Category Archives: Publications

The First Review of ‘Good Friday in Jerusalem: Medieval Byzantine Chant from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre’

jerusalem_CDA week before its official release, Audiophile Audition gives a rave review to a new Cappella Romana CD researched and directed by Alexander Lingas:

This is the all-male version of Cappella Romana, and Alexander Lingas has his Portland-based ensemble going from strength to strength, perfectly judged balances among the melodists and those singing the ison, or lower drone notes, and executing these sometimes hugely challenging chants with razor-sharp precision and flawless unanimity. But what strikes me the most is the superb tonal quality of the group, rich, full, and velvety smooth in a genre that too often gives way to acerbic sonic ineptitude and soloistic grandstanding which gives chant a bad name. The resonance of the Stanford Memorial Church in California is expertly caught, though you might want to boost the volume a little. This disc is, simply, irresistible.

—Steven Ritter

Read the full review here.

Listen to ‘In Procession to the Mount of Olives’ on Soundcloud.

New Book Published by Laudan Nooshin

BB240392-F5BD-46AA-B876-7615673A8C40Laudan Nooshin’s new book – ‘Iranian Classical Music: The Discourses and Practice of Creativity’ – has been published by Ashgate Press. The book is a study of creative performance in Iranian classical music and seeks to better understand creative processes in music more generally. The result of more than 20 years research, the book examines the ways in which musicians talk about creativity and analyses creative practice itself. Further details can be found here:

PhD student Mark Porter co-edits special issue of Ecclesial Practices

35954PhD student Mark Porter has collaborated with editor and theologian Pete Ward to put together a special issue of the journal Ecclesial Practices on the theme of congregational music. Mark’s own contribution on ‘The developing field of Christian congregational music studies‘ sets out to narrate and define this emerging area of research with particular reference to the influence of ethnomusicology over the course of the late 20th/early 21st century.


Laudan Nooshin at Popular Music Conference in Norway

At the beginning of June, Laudan travelled to Oslo, Norway, as an invited speak at a symposium held as part of a 5-year project funded by the Norwegian Research Council on ‘Popular Music and Gender in Transnational Contexts’, led by Professor Stan Hawkins.

Laudan’s paper was entitled ‘Sites of Memory: Public Emotionality, Gender and Nationhood in the Music of Googoosh’, and explored the music of Iran’s pop diva Googoosh and its role for Iranian diasopra communities in Europe and the US.

The other invited speaker was sociologist and popular music scholar Professor Antoine Hennion, from the Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, Paris, whose  paper was entitled: ‘Performativity, Performance and Musical Genres’.

More information on the symposium and on the project:


Dr Shay Loya receives the Alan Walker Book Award


Dr Shay Loya has been named as  recipient of the prestigious Alan Walker Book Award, a prize funded by the American Liszt Society. Loya’s book Liszt’s Transcultural Modernism and the Hungarian-Gypsy Tradition was chosen from eight monographs submitted for consideration. Michael Short was co-winner of the award for his translation of Correspondence of Franz Liszt and the Comtesse Marie d’Agoult.

Recent activity and publications by PhD student Liam Cagney

WP_001079-b-2hvvblnOn Wednesday 22 January, PhD student Liam Cagney was invited by the BBC Symphony Orchestra to introduce a concert at the Barbican focussing on contemporary French music. During his pre-concert talk Liam interviewed the composer Hugues Dufourt onstage in the Barbican’s Fountain Room, discussing Mr Dufourt’s new piano concerto On the Wings of the Morning, the meaning of the name ‘spectral music’ which Mr Dufourt coined back in 1979, and the influence of painting on aspects of Mr Dufourt’s musical style.

Liam recently travelled to Salzburg in Austria to interview the composer Tristan Murail, and will soon go to Basel, Switzerland, to spend two months studying the Gérard Grisey Collection at the Paul Sacher Foundation.

Liam has also had some recent publications. The January issue of the journal Tempo features a review article by Liam on the music of Fausto Romitelli. In creative writing, Liam had a short story published in the winter issue of Irish literary journal The Moth; a short story in the New Island Anthology of new Irish writing, New Planet Cabaret; and will have a short story included in relaunch issue of the journal The Honest Ulsterman, which previously published early work by Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon and other Irish writers.

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.


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 publishes book chapter on Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson Grasping the SpectacleAn interdisciplinary volume of essays on Michael Jackson, published earlier this year, includes a chapter on musicology written by Dr Christopher Wiley.

Dr Wiley’s ‘Putting the Music Back into Michael Jackson Studies’ appears in Christopher R. Smit (ed.), Michael Jackson: Grasping the Spectacle (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012), pp. 101-16.

Informed by his participation in the international press coverage of Jackson’s death in 2009, and crystallizing around the iconic tracks ‘Thriller’ and ‘Black or White’, the chapter seeks to refocus attention on Jackson’s music in relation to discussion of his music videos and their sociocultural contexts.

It concludes by exposing the danger of over-interpreting the art through the lens of the biography of the originating artist, asking whether Jackson’s celebrity will ultimately rest on his contribution to the late twentieth-century entertainment industry or on the serious controversies with which he became associated.

Dr Wiley’s essay is also available for download from City Research Online, the University’s research repository, at the following link: