Music

Why a PhD or Research Masters in Music at Newcastle?

PhD and Research Masters students will benefit from the University of Newcastle's vibrant and diverse music research culture. UON accommodates the study of traditional and contemporary music making practices in a stimulating intellectual environment.

Areas of research include music composition, instrumental/vocal performance, technology and production, pedagogy, music culture and creative practices from the broader creative industries.

Our supervision expertise includes specialists in early music, world music, endangered music languages and, notably, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music.

Newcastle has affiliations with international bodies such as Ars Electronica (Austria), which provide collaborative opportunities in a global context.

Research groups, such as Collaborative Environments for Creative Arts Research (CeCAR), and our Creative Industries Research and Innovation Cluster (CIRIC) bring together national and international researchers in the creative arts, humanities, sciences, health and social sciences with external collaborators in the community, industry, other universities and institutes.

UON is home to Newcastle Conservatorium. Within this highly creative space, graduate research students benefit from our specialised state-of-the-art facilities. Our creative production laboratory offers 27 individual workstations each equipped with Apple computers, Didgidesign MBox, Roland MIDI keyboards and headphones. 'The Con' also boasts state-of-the-art recording studios and the Harold Lobb Concert Hall, which is widely regarded as one of the finest acoustic venues in Australia.

Collaboration with other discipline areas is encouraged and assists in broadening the impact and scope of research undertaken. Areas of intersection include the fields of health, education, philosophy and computer science in addition to allied areas of the creative arts.

What you can research

Proposals for Masters and PhD projects are encouraged across all areas of music and its related fields, including:

  • Interdisciplinary projects
  • Composition
  • Interactive technologies
  • Music and image
  • Sonic arts
  • Indigenous music

Research methodologies

Music research at Newcastle has a strong reputation for practice-led research. Depending on the nature of enquiry a range of qualitative and quantitative methods may be employed specific to the topic being researched.


Current graduate studies in Music

There are a number of research projects being undertaken by graduate students in the area of Music at Newcastle. Take a look some of the current topics:

  • The Songwriter/Producer in a Digitised and Connective World
  • The Traditional Music of East Timor
  • Extreme Vocal Techniques in Contemporary Heavy Music
  • The Relationship Between Composition, Performance and Production in Real-time Software Environments
  • NSW Community Music Making and Social Inclusion
  • Developing a Voice Control Mechanism for Guitar Timbre and Expression Control
  • The Concert Musician in the 21st Century
  • An Exploration of Piano Sonatas by Australian Composers During the Period of WWII

Find a Music supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Dr Jim Chapman: African music, computer mediated learning, jazz and popular music, music education, music and intercultural syncretism, musical rhythm theory, world music
  • Associate Professor Jon Drummond: The interactive electroacoustics, robotics, sonification of natural phenomena, acoustic ecology, and real-time interactive performance systems for acoustic instruments.
  • Dr Helen English: Australian music, keyboard, musicology, 19th century music, music and gender, sociology of music
  • Associate Professor Rosalind Halton: Baroque and classical performance practice, harpsichord and fortepiano, Italian baroque cantata, performance as research
  • Dr Philip Matthias: Academics, chamber choir, organ, Australian choral music, Australian sacred and spiritual music, Torres Strait Islander music
  • Mr Nathan Scott (co-supervision): Audio recording and production, cognitive neuroscience of music, creative music production, digital sound synthesis & processing, game music development, ICT literacy in music education, music technology, network music technology (telematics), soundtrack design.

How to apply