Skytterholm Egan recorded

    “in One |1” (2015-19), written by Dr. Eric Skytterholm Egan was recently performed and recorded by world-leading guitarist Diego Castro Magas at the Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile.
    in One | 1 by Eric Skytterholm Egan
  • Durham student becomes Canadian Music Laureate

    PhD Music student Rita Ueda has been awarded the prestigious title of 2022 Laureate for the Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music. Offered by the Azrieli Foundation, this is the most coveted title for composers in Canada.
    2022 Canadian Music Laureate
  • Are rhythmic preferences shared across cultures?

    New research led by Dr Kelly Jakubowski suggests that preferences for synchrony in groove-based music may be universal, whereas preferences for isochrony are more culturally dependent.
    Are rhythmic preferences shared across cultures?
  • Music Department in the All-Steinway School

    The Music Department is proud to announce that we are now part of the largest All-Steinway School in the nation.
    Steinway D in the Music Department Concert Room

siúil go ciúin - new piece available on YouTube

Dr. Eric Skytterholm Egan’s siúil go ciúin, a 50-minute cycle for prepared piano, was premiered in Norway in September and the recording is now available online.
Performance of 'siúil go ciúin'

Durham Lecturers Mark Lindisfarne Gospels’ Return to the North East in Music

Durham Music Department lecturers James Weeks and Katherine Hambridge recently took part in the opening concerts of the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s season at the Sage Gateshead, which were programmed to mark the exhibition of the Lindisfarne Gospels at Newcastle’s Laing Gallery.
Panel for the 19 September (L-R): Jaswinder Singh, Stu Herring, Katherine Hambridge, Helen Savage

“in One |1” by Eric Skytterholm Egan recorded

“in One |1” (2015-19), written by Dr. Eric Skytterholm Egan was recently performed and recorded by world-leading guitarist Diego Castro Magas at the Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile.
in One | 1 by Eric Skytterholm Egan

Durham student becomes Canadian Music Laureate

PhD Music student Rita Ueda has been awarded the prestigious title of 2022 Laureate for the Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music. Offered by the Azrieli Foundation, this is the most coveted title for composers in Canada.
2022 Canadian Music Laureate

Are rhythmic preferences shared across cultures?

New research led by Dr Kelly Jakubowski suggests that preferences for synchrony in groove-based music may be universal, whereas preferences for isochrony are more culturally dependent.
Are rhythmic preferences shared across cultures?

Music Department in the All-Steinway School

The Music Department is proud to announce that we are now part of the largest All-Steinway School in the nation.
Steinway D in the Music Department Concert Room
  • Julian Horton’s new book published by Cambridge University Press

    Professor Julian Horton’s new book entitled “Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto” has been published by Cambridge University Press. Offering a concise introduction to one of the most important and influential piano concertos in the history of Western music, this handbook provides an example of the productive interaction of music history, music theory and music analysis.
    Julian Horton
  • Dr Amanda Hsieh wins Kurt Weill Article Prize

    Dr Amanda Hsieh, Assistant Professor of Musicology at Durham University, won the $2,000 Kurt Weill Article Prize for “Jewish Difference and Recovering ‘Commedia’: Erich W. Korngold’s Die tote Stadt in Post-First World War Austria,” published in Music and Letters in 2022.
    Amanda Hsieh
  • 2023 Rulan Chao Pian Publication Prize awarded to Durham Lecturer

    Congratulations to Dr Samuel Horlor, Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, and Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in the Department of Music who has been awarded the 2023 Rulan Chao Pian Publication Prize from the Association of Chinese Music Research.
    Sam Horlor

Dr Amanda Hsieh wins Kurt Weill Article Prize

Dr Amanda Hsieh, Assistant Professor of Musicology at Durham University, won the $2,000 Kurt Weill Article Prize for “Jewish Difference and Recovering ‘Commedia’: Erich W. Korngold’s Die tote Stadt in Post-First World War Austria,” published in Music and Letters in 2022.
Amanda Hsieh

2023 Rulan Chao Pian Publication Prize awarded to Durham Lecturer

Congratulations to Dr Samuel Horlor, Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, and Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in the Department of Music who has been awarded the 2023 Rulan Chao Pian Publication Prize from the Association of Chinese Music Research.
Sam Horlor

New study sheds fresh light on how emotions are expressed in music

In a new study, Durham researchers have investigated how a vast number of musical cues can help shape different emotions in music.
A person sitting at a laptop displaying the Emote Control programme

O Come All Ye Faithful - Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Christmas Carol

The well known Christmas carol 'O Come All Ye Faithful' is sung at festive services across the country but music expert Professor Bennett Zon claims that many people probably don’t realise that the popular song has distinctive political roots.
Sheet music with red jingle bells laid on top

Upcoming events

Music Department International Women’s Day 2024 Showcase

Thursday 29 February 2024 - Thursday 29 February 2024
7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Leech Hall, St John’s College, 3 South Bailey, Durham, DH1 3RJ
IWD 2024

FILM SCREENING: Deep Listening: The Story of Pauline Oliveros

Monday 4 March 2024 - Monday 4 March 2024
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Concert Room, Department of Music, Durham University, Palace Green, DH1 3RL
PO and Accordian

These Things Shall Be: Ailsa Dixon [IWD concert]

Wednesday 6 March 2024 - Wednesday 6 March 2024
7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College, Elvet Hill Road, Durham, DH1 3LR
Ailsa Dixon

Postgraduate Open Day

Wednesday 13 March 2024 - Wednesday 13 March 2024
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Teaching and Learning Centre, Durham University
New students and parents walking out of the Teaching and Learning Centre

Questions about studying here?

Check out our list of FAQs or submit an enquiry form.

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We strive to provide innovative, research-led teaching that will assist our students to achieve their full potential as thinking, creative musicians and scholars.

Department of Music
Durham University
Palace Green
Durham
DH1 3RL
UK