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Welcome to Music at Durham

We have been rated as the top UK music department for four years running in The Complete University Guide (2018 - 2021) and for three of the past four years in The Sunday Times Good University Guide Table (2018, 2019 and 2021).

We also ranked first in the Guardian University League Table in 2019 and 2021.

Find out more about us
2nd in UK Complete University University Guide 2023
1st Nationally Times / Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019 and 2021
1st in Subject Guardian University Guide 2019, 2021 & 2022
6th in the UK for Research Output Quality in Music, Research Excellence Framework 2021

Study with us


Undergraduate Study

Our expertise in this area impacts the lives of our students and many others, beyond Durham.
TAPPUCINO by DIM and Buttered Toast live performance

Postgraduate Study

The Music Department’s vibrant postgraduate research environment attracts high-calibre applicants from all over the world.
A person onstage reading a book during a lunchtime concert



Work with us

The Department of Music is one of the very best UK Music Departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students.

Ranked #3 in REF2014, the Department of Music has internationally renowned research strengths in interdisciplinary research in musicology, theory and analysis, ethnomusicology, music psychology, performance, composition, and music technology.
See our recruitment pages for more opportunities
Chamber Choir masterclass with Owain Park



What's new?


Durham Lecturers Mark Lindisfarne Gospels’ Return to the North East in Music

Durham Music Department lecturers James Weeks and Katherine Hambridge recently took part in the opening concerts of the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s season at the Sage Gateshead, which were programmed to mark the exhibition of the Lindisfarne Gospels at Newcastle’s Laing Gallery.
Panel for the 19 September (L-R): Jaswinder Singh, Stu Herring, Katherine Hambridge, Helen Savage

“in One |1” by Eric Skytterholm Egan recorded

“in One |1” (2015-19), written by Dr. Eric Skytterholm Egan was recently performed and recorded by world-leading guitarist Diego Castro Magas at the Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile.
in One | 1 by Eric Skytterholm Egan

Austin Glatthorn’s monograph published by CUP

We are delighted to celebrate the publication of Dr Austin Glatthorn’s monograph, Music Theatre and the Holy Roman Empire. Now an Honorary Fellow, Austin completed the book with us at Durham during his time as British Academy Newton International Fellow, working with Dr Katherine Hambridge.
Austin Glatthorn’s new book 2022

Durham student becomes Canadian Music Laureate

PhD Music student Rita Ueda has been awarded the prestigious title of 2022 Laureate for the Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music. Offered by the Azrieli Foundation, this is the most coveted title for composers in Canada.
2022 Canadian Music Laureate

Are rhythmic preferences shared across cultures?

New research led by Dr Kelly Jakubowski suggests that preferences for synchrony in groove-based music may be universal, whereas preferences for isochrony are more culturally dependent.
Are rhythmic preferences shared across cultures?

Music Department in the All-Steinway School

The Music Department is proud to announce that we are now part of the largest All-Steinway School in the nation.
Steinway D in the Music Department Concert Room

IWD at Durham University's Music Department

MA student Aliyah Ramatally talks about her experience of organising the Music Department's live streaming concert to celebrate International Women's Day 2023.
Celebrating Women in Music 2023 - Aliyah Ramatally

Music Professor receives prestigious Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship

Martin Clayton, Professor of Ethnomusicology, has been awarded the Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for his research project ‘People in time with music: how sound and movement structure human interactions’.
Veena Sahasrabuddhe (vocal) with Vishwanath Shirodkar (tabla) and Seema Shirodkar (harmonium) perform Rag Hamsadhwani in Pune, India

O Come All Ye Faithful - Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Christmas Carol

The well known Christmas carol 'O Come All Ye Faithful' is sung at festive services across the country but music expert Professor Bennett Zon claims that many people probably don’t realise that the popular song has distinctive political roots.
Sheet music with red jingle bells laid on top

The Controversy over Christmas Carols

Nothing conjures up nostalgic ideas of a wholesome family Christmas more than the idea of loved ones gathering around the piano to sing carols, or indeed voices raised in church in song on Christmas Day. However, Professor Jeremy Dibble, tells us why carols and carol singing haven’t always been seen in such a virtuous light.
Choir singing

Upcoming events

Ubiquitous audiency: Attention and everyday musical encounters in China

Tuesday 30 May 2023 - Tuesday 30 May 2023
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Concert Room
A colour photograph of Dr Sam Horlor

MUSICON: Frankland Quartet

Wednesday 7 June 2023 - Wednesday 7 June 2023
8:15 PM to 9:15 PM
Dining Hall, Hatfield College, North Baily, Durham DH1 3RQ
A group of people sitting on the ground with their instrument cases

Undergraduate Open Day

Friday 16 June 2023 - Friday 16 June 2023
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Durham University
Image of a student ambassador holding an ask me sign during an open day

Undergraduate Open Day

Saturday 17 June 2023 - Saturday 17 June 2023
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Durham University
A member of staff and an Open Day Ambassador behind a welcome sign

Questions about studying here?

Check out our list of FAQs or submit an enquiry form.

Your Durham prospectus

Order your personalised prospectus and College guide here.

Get in touch

We strive to provide innovative, research-led teaching that will assist our students to achieve their full potential as thinking, creative musicians and scholars.

Department of Music
Durham University
Palace Green