Author Archives: Dr Christopher Wiley

About Dr Christopher Wiley

Dr Christopher Wiley was Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of the BMus Programme at City University London (to August 2013). He is a National Teaching Fellow (2013). @Chris_Wiley

Book Publication by Centre for Music Studies PhD Graduate Dr Laura Seddon

Dr Laura Seddon, who completed her PhD in the Centre for Music Studies in 2011 under the supervision of Professor Rhian Samuel, has published a monograph based on her doctoral thesis with Ashgate Press.

Entitled British Women Composers and Instrumental Chamber Music in the Early Twentieth Century, Dr Seddon’s book is available to order from at the following link: All online orders receive a discount.

The flier for the book may be downloaded here. The publishers details are as follows:

This is the first full-length study of British women’s instrumental chamber music in the early twentieth century. Laura Seddon argues that the Cobbett competitions, instigated by Walter Willson Cobbett in 1905, and the formation of the Society of Women Musicians in 1911 contributed to the explosion of instrumental music written by women in this period and highlighted women’s place in British musical society in the years leading up to and during the First World War. Seddon investigates the relationship between Cobbett, the Society of Women Musicians and women composers themselves.

The book’s six case studies – of Adela Maddison (1866–1929), Ethel Smyth (1858–1944), Morfydd Owen (1891–1918), Ethel Barns (1880–1948), Alice Verne-Bredt (1868–1958) and Susan Spain-Dunk (1880–1962) – offer valuable insight into the women’s musical education and compositional careers. Seddon’s discussion of their chamber works for differing instrumental combinations includes an exploration of formal procedures, an issue much discussed by contemporary sources. 


Publications by two recent PhD candidates of the Centre for Music Studies

Congratulations are due to two of the Centre’s doctoral candidates whose work has recently appeared in print.

Sini Timonen has written a book chapter on all-girl groups in garage, beat, and rock in the 1960s and 1970s for the anthology Women Make Noise: Girl Bands from Motown to the Modern, edited by Julia Downes (see here). She also contributed the Foreword to the e-book It’s Different for Girls, written by Merle Phillips and Margaret Brown (see here), two members of Mandy and the Girlfriends, an all-female beat group based in Hull and active in the 1960s. Its authors were first inspired to publish their reminiscences back in 2010, after Sini had interviewed them for her PhD dissertation on women musicians’ contribution to popular music in England between 1962 and 1971.

Dr Donat Berköz’s book chapter on the Turkish artist Nazan Öncel and women’s rights in modern Turkey appears in the anthology Resistance in Contemporary Middle Eastern Cultures: Literature, Cinema, and Music, edited by Karima Laachir and Saeed Talajooy (see here). Donat graduated from City University London in 2012 with a PhD dissertation entitled ‘A Gendered Musicological Study of the Work of Four Leading Female Singer-Songwriters: Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, and Tori Amos’.

Dr Berköz was supervised by Dr Christopher Wiley, and Sini Timonen is co-supervised by Dr Wiley and Professor Steve Stanton.



Berköz, Levent Donat. ‘Singing the Unspeakable, Resisting Power: Nazan Öncel, Popular Music, and Women’s Rights in Modern Turkey’. In Resistance in Contemporary Middle Eastern Cultures: Literature, Cinema, and Music (Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures), edited by Karima Laachir and Saeed Talajooy, 226–244. New York and London: Routledge, 2013.

Timonen, Sini. ‘Truth Gotta Stand: 60s Garage, Beat, and 70s Rock’. In Women Make Noise: Girl Bands from Motown to the Modern, edited by Julia Downes, 62–82. Twickenham: Supernova Books, 2012.

Timonen, Sini. ‘Foreword’. In It’s Different for Girls, by Merle Phillips and Margaret Brown, iii–vi. Authors, 2013.


City University London’s BMus Music programme is top in the UK for student satisfaction in 2013

City University London’s BMus Music programme has been ranked as top in the UK with 100% student satisfaction in the 2013 National Student Survey (NSS), voted by the students themselves.

Other highlights of the programme’s 2013 survey results included responses to the questions ‘Staff are good at explaining things’ and ‘Staff have made the subject interesting’ (both 100%); ‘Staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching’, ‘The course is intellectually stimulating’, and ‘I have been able to contact staff when I needed to’ (all 97%); and six other scores in the 90s.

Launched in 2005, the NSS is an annual national survey of final-year undergraduate students, conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and provides the standard measure of student satisfaction used in a number of major league tables. The full results of the 2013 National Student Survey are available from HEFCE’s website.

The University’s statement on its 2013 student satisfaction scores acknowledged Music’s top position in the UK. Music also came top of the 14 courses at the University that achieved an overall satisfaction above 90%.

Dr Christopher Wiley writes for The Conversation UK

Dr Christopher Wiley has contributed an article to The Conversation UK, reflecting on aspects of Stephen Fry’s open letter on Russia’s controversial new anti-gay laws (which called for a ban on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi) from his own perspective as musicologist, scholar, and teacher.

One claim that Fry made in his letter about the potential consequences of exploring Tchaikovsky’s sexuality and its relationship to his life and work under Russia’s controversial new legislation prompted Dr Wiley to reconsider elements of his own research on musical biography, not just on Tchaikovsky but also on Britten and Ethel Smyth.

Published on 12 August 2013 shortly after Fry’s letter went viral, Dr Wiley’s article, ‘Academics should stand with Fry against anti-gay Russia’, broke new ground for The Conversation UK for its content. It soon received thousands of views, helped in part by a mention by Fry himself on Twitter three days after it originally appeared.

The Conversation UK is an independent news and commentary website offering in-depth analysis, research, news, and ideas from academics and researchers, and has received over 300,000 visitors since its launch three months ago. Modelled on its successful Australian counterpart, its founding partners comprise 13 UK universities including City University London and the University of Surrey.

Since the article was originally published, The Guardian reported on 25 August 2013 that that a Russian biopic about Tchaikovsky toned down the composer’s sexuality for fear of facing repercussions under the new legislation.

Dr Christopher Wiley facilitates workshop on electronic voting systems at ICICTE 2013, Crete

Dr Christopher Wiley facilitated a workshop on electronic voting systems at the International Conference on Information Communication Technologies in Education (ICICTE) in Chania, Crete on 5 July 2013.

Dr Wiley’s presentation, entitled ‘Increasing Instructional Interactivity with Turning Technologies Response Technology’, was chaired and moderated by Jay Carpenter, UK Territory Manager from Turning Technologies.

Highlights of Dr Wiley’s presentation included findings from his research into student engagement with electronic voting systems, aspects of his own teaching in musical theatre and pop music, and even a dodecaphonic piece improvised on an iPad piano app.

Last year, Dr Wiley became the first ever person from the arts and humanities appointed to Turning Technologies’ global Distinguished Educator programme.

The day’s programme for the conference may be accessed at the following link:

A review of the conference by Olivia Fox (City University London) may be found here:

Dr Christopher Wiley is awarded prestigious National Teaching Fellowship

Dr Christopher Wiley was among the 55 UK higher and further education staff awarded a 2013 National Teaching Fellowship, the Higher Education Academy announced earlier today.

Dr Wiley is Senior Lecturer in Music at City University London and Director of the BMus Music Programme.

The Fellows were chosen from nominations submitted by higher education institutions across England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Submissions were assessed against three criteria: individual excellence, raising the profile of excellence, and developing excellence. Successful Fellows each receive an award of £10,000, which may be used for their professional development in teaching and learning or aspects of pedagogy.

The Centre for Music Studies’s Professor Steve Stanton received the same award in 2012. This is the only time in the history of the Scheme that two members of staff from the same department have been made National Teaching Fellows in consecutive years.

The new Fellows will officially receive their awards at a ceremony due to take place in London on Wednesday 9 October 2013.


Further information

Dr Wiley’s profile at the Higher Education Academy website:

News item by City University London:

The Guardian article on the 2013 National Teaching Fellows:


Dr Christopher Wiley gives live interview for Monocle 24 radio show

Dr Christopher Wiley was interviewed live on global radio station Monocle 24, as part of the show ‘The Briefing’, Episode 422, broadcast on 14 June 2013.

‘The Briefing’ is intended to provide an analysis of the day’s major news stories, and is broadcast at 12noon London time on weekdays. It also functions as the station’s ‘drivetime show for the US East Coast’.

The subject of Dr Wiley’s interview was the recently filed lawsuit challenging the copyright to ‘Happy Birthday to You’. Dr Wiley was interviewed in his capacity as a music historian.

The interview may be heard at the following link: (listen from 22.55-27.40 for Dr Wiley’s interview). The episode is also available for download in iTunes.

Dr Christopher Wiley addresses Turning Technologies User Conference 2013 in Karlsruhe, Germany

Dr Christopher Wiley reprised his paper ‘Using Electronic Voting Systems in the Arts and Humanities’ at the most recent Turning Technologies User Conference in Karlsruhe, Germany on 3 June 2013.

Jointly hosted by the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Conference attracted a range of delegates from countries including the UK, US, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Finland, Lebanon, and South Korea. The full Conference Agenda may be viewed here.

Dr Wiley’s paper was originally delivered last year at Aarhus University, Denmark (see here) and was revised for presentation in Karlsruhe, as part of the second Turning Technologies Conference to be held in Continental Europe.

An advocate of electronic voting systems for the past five years, in 2012 Dr Wiley became the first person from the arts and humanities to join Turning Technologies’ Distinguished Educator programme (see here).


STOP PRESS: as a result of this conference appearance, Dr Wiley was featured on ‘Turn to Your Neighbour: The Official Peer Instruction Blog’, which is among the top 100 most read educational blogs globally.

Written by the blog’s founder, Dr Julie Schell (who described it on Twitter as her ‘funnest post to date’), the article on Dr Wiley may be read here:

Chris Wiley presents ELESIG Webinar on Learning and Teaching

The Centre for Music Studies’ Dr Christopher Wiley presented a lunchtime webinar hosted by ELESIG (Evaluation of Learners’ Experiences of e-learning Special Interest Group) on 24 April 2013. Entitled ‘BYOD, mobile technologies, and social media for learning’, the event was the first in the ELESIG Webinar Series 2013.

In the course of the webinar, Dr Wiley discussed various ways in which he had sought to respond to students’ use of social media (including Facebook and Twitter) and their own mobile technologies in his teaching at City, in order to engage the students in e-learning and to enable them to contribute online as well as in person.

Drawing on evidence received from both students and staff in recent years, Dr Wiley discussed the merits and shortcomings of using these innovative technologies to facilitate learning at the tertiary educational level, as well as its value in educating students in contemporary issues such as media literacy and management of their online identities.

Introducing Dr Wiley, webinar moderator Helen Whitehead (University of Nottingham) said that ‘I discovered him about a year ago when I was looking for somebody in music who was doing something interesting […] with learning, different ways of learning […] Chris was by far the most inspirational music lecturer that I could find’. In closing, she thanked him for ‘being a wonderful guest and such an interactive one’ during ‘one of [the] most successful and interesting webinars we’ve ever had’.

With over 50 members of the ELESIG community attending online from across the nation, much lively and productive discussion was prompted throughout the one-hour webinar. A webcast recording of the event may be accessed here:

Christopher Wiley - ELESIG webinar 24.04.13

City University Music Students Present Major Musical Theatre Concert

Students of City University London presented a major Musical Theatre concert in the Centre for Music Studies’s Performance Space on Tuesday 19 March 2013, to tie in with the ‘Musical Theatre’ module currently running on the BMus programme.

A broad range of solo numbers included ‘The Man I Love’ (Lady Be Good), ‘If I Loved You’ (Carousel), ‘Adelaide’s Lament’ (Guys and Dolls), ‘So Long, Dearie’ (Hello, Dolly!), ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’ (The Phantom of the Opera), ‘Why, God, Why?’ (Miss Saigon), ‘There’s a Fine, Fine Line’ (Avenue Q), ‘Falling Slowly’ (Once), and ‘Left Behind’ (Spring Awakening).

Kiss Me, Kate in rehearsalThe concert also featured choruses of ‘Do You Hear the People Sing?’ and ‘One Day More’ (Les Misérables) from the City University Musical Theatre Chorus, a staged version of ‘What is this Feeling’ (Wicked), and a set by the City University Big Band including ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me’ (Shall We Dance), ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ (The Wizard of Oz), and ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ (We Will Rock You).

Some 60 performers were involved in the concert, which attracted a sell-out audience. Other highlights included the fully staged chorus ‘Another Op’nin’, Another Show’ (Kiss Me, Kate) to commence the event, and a choreographed ‘Cell Block Tango’ (Chicago) – featuring the City Block Tango Dancers.

For further information, please see:

Update: A promotional video about the concert and its associated academic module, featuring interviews from the students as well as footage of lectures and of the performance itself, was released in June 2013 and may be viewed here: