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Research and Impact

Durham is a world-leading centre for research in music, rated in the top three UK departments in the REF 2014 assessment.

We are internationally recognised for our expertise in a range of distinctive yet complementary research areas, working within and between the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, theory and analysis, music and science, composition and performance. These research interests are reflected in a number of high-profile collaborative projects, many of them interdisciplinary in nature , as well as the work of individual staff members, postdoctoral researchers and research students.

Our research impacts on the world beyond academia in numerous ways, for example through performances and recordings, exhibitions, talks and education projects. Key to this are strong relationships with a range of local, national and international organisations.

We are committed to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in music research, and to fostering the positive public impact of our research, including through collaboration with a wide range of non-academic organisations and individuals. We also enthusiastically support the development of open research: as well as supporting open access publication we share many data collections and other research materials with the research community.

We welcome enquiries from anyone who wants to come and research in the department, whether as a research student, postdoctoral or visiting researcher. 

  • Research Areas

    We carry out research in historical musicology and analysis; psychology, empirical musicology and ethnomusicology; performance and composition (both acoustic and electronic).
    People at a computer studying a musical performance
  • Research Projects

    A range of external funders support our ground-breaking research in various areas, from historical musicology to psychology.
    Performers in recording booth

Research Areas

We carry out research in historical musicology and analysis; psychology, empirical musicology and ethnomusicology; performance and composition (both acoustic and electronic).
People at a computer studying a musical performance

Research Projects

A range of external funders support our ground-breaking research in various areas, from historical musicology to psychology.
Performers in recording booth

Upcoming events

Music Research Forum and CNCS -Dr Tim Barringer

Tuesday 30 November 2021 - Tuesday 30 November 2021
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
via Zoom
An image of characters from 'Act drop, at the coliseum' from the painting by Byam Shaw

Music Research Forum-Dr Britta Sweers

Tuesday 7 December 2021 - Tuesday 7 December 2021
3:00 AM to 5:00 PM
via Zoom
A headshot photograph of Dr Britta Sweers

Royal Musical Association Annual Conference 2022

Thursday 8 September 2022 - Saturday 10 September 2022
9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Durham University
Palace Green Music Department

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
Durham
DH1 3RL
UK