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Workshop for singers with Fretwork ahead of MUSICON concert

Hatfield Chapel, Tuesday 13 Dec 10:00-12:00

The Music Department is delighted to have Fretwork, arguably the best viol consort in the world, performing at Durham as part of the MUSICON concert series on Monday 12 December at 8pm.

On Tuesday 11, the consort will lead a workshop on English consort song. We will be performing some of this repertoire in addition to newly reconstructed pieces from early Jacobean sources. Singers interested should contact Dr Hector Sequera ( All are welcome but places are limited so book early. This is a fantastic opportunity to sing some wonderful repertoire. Music will be distributed on the day.

(6 Dec 2016)

Dr Patrick Zuk to give public lectures in Zurich

Dr Patrick Zuk has been invited to give two public lectures in May 2017 at the International School of Analytical Psychology in Zurich, a leading training centre for Jungian analysts.

The lectures will explore aspects of his current research project on the influence of traumatic experience on the emergence and development of musical modernism, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

(5 Dec 2016)

Prof Bennett Zon gives public lecture - ‘O Come All Ye Faithful: A Musical Mystery Tour’

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Professor Bennett Zon (Durham University)

‘O Come All Ye Faithful: A Musical Mystery Tour’

Exhibition Hall, Ushaw College
5.15pm drinks for 5.45pm lecture – please note the time, which is slightly earlier than usual
The lecture will be followed at 7.30pm by the Ushaw Carol Service in St Cuthbert’s Chapel.

(1 Dec 2016) » More about Prof Bennett Zon gives public lecture - ‘O Come All Ye Faithful: A Musical Mystery Tour’

Recent editions and recordings from Prof Jeremy Dibble

Professor Dibble has been involved in numerous recent projects to make significant works available in printed edition and on CD recording, often for the first time.

These projects draw up Prof Dibble's research in British and Irish music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, an area which includes not only composer studies, but also musical criticism and aesthetics, church music, hymnology, song, light music, opera and instrumental music.

(27 Nov 2016) » More about Recent editions and recordings from Prof Jeremy Dibble

New blog post from Music & Science lab

What is an impact of an article? (Part I) by Prof Tuomas Eerola

We all strive to do and publish high quality research and most of us think we know such work when reading it, but how do we collectively gauge the quality of journal articles? And why should we try to weigh scholarly outputs anyway? Well, such appraisal might be attractive and useful when describing the overall the research quality of an individual, Lab, Group, or a Department. You might not love it, but you would be fooling yourself if you thought that competition and assessment is not part and parcel of scholarship at any level.

Continue reading the full article.

UPDATE: read part two of the article.

(22 Nov 2016)

Funding for Postgraduate Degrees in Music at Durham University

The Department of Music invites applications for postgraduate degrees starting in October 2017. Durham offers an excellent environment for music research: we were ranked in the top three music departments in REF 2014, and offer a range of specialist research facilities and collections. Details of areas of supervisory expertise, further details of funding schemes and other information can be found at

(18 Nov 2016) » More about Funding for Postgraduate Degrees in Music at Durham University

BBC History of Rhythm documentary features Durham entrainment research

BBC World Service radio has made a new documentary, ‘The History of Rhythm’, available for download as a podcast. The 50 minute programme is presented by the percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, and features a number of speakers including Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, Tony Palmer and Nitin Sawhney. Professor Martin Clayton of Durham University discusses interpersonal musical entrainment and its important role underpinning the emergence and development of rhythm.

Link directly to the podcast download page, and read more about entrainment and our current research, on the Music and Science website:

(16 Nov 2016)

Dr Simon Mills gives lecture series in South Korea

Dr Simon Mills is currently giving a series of special lectures to undergraduates, postgraduates and fellow academics in leading South Korean Universities, relating to his recent research into Korean shaman music.

In October, he gave lectures in the Academy of Korean Studies and Dankook University, and he will be giving a third lecture in Chonnam National University later in November.

(8 Nov 2016)

Dr Kelly Jakubowski leads 'earworms' study

Jakubowski, K., Finkel, S., Stewart, L., & Müllensiefen, D. (2016) 'Dissecting an Earworm: Melodic Features and Song Popularity Predict Involuntary Musical Imagery.' Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 

The study has shown that songs that get stuck in your head – called earworms or involuntary musical imagery – are usually faster, with a fairly generic and easy-to-remember melody but with some unique intervals such as leaps or repetitions that set it apart from the “average pop song”.

(7 Nov 2016) » More about Dr Kelly Jakubowski leads 'earworms' study

Khyal: Music and Imagination exhibition at Laing Gallery

Laing Gallery, Newcastle, NE1 8AG, 5-16 November 2016

Khyal: Music and Imagination is a multimedia exhibition that brings together visual artists and musicians to explore diverse visual responses to Indian classical music.

The exhibition features original artworks by Adinda van ’t Klooster, Mahjabin Imam Majumdar, and Theresa Poulton, which can be viewed while listening to the music that inspired them. Works by professional artists are displayed alongside pieces by school children from the north east of England, who were invited to respond to the same music.

(2 Nov 2016) » More about Khyal: Music and Imagination exhibition at Laing Gallery

New 'Music Analysis' publication from Dr Lara Pearson

Pearson, Lara (2016) 'Coarticulation and Gesture: an Analysis of Melodic Movement in South Indian Raga Performance', Music Analysis 35: 280–313.

The article presents an analysis of small-scale melodic movement in South Indian rāga performance employing the concept of coarticulation, defined here as the tendency for the performance of a unit to be influenced by that which precedes or follows it. 

(1 Nov 2016) » More about New 'Music Analysis' publication from Dr Lara Pearson

Funding opportunities for postgraduate study

A range of scholarships and bursaries are available for applicants to postgraduate programmes in the Arts and Humanities Faculty. The Music Department has an excellent track record of success in securing several scholarships for its students every year, and we will work closely with suitable candidates to support them throughout the application process.

Details of the schemes and application deadlines for prospective study beginning in 2017 can be found on the Postgraduate Scholarships and Bursaries page. 

(28 Oct 2016)

Postdoctoral Fellowships at the Music Department

We invite expressions of interest from suitably qualified candidates for the following two fellowship schemes. We welcome enquiries from eligible candidates working on topics related to our specific research fields within musicology, ethnomusicology, theory and analysis, cognition, composition and performance, or on related interdisciplinary projects: potential candidates are encouraged to explore the information on our current research

Durham International Fellowships for Research and Enterprise (COFUND)

The Music Department invites expressions of interest from outstanding candidates for either the Junior or Senior Fellowship schemes (deadlines 2 December 2016 and 6 January 2017 respectively). Potential applicants for the junior fellowships scheme should get in touch with an outline of their project no later than 4 November 2016. Further information on the Durham International Fellowships scheme, including eligibility criteria, can be found here.

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

The Music Department invites expressions of interest from outstanding candidates who wish to apply for a prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship through Durham University. Draft application paperwork needs to be submitted by early January, but candidates are encouraged to get in touch as soon as possible. Full details of the Durham application process can be found here. Further information on the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships scheme, including eligibility criteria, is here. 

(28 Oct 2016)

Dr Fabio Morabito leads research colloquium at University of Nottingham

Dr Morabito explored Haydn's death and Luigi Cherubini's attempts to step into the composer's shoes, in a talk entitled 'Replacing Haydn: Luigi Cherubini’s “affair Esterházy”, 1810-1811'. Taking place on 25 October, the event formed part of Nottingham Music Department's research series.

Fabio recently joined the department at Durham as a Teaching Fellow. He is a musicologist and cultural historian working on the intellectual history of musical authorship in the nineteenth century.

His work engages with changing conceptions of authorship, the cult of eccentricity and the origins of celebrity, the commercialization of selfhood, definitions of intellectual property and copyright, and the pan-European public sphere.

(26 Oct 2016)

Award for 2nd-year student

Tristan Latchford has won The Nicolas Thorpe Composition Award, in association with Southwell Choral Society. Tristan is a second-year student in the Music Department, specialising in composition.

The competition invited composers under the age of 25 to submit choral works of up to twelve minutes in duration. Tristan’s winning piece is entitled De Profundis, and was written to be performed by Southwell Choral Society, a mixed-voice amateur ensemble with orchestral accompaniment.

It explores the harmonic capabilities of this ensemble, with a structure incorporating a twelve-part triple fugal exposition. The piece follows a new set of harmonic rules based solely on voice leading, enabling it to move smoothly from consonance to dissonance without difficulty, while drawing upon many influences, including baroque and renaissance forms. The adjudicators commented that De Profundis is “skilful, well thought out and fits the brief really well… It is well structured with good orchestral writing and variety of texture.”

Tristan receives £500 prize money, and the piece will be performed along with Mozart’s Requiem by Southwell Choral Society at a concert on 19 November 2016, at Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire.

Please see Southwell Choral Society’s website for full details.

(21 Oct 2016)

Research Forum 16-17

The Music Department's Research Forum lecture series returns with its 2016-2017 programme. The series features presentation and discussion of the latest research from across the discipline, with leading scholars from around the UK joining the best work from within the department at Durham.

This year's programme features work in the fields of historical musicology, music analysis, music psychology and ethnomusicology. Each event is free and open to all.

The Research Forum begins at 2pm on Tuesday 18 October 2016, with a lecture from Durham's Dr Katherine Hambridge, entitled 'Genre Consciousness' in Napoleonic Theater.

For full details of the lecture, and of the whole series, please see the Research Seminars 2016-2017 page.

(18 Oct 2016)

Prof Dibble's rediscovered Stanford work

Charles Villiers Stanford's Song to the Soul features in The Bach Choir's ‘Best of British’ concert at the Royal Festival Hall on 30 October 2016 at 3:00pm. The concert showcases great twentieth-century British composers, with seminal works by Britten, Walton and Vaughan Williams featuring alongside Stanford's work, recently rediscovered by Prof Jeremy Dibble. The Philharmonia Orchestra and David Hill join The Bach Choir for the evening.

Full details of the concert can be found here.

Song to the Soul will also enjoy a live performance at Leeds Town Hall with the Leeds Philharmonic Choir, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and David Hill on 25 March 2017 at 7:30pm.

More information is available here.

(13 Oct 2016)

Music & Science Lab website

The Music & Science Lab comprises an interdisciplinary group of researchers with backgrounds in systematic and computational musicology, music psychology, and ethnomusicology. It employs a range of empirical methods to investigate questions related to the perception and cognition of music and its role in human interactions. It is also committed to collecting, annotating, and sharing collections of audiovisual music performance recordings to support cross-cultural scientific music research.

(12 Oct 2016) » More about Music & Science Lab website

Durham Music Department Ranked 1st in The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017

Durham's Music Department has been ranked 1st out of the 79 assessed departments in the prestigious Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017, rising from 3rd in 2016. The league table measures research excellence, employability, student satisfaction, teaching quality and entry standards.

Professor Stuart Corbridge, the University's Vice-Chancellor, commented: “This is an outstanding achievement and reflects the hard work and dedication shown by all of the staff and students within the Music Department. As well as the first-rate educational environment, our music students also benefit from the rich and vibrant musical life the University offers, providing a truly distinctive student experience.” 

Durham attained its highest-ever position in the league table rising to 4th overall. The full press release can be viewed at:

(26 Sep 2016)

New study by Prof Tuomas Eerola shows link between empathy and being moved by music

People differ in their emotional responses to sad music, and new research shows that the way people respond can be predicted from personality traits. While many people report feeling relaxed and peaceful after listening to instrumental sad music, only highly empathic people report being deeply moved by such music.

Familiar sad music has been known to produce strong experiences of pleasure due to autobiographical memories associated with the music, but that this is the first time strong positive emotions are demonstrated in the context of sad unfamiliar music.

The research, published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology, was funded by the Academy of Finland.

Open Access paper: 

(16 Sep 2016)

Works by Dr Eric Egan performed at Darmstadt and Oslo

Performance of "Interplay of Bones" at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, 4 August 2016

Dr Egan's "Interplay of Bones" was performed by Joao Pacheco (percussion) and Juna Winson (trombone) in Darmsadt. The piece, which was premiered in Durham in June, was written as part of a long-term project that will see further performances in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in late 2016/2017.


Three performances in Oslo, 13/14 August 2016

The PULS festival in Oslo saw performances of three works by Dr Egan, including "Movements and Mazes" (commissioned for and performed by percussion trio SISU), "A Stain on Silence | Unmeasured" (commissioned for and premiered by saxophone duo Decho Ensemble), and "Solar Cycles of Arbitus Place" (commissioned for and performed by E7B SoundLab, Durham University's professional ensemble in residence).

Visit Dr Egan's website for more information.

(29 Aug 2016)

Geography, Music, Space - one-day conference

One-day conference supported by the Institute of Musical Research
25 January 2017, Durham University
CFP Deadline: 15 September 2016

Keynote speaker: George Revill, The Open University

How does music shape diverse spaces, such as an immigration detention centre, a street performance, a military wives’ choir, or a family kitchen? Is there common ground to be found between researching the chants of a protest marcher, the beats of a commuter’s headphones and a soloist’s concert hall recital? What is the role of music in the construction of space, and vice versa? How and why do we research this?

Following this link for full details and call for papers.

(15 Aug 2016)

A Great Divide or a Longer Nineteenth Century? Music, Britain and the First World War - one-day conference

Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies One-Day Conference
21 January 2017
Durham University
CFP Deadline: 1 September 2016

This conference aims to contribute to the understanding of artistic and cultural responses to the First World War. We seek papers that explore themes of rupture/ disillusionment and “mining of nineteenth-century” modes of representation/ tradition within the context of musical life throughout the British Empire. Participants from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives that engage with music are particularly welcome.

Please visit the conference website for full details and call for papers.

(28 Jul 2016)

Prof Julian Horton co-edits major new publication on Schubert’s Late Music for Cambridge University Press

Schubert’s Late Music: History, Theory, Style (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016) is co-edited with Lorraine Byrne Bodley. It covers a wide range of issues on the aesthetics, analysis, history, performance and interpretation of Schubert’s late music, bringing together a stellar array of eminent Schubertians.

Click here for full details.

(19 Jul 2016)

Department welcomes applications for postdoctoral fellowships

The Department of Music invites expressions of interest from postdoctoral researchers interested in making applications under the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship or Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship schemes.

Applicants for the British Academy scheme must be UK or EEA nationals, or have completed a doctorate at a UK university; they must have completed a PhD within the last three years (viva since April 2014).

Fellowships are held for three years, and include a full-time salary and research expenses. For more details, visit the British Academy’s web site.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships are available to fund researchers who wish to move to Durham from within the EU or internationally for research purposes.

Eligible candidates are encouraged to read the relevant information here.

Please contact Professor Martin Clayton (Director of Research) at no later than Friday 8th July with an expression of interest. Please include an abstract (c.100 words) and outline (c.800 words) of your proposed research programme and a CV.

(28 Jun 2016)

AHRC project 'Khyal: Music and Imagination' holds artistic dialogue event in India

Khyal: Music and Imagination - a visual interpretation of an archive of Hindustani classical raga (marwa)

Nandan Museum Gallery, Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India; 28 June 2016, 4:15pm

'Khyal: Music and Imagination' is an AHRC-funded project based at Durham University which aims to stimulate new forms of artistic production based on interactions between performers, ethnomusicologists and visual artists, and to promote public engagement with music and visual arts.

As an extension of this project and initiative of the artists, Hindustani classical vocalist Ranjani Ramachandran and visual artist Mahjabin I Majumdar have organised an evening of presentations, dialogue and music based on their collaborative work.

Click here for full details of the project. 

(24 Jun 2016)

New study by Prof Tuomas Eerola on emotional effects of sad music attracts widespread interest

Memorable Experiences with Sad Music—Reasons, Reactions and Mechanisms of Three Types of Experiences

Sad music can provide enjoyment, comfort or pain to different people, according to new research looking at the effects of melancholy songs on the emotions.

Researchers at Durham University, UK and the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, said their findings could have implications for how music therapy and rehabilitation could help people’s moods.

The musicologists looked at the emotional experiences associated with sad music of 2,436 people across three large-scale surveys in the UK and Finland.

They identified the reasons for listening to sad music, and emotions involved in memorable experiences related to listening to sad music. 

Writing in the prestigious scientific journal PLOS ONE, the researchers said that the majority of people surveyed highlighted the enjoyable nature of such experiences, which in general led to clear improvement of mood.

The researchers said that listening to sad music led to feelings of pleasure related to enjoyment of the music in some people, or feelings of comfort where sad music evoked memories in others.

However, a significant portion of people also reported painful experiences associated with listening to sad music, which invariably related to personal loss such as the death of a loved one, divorce, breakup, or other significant adversity in life.

The article has drawn significant attention in the science press, including in Neuroscience News, Medical XPress, EurekAlert and PsyPost.

Read the full article in the journal PLOS ONE here.

(15 Jun 2016)

Prof Jeremy Dibble celebrates centenary of 'Jerusalem' at Beamish Museum

Saturday 11 June 2016, 10am – 5pm; Beamish Museum

Prof Dibble will be on hand during a day of celebrations marking a hundred years since 'Jerusalem' was composed by Sir Hubert Parry. Jeremy has conducted extensive research into the life and music of the English composer, and his enduring legacy on music across the country.

This year marks the centenary of 'Jerusalem', which brought together the words of William Blake’s poem with Parry's music. The hymn, with its rousing music and enduring popularity, has even been debated in Parliament for adoption as a national anthem for England.

Prof Dibble is a renowned expert in nineteenth and twentieth century British and Irish music. He will be taking part in the event at Beamish on 11th June to celebrate the hymn that earned such a special place in the hearts and history of England.

Read a full interview with Prof Dibble and details of the event here.

(8 Jun 2016)

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships at the Music Department

The Music Department invites expressions of interest from outstanding candidates who wish to apply for a prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship through Durham University. We welcome expressions of interest from eligible candidates working on topics related to our specific research fields within musicology, ethnomusicology, theory and analysis, cognition, composition and performance, and on related interdisciplinary projects: potential candidates are encouraged to explore the information on our current research on our web site. These Fellowships aim to provide opportunities for career development for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers, but with a proven record of excellent research.

Further information on the Leverhulme Trust Scheme, including eligibility criteria, can be found here:

Those who wish to express interest in applying for a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship should contact Professor Martin Clayton at and be prepared to provide the following information by 15 January 2016.

  1. curriculum vitae

  2. detailed account of the proposed research, (2 pages of A4, Times New Roman 12 pt). This should state the aims, objectives, method and publication plans, with particular attention to explanation of the significance of the subject, and the research problem and questions. This statement should be clear and precise, with bibliographical references given in full.

  3. abstract of the proposal in non-technical terms so as to be easily comprehensible to a non-expert.

  4. details of the research being undertaken in the Music Department which is relevant to your proposal.

Applicants will be sent comments on their proposal, and, if judged suitable for support, further advice will be provided on the draft application. These applications undergo a process of scrutiny and selection by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Those whose proposals are to receive Faculty support will be informed in good time to enable any further refinement of the application, before submission to the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships scheme by its deadline of 10 March 2016.

Durham University is one of the UK’s leading universities for research in Arts and Humanities. It offers an acclaimed environment for the support of early career researchers. The University holds internationally important research collections and in REF 2014 the Faculty of Arts and Humanities was ranked 6th among similar faculties. The Music Department was highly ranked in REF 2014 (2nd overall in Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts in the research intensity ranking). All departments in the Faculty pursue world-leading research and interdisciplinary research is further supported through several research centres and institutes.

(15 Dec 2015)

Durham ranked in top three departments in REF 2014

(19 Dec 2014) » More about Durham ranked in top three departments in REF 2014