Author Archives: sbbf526

Miguel Mera Publishes New Book

Reader in the Department of Music, Dr Miguel Mera, has published a new book, The Routledge Companion to Screen Music and Sound. Co-edited with Ronald Sadoff and Ben Winters this  volume provides a detailed and comprehensive examination of screen music and sound studies, addressing the ways in which music and sound interact with forms of narrative media such as television, videogames, and film.

Reviewers comments:  

“It would be difficult to imagine a more wide-ranging or more skilfully assembled collection of essays on the richly varied subject of screen music and sound than this magnificent book.”

“It heralds a re-thinking of what is studied and how: a must-have collection for aficionados of music and sound on screen.”


Alumnus Wins Scholarship for PhD Study at Yale

This August, City University Alumnus (BMus) Henry Balme will commence his PhD in Music History at Yale University. After a rigorous application process, which included an examination and an interview, Henry was invited to join the Music Department as a doctoral student on a full scholarship at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

At City University Henry engaged in a variety of musical and academic activities including sound recording & studio techniques, studio composition, piano and ensemble performance and a wide array of ethnographic, theoretical, analytical and historical music courses. He was also active outside of the Music Department, entering the CitySpark’s ‘Big Ideas’ entrepreneurship competition where he won a prize for Orfeo, a media player concept dedicated solely to improving the digital listening experience of classical music.

After completing his BMus at City in 2014 with first class honours, he went on to commence his Master’s Degree at the University of Oxford. There, Henry’s research has been interdisciplinary in scope: his Master’s Thesis, supervised by Laura Tunbridge, drew on art historical and musicological research methods to shed new light on the almanac Der Blaue Reiter (1912), an art manifesto that includes facsimiles of music by the Second Viennese School.

In the summer of 2016, he further developed his interdisciplinary research methods during an internship at the Max-Planck-Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt am Main. The research centre, officially inaugurated in the Autumn of 2015, conducts studies at the intersection of the humanities and the natural sciences, in an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that impact on aesthetic liking and preferences. He helped conduct studies in the laboratories of the institute for doctoral students and the Music Department’s director, Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann and co-organised the workshop on “Methods in Empirical Music Research”, led by David Huron (Ohio State University). He designed musical stimuli for an fMRI study on neural substrates of musical expectancy and emotions by neuropsycholigist Diana Omigie.

At Yale, Henry plans to pick up threads from his studies at City, notably from Ian Pace’s course on Nineteenth Century Opera and Alexander Lingas’ module on Wagner, Mahler and Schoenberg’s ideational connections. Henry’s research will continue to be interdisciplinary in scope and focus on opera studies, especially that of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with an emphasis on Wagner and the Second Viennese School.

We wish Henry all the best for his future academic ambitions. The Matriculation Ceremony takes place on Thursday, 25 August 2016.

City Alumna Wins Teacher of the Year Award

I graduated from City University in 2011 and received expert vocal tuition throughout my course, this gave me excellent grounding for teaching singing myself and the confidence to lead others in vocal ensembles. Whilst at City I took a module that involved finding a placement; it was through my placement that I discovered I wanted to teach music and lead young people on their musical journeys.

I began as a Teaching Assistant at Ifield School, a special school for students aged 5-16, before embarking on my School Direct programme with the Faculty of Education in September 2013. I was fortunate enough to be awarded the title of Kent and Medway Newly Qualified Teacher of the Year 2015.

This was awarded as a result of improvements I have made to the music provision at Ifield, especially the extracurricular music activities. I have formed a full choir, which sings regularly within and beyond the school.

I constantly use material I learnt from City. The BMus programme helped me develop my passion for music and I use this to inspire and expand my pupils’ interest in music.

I enjoyed my time at City and it was the right decision to join the BMus course. The staff and the course provided me with an excellent musical basis that continues to assist me in my working life.

Hannah Boyd (BMus)

Hannah Boyd

Music Department AHRC Research Funding Success

Music Department academics have secured £50,000 funding from the 10th Anniversary AHRC Cultural Engagement Fund. The scheme funds one or more collaborative projects to support the engagement of arts and humanities research with wider cultural and civic contexts.The scheme particularly seeks to fund recently completed doctoral graduates, and so aims to to support the broader career development of these graduates, particularly in relation to work with non-academic partners to support the impact of arts and humanities research. 
Professor Stephen Cottrell will work with Dr Jocelyn Howell on sources in the Boosey and Hawkes archive. The project will use 3D printer technology to provide lost or damaged component parts for older musical instruments for which such parts are no longer available.
DAlexander Lingas will work with Dr Dimitrios Skrekas to develop a study day on the teaching of Byzantine music in diaspora involving academic musicologists from the Department of Music at City University and its Erasmus partner, the Department of Music Studies of the University of Athens, members of the choir Cappella Romana, instructors and students of the School of Byzantine Music of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, and interested members of the general public. 
Dr Laudan Nooshin will work with Dr Andrew Pace and the British Library on the organisation and interpretation of the Peter Kennedy Paper Archive. Peter Kennedy was one of the most important collectors of music traditions from the British Isles. He started recording in the early 1950s, work that instigated the presentation of folk music and traditions on the BBC. In just over 50 years he amassed a collection of audio and video recordings amounting to approximately 1500 hours, plus several hundred photographs as negatives and prints and cabinets full of paperwork (correspondence, contracts with artists, etc.). 

Composition Alumnus on Oscars Shortlist

Recent MA Composition graduate, Nico Casal, composed the score for the short film Stutterer which has made the shortlist for this year’s Academy Awards.


The film explores the challenging experiences of a young man with a severe speech impediment. The film has already been selected for nearly thirty prestigious film festivals and took home the Best Foreign Film prize from the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, the Special Jury Award at Savannah Film Festival, Best International Short Film Prize at Kerry Film Festival, the Best Drama Award at Aesthetica Short Film Festival and many more.




Venice Screening

Dr Miguel Mera’s audiovisual dance composition, Morriña, will be presented at  the Venice Experimental Cinema and Performance Art Festival  at the Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi from the 17th to the 27th of June 2015. It will be the first in a cycle of three events in June, July and August 2015.


The festival is focused on the relationship between body and space, and the hybridization of identities within different cultural, physical, social, and urban settings. Morriña explores relationships between music and bodily movement, examines how communities hold onto perceptions of particular identities, and considers how memory and nostalgia are distorted over time.




Research Excellence Recognised in Music at City

The Department of Music at City is  carrying out world-class research according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. 87% of research produced  was judged to be ‘world-leading’ or  ‘internationally excellent’ placing City in the top ten Music departments in the United Kingdom. Further, the impact of 100% of the research in Music undertaken at City was deemed to be ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ in terms of its reach and significance. The research environment was also found to be conducive to producing research of world-leading or internationally excellent quality, in terms of its vitality and sustainability.

The results for Music, Dance, Drama and Performing Arts can be found here.

BBC Films Documentary Series in Music Department

As part of the documentary series, Sound of Song, which will explore the history and development of popular music recording, the BBC has been filming in the Music Department at City University London. Sequences demonstrating historical recording practices, contemporary digital processes, and demonstrations on the Steinway grand piano of  works by Irving Berlin, Phil Spector, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and Lieber and Stoller were filmed in the Department’s Performance Space and Recording Studio.

Dr Miguel Mera, Deputy Head of Music, commented: “We have always had strong external links with the music industries, but it is especially pleasing to be working on this project with the BBC, not least because the writer and presenter, Neil Brand, has performed in our concert series and has given guest lectures to our students. Also, this documentary ​focuses on the close interaction between music and technology which has been a core concern of the Music Department at City since its inception.”

Neil Brand commented: “We’ve had a great time filming here in these wonderful facilities, we have had absolutely everything we needed in one very convenient space, and the result is better than I could have hoped.”

Series Producer Alastair Williams also highlighted how the City Performance Space was ideal for the BBC’s needs: “It gave us an opportunity to re-enact and produce our own musical moments from the history of recorded music.  So we recreated the Edison Tone Test and gathered a band together to record acoustically as they did in 1906 on wax cylinders.  And in the recording studio we made our own version of the song  ‘Believe’ by Cher to illustrate how Pro-Tools and Auto-Tune can change the Sound of Song.  These were fascinating and productive days exploring a century of recorded sound.”

The three-part series will be broadcast on BBC 4 in January 2015.


Recording Sessions at Abbey Road Studios

Following graduation from City University London in 2013, composer Jon Bourne has been given the opportunity to work with Audio Network – a London based music production company. This has led to several orchestral recording sessions at Abbey Road Studios with the English Session Orchestra. This exciting experience started with a project organised for students on the MA Composing for Moving Images programme in close collaboration with Audio Network. Jon’s new tracks are due for release in September.

Jon Bourne working at Abbey Road

Jon Bourne working at Abbey Road