Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Music Research Seminar: Mark Doffman

Good time? Timekeeping in contemporary music

This week’s research seminar in Lecture Theatre 1 of the School of Music will take place at 4.30pm on Thursday 13th November.

The speaker is Dr Mark Doffman (University of Oxford)



The gravitational pull of being in time together is suggestive of many of the cooperative, interactive and synchronous qualities that we look towards as an ideal in music-making. However, timekeeping also speaks of difference and incapacity, of technological rationality, and the economics of music production.

This paper looks at time and timing in music across a range of genres and performance situations. It assesses what it means to have ‘good time’ in situations as diverse as contemporary art music, jazz and dance music. It calls attention to timekeeping as a defining part of embodied cultural practice, as an experience often at the threshold of awareness (hence its opacity in musical discourse), and examines the ways in which musical time enables or constrains human flourishing through music.

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