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Durham University



Professor Peter Manning, PhD (Dunelm), BA (Dunelm)

Emeritus Professor in the Department of Music

(email at


Peter Manning studied music at the University of Durham at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, completing a doctorate on electroacoustic music with David Lumsdaine. Initially appointed as a research officer to develop the electroacoustic studios he became studio director in 1980. In collaboration with Alan Purvis, Professor of Electronics in the School of Engineering he has co-directed interdisciplinary research projects in music technology since 1985. He has taught courses in music technology, electroacoustic composition and arts administration.

Professor Manning's primary research interests embrace the art and practice of electroacoustic music, from composition to the history and development of music technology. His electroacoustic works have been widely performed both in the UK and abroad, including at the International Electroacoustic Music Festival, Bourges, the Kitchener Festival, Ontario, the Sonorities Festival, Belfast, the New Music Festival Barcelona, the Music Without Walls Festival, Leicester, and the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC). He has made extensive use of materials drawn from the World Soundscape Project, based at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, specialising in the techniques of granular synthesis developed by Barry Truax at SFU.

He is also a member of the Peer Research Review Colleges of both the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Professor Manning completed a new and substantially expanded edition of his book "Electronic and Computer Music" for Oxford University Press, published in February 2013. Other recent publications include articles on the history and development of music technology for Organised Sound" , the "Leonardo Music Journal", and "The Oxford Companion to Computer Music".. He is currently engaged with a number of research initiatives that focus on the preservation and re-evaluation of electroacoustic music technologies and the associated legacy of compositions. Jointly, with Professor Michael Clarke, Department of Music, University of Huddersfield, he is co-directing TaCEM, an AHRC-funded research project on The Impact of Technology on the Creative Processes of Composing Electroacoustic Music, to be completed in 2019. He is also working with Dr Nick Collins of an AHRC-funded project which is part of the Transforming Musicology research programme. Go to further information on the TaCEM project. Supervisions have included: software synthesis, the early history of electroacoustic music, and the application of distributed software systems to the teaching, composition and performance of music.

Research Interests

  • Electroacoustic Music Composition
  • History and Aesthetics of Electroacoustic Music
  • The Development of Music Technology

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Manning, PD (2012). La Musique Concrète et ses Appareils. In Pierre Schaeffer: Les constructions impatientes. Kaltenecker, M & Le Bail, K CNRS Editions. 140-151.
  • Manning PD (2009). Sound Synthesis using Computers. In The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music. Dean R.T. New York: Oxford University Press. 85-108.
  • Manning PD (2003). 'Electronic Perspectives'. In Hall, M. Between Two Worlds: The Music of David Lumsdaine. Tordmorden, Lancs: Arc Publications. 50-61.
  • Manning PD (2001). 'Computers and Music'. In The New Grove II Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London: Macmillan. 202-18.
  • Manning PD (2001). 'Retrospection and Forum'. In Palmer, J. Jonathan Harvey's Bhakti for Chamber Ensemble and Electronics. Lewiston: EM Press. 77: 143-170.
  • Manning PD (1992). 'Towards a New Era in the Technology of Computer Music'. In Companion to Contemporary Musical Thought. London: Routledge. 355-373.


  • Manning PD (2009). 'Retrospection'. Durham. First performance March 2009. Duration: 14 minutes.
  • Manning PD (2001). 'In Memoriam CPR'. BC SFU Concert Hall, 2001; Sonorities Festival, Belfast, 2001; Kitchener Festival, Ontario, 2001; Bourges 31st International Electroacoustic Music Festival, 2001; Music Without Walls Festival, Leicester, 2002; New Music Festival, Barcelona, 2005. N/A. First performance March 2001. Duration: 12 minutes.
  • Manning PD (1995). 'By-law 2531, City of Vancouver'. Huddersfield Electric Spring Festival, 1995; University of Glasgow, 1996. First performance May 1995. Duration: 12 minutes.
  • Manning PD (1995). 'The Ghost of Eriboll'. SFU Concert Hall, Vancouver, BC, 1995; University of Glasgow, 1995; Sonorities Festival, Belfast, 1996; ICMC Hong Kong, 1996; Bourges 27th International Electroacoustic Music Festival, 1997. First performance February 1995. Duration: 24 minutes.

Conference Paper

Conference Proceeding

  • Nunn DJE, Purvis, A & Manning PD (1995). 'Graphical Display of Musical Information'. XI Colloquio di Informatica Musicale, Bologna.

Journal Article

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