Doctoral Projects in Music

Browse some of the research projects our successful PhD students have worked on.


Bright, Daniel  (2020) Sonic Ghosting: interrogating space/place/memory through multimodal sonic fracture

Hasselgren, Ingeborg (2020) Cute affectivism: radical uses of the cuteness affect among activists and artists

Watson, Joe (2020) Growing cybernetic ears: transduction and performativity in the analogue and digital what have you

Westwood, Lee (2020) A moment of clarity: exploring the notions of 'blur' and 'focus' within the context of contemporary instrumental music.  


Escobar Mundaca, Alejandro Esteban (2019) Translating poetics: analysing the connections between Violeta Parra’s music, poetry and art.

Farrell, Gemma L (2019) Psychedelic style and embodiment in psytrance. 

Polymeneas Liontiris, Athanasios (2019) IM-Medea: posthumansim and remediation in music theatre. 


Hollington, Barnaby Paul (2018) Chordal roots, Klangverwandtschaft, euphony and coherence : an approach to ostensibly 'atonal', 'non-tonal' or 'post-tonal' harmonic technique. 


Reid, Tom (2017) Formal experiments in silent film music: reading early abstract film texts as musical scores.  


Vaios, Errikos (2016) Portfolio of compositions with commentary. 

 These PhD students in Music are currently working on their projects:

Martin Davey"Gypsy music" and "Romani style": ascribing authenticity and identifying commonalities among Romani musics

My thesis is a theoretical exercise drawing on the existing literature within the relevant fields. The first two chapters attempt to unravel the ambiguous generic category of “Gypsy music” and examine the identification of authentic Romani musical features. Firstly, how popular understandings and representations of “Gypsy music” evoke exotic and romantic tropes of ‘Gypsiness’, thus perpetuating simplified conceptions of Romani music, culture, and identity. Secondly, the discourses behind such simplifications and the issues in identifying ‘authentic’ Romani imports and commonalities among the plethora of musics Roma engage with. The last three chapters focus upon how, rather than attempting to identify common musical features, our understanding of Romani musical practice is better improved by examining and comparing the social dynamics at play within musical performance, arguing that although there might be no shared or identifiable “Romani music” per se, there is nevertheless a similar Romani “style” of envisaging, and engaging with, music. The first two of these chapters focus on the different social dynamics of Romani musical performance vis-à-vis Roma themselves and non-Roma within communal and professional performance settings. Finally, I consider how these social dynamics of Romani musical performance and “style” of engaging with music constitute an intrinsic, perhaps uniquely so, aspect of Romani musical practice. 

Alessio MarinoniStaging History. The Quest for Historicism, Reality and Authenticity from 1870 to early 20th Century in Wagner's Ring

This research will define Wagner's desire to find an 'authentic' and 'historical' costume for his Der Ring des Nibelungen. The practical necessity of staging - and dressing - characters belonging to both mythology and history seems to be in contrast with Wagner's desire of absence of time and space. In order to understand this I will retrace the evolution of 'historicism' and 'authenticity' on stage from 1870 to early 20th Century highlighting the relationship between stage elements and philosophical theories

Joe PaxtonCommunication and Interpretation in Classical Ensemble Performance

An investigation into musical communication and interpretation in classical ensemble performance. Through a series of case studies examining live classical ensemble performances and their rehearsal processes; it will seek to build upon previous research into musical communication, meaning and interpretation; aiming to develop a model of musical communication for ensemble performance supported by a method of ethnographic investigation. This model will move beyond previous research with the inclusion of musicians as a listener and audience members as an active agent in music performance as well as being used to, and informed by, the process of negotiation and collaboration in ensemble performance for interpretation.