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PhD in Musicology

The School offers PhD supervision in a wide range of fields. A recent strength has been in nineteenth- / early twentieth-century music, with topics such as Exoticism in Massenet, Baroque influences in Brahms, Richard Strauss and Modernism, Salome, Strauss and Dance, and the music of Frank Bridge.

A group of six PhD students are currently working in one of the School’s main areas of research strength: eighteenth-century source studies and reception history. Dissertations in progress include Bach and canon, the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes, the solo Violin music, Handel’s recitatives, and Muffat's keyboard music. Substantial facsimile and microfiche collections are available to support such topics, including Handel sources and the Berlin Bach Collection.

The School has always offered supervision in local Northern Irish / Irish topics. Dissertations have been completed on Concert Life in Belfast and Dublin, the Armagh Cathedral School and the Organ in Ulster, and one on BBC Northern Ireland is in progress.

There are several opportunities for PhD topics focusing on the rich holdings of the Queen’s University Library, notable the Thomas Moore Collection, a world-class resource for the study of Irish melodies in the nineteenth century, and the Hamilton Harty Collection, which includes autograph manuscripts, conducting scores, letters and other memorabilia. A catalogue of the latter is underway.

Recent appointments have enabled the School to extend its PhD supervision into new areas. Topics in Irish Traditional Music and in Contemporary Music and Sound Art are now available. Staff research interests are listed below.

Dr Martin Dowling is interested in supervising PhD projects focused on archival materials relating to Irish traditional music since the eighteenth century, on projects that are centered on fieldwork with contemporary practitioners, and projects that place Irish traditional music within an international comparative framework. Projects can be based in the disciplines of musicology, history, and ethnography.

Dr Sarah McCleave seeks PhD applicants with an interest in the area of the analysis of dance music. 

Dr Gascia Ouzounian seeks Ph.D. students whose research interests include: critical/cultural studies in music, sonic arts musicology, sound installation art, critical studies of gender and race, contemporary music, and performance studies.  

Dr Franziska Schroeder seeks Ph.D. students whose research interests include: new performance environments, performance studies, critical/cultural studies in music and sonic arts, and improvisation.

Professor Jan Smaczny supervises PhD students in all areas of Czech music and in other nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century European areas such as Strauss and Massenet. Proposals for projects on music in nineteenth-century Ireland are also welcome as are studies of aspects of music broadcasting in Northern Ireland. 

Dr Aidan Thomson works on early twentieth-century British music and society, including, among others, the music of Elgar, Bax, Vaughan Williams and Smyth. He is interested in supervising topics on the reception and cultural context of these composers, the ‘Celtic twilight’ movement in British music, and early twentieth-century British musicological institutions.

Professor Yo Tomita is interested in proposals from prospective research students in any aspect of Bach studies.  He is particularly keen to supervise topics in the reception of Bach's works in foreign lands, for example, the fugues in the early nineteenth century France.

Professor Ian Woodfield is currently working in the area of Mozart source studies, in particular on the operas Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni. There are opportunities for PhD research in the little-studied area of eighteenth-century keyboard arrangements of these works.


Click hereĀ to find out more information about research funding at the School.  


Applications should be made on line, via the Queen's  Postgraduate Applications Portal