Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Professor David Cooper

Professor of Music

0113 343 3731

Clothworkers' Building South, Room G04

BA, Leeds, BA, Open, DPhil, York, FHEA

Professor of Music. Research interests include Béla Bartók, film music (especially Bernard Herrmann, Trevor Jones and Michael Nyman), Irish traditional music (particularly Northern Ireland),  composition and music technology. His 2015 study of Bartók for Yale University Press has been described as ‘the most impressive musical biography of the decade’. He retired on 1 August 2018.



David Cooper is Professor of Music in the School of Music and was previously the Dean of the Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications (PVAC). He is a musicologist and composer who has published extensively, including nine books, on the music of Béla Bartók, film music (especially Bernard Herrmann, Trevor Jones and Michael Nyman), music technology and the traditional music of Ireland.

Brought up in Belfast during the ‘troubles’, David studied at Belfast Royal Academy and the City of Belfast School of Music. He came to Leeds as an undergraduate student in 1975 and was awarded a first class degree in Music, studying composition with Alexander Goehr and the Gregory Fellow, Peter Paul Nash. He subsequently completed his doctorate at the University of York under the supervision of David Blake.

He was appointed as a lecturer at the University of Leeds in 1988 and was promoted to a personal chair in Music in 2003. He was Technical Director of the TLTP phase 2 Music Consortium Project (1993-6), and has sat on the AHRC and EPSRC peer-review colleges. He was Head of The School of Music from 2001 to 2005 and was Dean of the Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications from 2005 to 2016. He retired on 1 August 2018.

Research Interests

  • The music of Béla Bartók
  • Film music, including that of Bernard Herrmann, Michael Nyman and Trevor Jones
  • Irish traditional music (particularly George Petrie’s collection and the music of Northern Ireland)
  • Scientific and technological research in Music
  • Composition

David Cooper’s research interests are underpinned by a concern for music’s communicative power, whether considered in relation to film scores by composers such as Bernard Herrmann, Seàn Ó Riada, Michael Nyman or Trevor Jones, to the art music of Béla Bartók or to the repertoire of traditional Irish music. He is also interested in approaches to music that are influenced by science and technology, whether as analytical tools or critical models, in particular through mathematics and computing. As a composer, he has worked across a range of media, both acoustic and electroacoustic, and his two saxophone quartets have been widely performed.

His recent major study, Béla Bartók has been described as ‘authoritative and meticulous’ and ‘surely destined to rank as a standard for many years to come’ by Rupert Christiansen in Literary Review, and as ‘a masterful critical account of the composer and his music’ by Malcolm Gillies. Reviews of the book are at Yale University Press.

David is currently working with the British Antarctic Survey to ‘sonify’ several of their large data sets on ice sheets and ozone levels.









  • Cooper D, Béla Bartók (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2015)

    A study of the composer's life and works

  • Cowgill RE, Cooper DG, Brown JCA, Art and Ideology in European Opera: Essays in Honour of Julian Rushton (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2010), i-413

  • Cooper D, The Musical Traditions of Northern Ireland and its Diaspora: Community and Conflict (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009), i-186

  • Cooper D, Sapiro I, Fox C, CineMusic? Constructing the Film Score (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), i-211

  • Cooper DG, Dawe KN, The Mediterranean in Music: Critical Perspectives, Common Concerns, Cultural Differences (Edited Collection) (Scarecrow Press, 2005), xvii, 247 pp

  • Cooper DG, Bernard Herrmann's The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: a film score guide (Scarecrow Press, 2005), xix + 167p

    A study of Herrmann's manuscript score for Mankiewicz's film The Ghost and Mrs Muir.

  • Cooper DG, Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo: a film score handbook, Film Score Guides (Greenwood Press, 2001), xviii+158p

    A study of Bernard Herrmann's score for Alfred Hitchcock's film Vertigo.

  • Cooper DG, Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra (Cambridge University Press, 1996), 102 pp.

  • Cooper DG, Sapiro IP, Anderson L, The Screen Music of Trevor Jones: Technology, Process, Production ([n.pub.], [n.d.]) (Submitted)

Scholarly editions

  • Cooper DG, The Petrie Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland (revised softback edition), (Cork University Press, 2005)

  • Cooper DG, The Petrie Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland, (Cork University Press, 2002)

Journal articles

  • Cooper D, Sapiro I, Anderson L, Hall S, ‘Digitizing, Organizing and Managing an Audio-Visual Archive: The Trevor Jones Archive at the University of Leeds’, Journal of Film Music, 6.2 (2016), 101-110
    DOI: 10.1558/jfm.29827, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/104950/

    Between 2005 and 2013, film-music composer Trevor Jones donated around 1000 items relating to his film and television scores to the University of Leeds. The collection includes audio and video materials alongside associated paperwork, and some musical sketches and scores. In order to undertake research into the Trevor Jones Archive, the entire collection required digitization and cataloguing, both to facilitate navigation of the materials, and enable understanding of the relationships between them and the processes that they document. This paper considers the practicalities of working with the archive including matters relating to the digitization of a range of analogue and paper-based items, the creation of appropriate metadata and repository structures, and the prioritization of some parts of the collection over others. It is hoped that the lessons learned through this activity highlight some of the issues and considerations of working with archival audio-visual materials, and provide a roadmap for those working with similar collections.

  • Cooper DG, Sapiro IP, ‘A Source-Studies Approach to Michael Nyman's Score for The Draughtsman's Contract’, Journal of Film Music, 3.2 (2011), 155-170

    The composer Michael Nyman has donated a unique collection of his original sound materials and other documentation to the University of Leeds on long-term loan for scholarly investigation. There are more than 500 individual items in the archive, which includes film, television and concert music, as well as associated items of paperwork, and the films directed by Peter Greenaway feature strongly in the collection. Evidence for the underlying creative processes in film composition can be found within the source materials which include the source recordings and stereo mixdowns of cues, materials often disposed of by film and television companies after a film’s release or TV programme’s broadcast. This article questions the extent to which the surviving audio and supporting documentary materials reflect the development of the score and the relationships between Nyman’s music and Greenaway’s images as exemplified in the non-mainstream film The Draughtsman’s Contract.

  • Cooper DG, Sapiro IP, ‘A Source-Studies Approach to Michael Nyman’s Score for The Draughtsman’s Contract’, Journal of Film Music, 3.2 (2011), 155-170
    DOI: 10.1558/jfm.v3i2.155

  • Cooper DG, ‘Fintan Vallely, Tuned Out: Traditional Music and Identity in Northern Ireland’, Ethnomusicology, 54.1 (2010), 136-140

  • Cooper DG, ‘John O’Flynn, The Irishness of Irish Music’, Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, 6 (2009)

  • Cooper DG, ‘Jay Beck and Tony Grajeda, eds, Lowering the Boom: Critical Studies in Film Sound’, Music, Sound and the Moving Image, 3.1 (2009), 119-124

  • Cooper DG, ‘On a Rock in the Middle of the Ocean: Songs and Singers in Tory Island, Ireland, LILLIS O ´ LAOIRE’, Ethnomusicology Forum, 16.1 (2007), 172-173
    DOI: 10.1080/17411910701273101

  • Cooper DG, ‘James Wierzbicki, Louis and Bebe Barron’s Forbidden Planet: A Film Score Guide’, The Journal of Film Music, 2.1 (2007), 79-81

  • Cooper DG, Sapiro IP, ‘Ethnomusicology in the Laboratory: From the Tonmesser to Digital Melography’, Ethnomusicology Forum 2006

  • Cooper DG, ‘Máirtín Pheaits Ó Cualáin. Traditional Songs from Connemara’, The World of Music, 47.2005-3 (2005)

    Review of recording

  • Cooper DG, ‘Celtic Modern: Music at the Global Fringe’, British Journal of Ethnomusicology 2004, 290-296

  • Cooper DG, ‘Benjamin Suchoff, Béla Bartók: Life and Work' and 'Benjamin Suchoff, Bartók’s Mikrokosmos: Genesis, Pedagogy and Style’, Music and Letters, 84.4 (2003), 673-677

    Review of two books by Benjamin Suchoff.

  • Cooper DG, ‘Film Form and Musical Form in Bernard Herrmann's Score to Vertigo’, The Journal of Film Music, 1.2/3 (2003), 239-248

    A study of musical form in Bernard Herrmann's score to the film Vertigo.

  • Cooper DG, ‘Carl Leafstedt: Inside Bluebeard's Castle: Music and Drama in Bela Bartok's Opera’, Music Analysis, 21.1 (2002), 105-112

  • Cooper DG, ‘On the Twelfth of July in the Morning . . . or the Man who Mistook his Sash for a Hat’, Folk Music Journal, 8.1 (2000), 67-89

  • Bailey NJ, Cooper DG, ‘Sculptor: Exploring Timbral Spaces in Real Time’, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 43.3 (2000), 174-180

  • Bailey NJ, Cooper DG, ‘Perceptually Smooth Timbral Guides by State-space Analysis of Phase Vocoder Parameters’, Computer Music Journal, 24.1 (2000), 32-42
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/1429/

  • Cooper DG, ‘The Unfolding of Tonality in the Music of Béla Bartók’, Music Analysis, 17.1 (1998), 21-38

  • Cooper DG, ‘Paul Wilson: The Music of Béla Bartók’, Music Analysis, 13: 2-3 (1994), 305-311

  • Ireland D, Windsor WL, Cooper DG, ‘Exploring incongruence: Shared semantic properties and judgments of appropriateness in film-music pairings’, Music Perception (Submitted)

    Congruence has been measured on several levels of film-music pairings, shown to have varying perceptual effects, and is often conflated with judgments of the appropriateness of the pairing. In this study 40 participants rated short music extracts and film extracts without sound using scales labeled sad-happy and calm-agitated. They also rated all possible pairings of these extracts using identical scales and a scale labeled ‘audiovisual pairing is appropriate-inappropriate’. Pairings of extracts that shared properties on both sad-happy and calm-agitated scales were generally rated as more appropriate than those with extracts that shared properties on fewer scales. Sad-happy and calm-agitated ratings for the individual extracts were compared to equivalent ratings for pairings involving these extracts. These correlations were reasonably strong. However, the extent to which these data could predict the appropriateness ratings was weaker. A pairing that received appropriateness ratings that did not correspond with general trends in the data is discussed to highlight the additional factors that might influence appropriateness judgments. This example demonstrates the benefits of using broader interdisciplinary analysis to complement and contextualize the perceptual insights offered by empirical studies and convey a more holistic account of the complexities of judgments of appropriateness in film-music pairings.

  • Cooper DG, sapiro I, ‘A Source-Studies Approach to Michael Nyman’s Score for The Draughtsman’s Contract’, The Journal of Film Music (Submitted)

  • Cooper DG, ‘Máirtín Pheaits Ó Cualáin: Traditional Songs from Connemara’, None (Submitted)

  • Cooper DG, ‘Máirtín Pheaits Ó Cualáin: Traditional Songs from Connemara’, World of Music, 47.2005-3


  • Cooper DG, ‘Die zweite Heimat: Musical Personae in a Second Home’, in Essays in Honour of Harry White, ed. by Elliott R and Byrne Bodley L (Vienna: Hollitzer Verlag, 2018) (Submitted)

  • Cooper DG, ‘Creative Practices and Technical Processes in Music for Cinema and Television’, in Oxford Handbook of the Creative Process in Music, ed. by Donin N ([n.pub.], 2018) (Submitted)

  • Cooper DG, ‘It must be fresh and new' - Bernard Herrmann's score for North by Northwest’, in Music, Modern Culture, and the Critical Ear, ed. by Attfield N and Winters B (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017), 227-244

  • Cooper DG, ‘A Dance to the Music of Herrmann’, in Partners in Suspense (Manchester University Press, 2015) (In preparation)

  • Cooper DG, ‘Film sound history and technology’, in Cambridge Companion to Film Music, ed. by Cooke M and Ford F (Publication: Cambridge University Press, 2015) (Accepted)

  • Cooper DG, ‘Béla Bartók: Reintegrating the Semantic and Syntactic axes in Duke Bluebeard's Castle’, in Critical Musicological Reflections (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011)

  • Cowgill R, Cooper D, Brown C, ‘Introduction’, in Art and Ideology in European Opera, ed. by Cowgill R, Cooper D and Brown C (Boydell Press, 2010), 1-10

    Essays highlight the interplay between opera, art and ideology across threecenturies.

  • Cooper DG, ‘With Fife and Fiddle: Protestants and Traditional Music in Northern Ireland’, in Music in Conflict: Ethnomusicological Perspectives, ed. by O'Connell J and Castelo-Branco SE-S (University of Illinois Press, 2010), 89-106

  • Cooper DG, ‘Stanford's and LeFanu's Shamus O'Brien: Protestant Constructions of Irish Nationalism in Late Victorian England’, in Art and Ideology in European Opera: Essays in Honour of Julian Rushton, ed. by Cowgill RE, Cooper DG and Brown JCE (The Boydell Press, 2010), 85-102

  • Cooper D, ‘Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle: A Musicological Perspective’, in Bluebeard's Legacy: Death and Secrets from Bartók to Hitchcock, ed. by Anderson V and Pollock G, New Encounters: Arts, Cultures, Concepts (London: I. B. Tauris, 2009), 53-68

    Consideration of the symbolism of Bartók’s opera.

  • Cooper D, ‘Trevor Jones's Score for In the Name of the Father’, in The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Musicology, ed. by Scott D, Ashgate Research Companion (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), 25-42

    Study of Trevor Jones's film score

  • Cooper D, ‘Twas One of those Dreams that by Music are Brought': The Preservation of Irish Traditional Music and the Development of the Piano’, in Music in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, ed. by Smaczny J and Murphy M (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 9, 74-93

  • Cooper DG, ‘Seán Ó Riada and Irish Postcolonial Film Music’, in European Film Music, ed. by Mera M and Burnand D (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 100-115

    A study of the film music of Seán Ó Riada, especially Mise Eire

  • Cooper DG, ‘On Imagining the Mediterranean’, in The Mediterranean in Music: Critical Perspectives, Common Concerns, Cultural Differences, ed. by Cooper D and Dawe K (Scarecrow Press, 2005), 207-229

  • Cooper DG, Dawe KN, ‘Introduction’, in The Mediterranean in Music: Critical Perspectives, Common Concerns, Cultural Differences, ed. by Cooper D and Dawe K (Scarecrow Press, 2003), xiii-xvi

  • Ng KC, Cooper DG, Hogg DC, ‘Playing on a Holo-stage: Towards the interaction between real and virtual performers’, in Digital Creativity: A Reader, ed. by Beardon C and Malmborg L (Swets & Zeitlinger, 2002), 241-249

  • Cooper DG, ‘Bartók's Orchestral Music and the Modern World’, in The Cambridge Companion to Bartók, ed. by Bayley A, Cambridge Companions to Music (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 45-61

    A consideration of the relationship between Bartók's orchestral music, modernism and modernity.

  • Cooper DG, ‘Béla Bartók and the Question of Race Purity in Music’, in Music and Nationalism: Re-evaluations of the History and Ideology of European Musical Culture 1830-1945, ed. by Murphy M and White H (Music and Nationalism: Re-evaluations of the History and Ideology of European Musical Culture 1830-1945, 2000)

  • Cooper DG, ‘Michael Nyman - from 'Experimental' to 'Mainstream' Film Composer?’, in Contemporary Film Music Vol 2, ed. by Coleman L and Tilman J (Palgrave, [n.d.]) (Submitted)

  • Cowgill RE, Cooper D, Brown JCA, ‘Editors' Prologue’, in Art and Ideology in European Opera: Essays in Honour of Julian Rushton, ed. by Cowgill R, Cooper D and Brown C ([n.pub.], [n.d.]) (Submitted)

  • Cooper DG, ‘Twas One of those Dreams that by Music are Brought': The Preservation of Irish Traditional Music and the Development of the Piano’, in Music in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, ed. by Smaczny J and Murphy M (Four-Courts Press, [n.d.]), pp.15 (Submitted)

  • Cooper D, ‘Stanford and Le Fanu’s Shamus O’Brien: Protestant Constructions of Irish Nationalism in Late Victorian England’ ([n.pub.], [n.d.])

Conference papers

  • Cooper D, Sapiro I, Anderson L, Hall S, ‘A Very Smooth Transition into the Industry': Trevor Jones's Score for 'The Black Angel’ Music and the Moving Image, New York University, 29/05/2015 - 31/05/2015

  • Cooper DG, Sapiro, Anderson L, Hall S, ‘Sharing sonic space: the relationship between pre-existing and original music in Brassed Off and Notting Hill’ Music and Screen Media Conference, University of Liverpool, Research Centre for Audio-Visual Media, 25/06/2014 - 26/07/2014

  • Cooper DG, Sapiro, Anderson L, Hall S, ‘Simple, Medium, and Shebang’: Trevor Jones and the Development of the Toolkit’ Music and the Moving Image IX, New York University, Steinhardt, 30/05/2014 - 01/06/2014

    With a career spanning over thirty years, Trevor Jones is regarded as one of the film industry’s most distinguished composers. In the late 1980s Jones developed what he terms “toolkits”, collections of bespoke musical sounds used to augment the sonic palette of a film score, and to suggest particular soundscapes and atmospheres. These toolkits occupied a unique position in the production process, straddling the stages of composition and orchestration, and somewhat blurring the boundary between musical score and sound effects. Jones utilised toolkits in a series of films released between 1987 and 1993, including Angel Heart (1987), Mississippi Burning (1988), Sea of Love (1989), Freejack (1992), and In the Name of the Father (1993). He continued to develop and refine the toolkit concept through these projects, and there is a notable shift in its application from directorial resource to creative compositional tool across this period. We draw on unique archival materials held at the University of Leeds to discuss the initial inspiration for toolkits and to investigate case studies of their applications across films. Track sheets, multi-track recordings, sketches and full scores offer significant insights into the use of toolkits in the composition and orchestration of Jones’s scores from the late 1980s and early ’90s, allowing a thorough evaluation of their evolving role and function over a seven-year period.

  • Cooper DG, ‘A Dance to the Music of Herrmann’ Partners in Suspense: Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock, York St John University, 24/03/2011 - 26/03/2011

  • Cooper DG, ‘Béla Bartók and Race Purity in Music’ Infernal Dance: Inside the World of Béla Bartók Study day, Royal Festival Hall, 23/01/2011 - 23/01/2011

  • Cooper DG, ‘Ghosts and Mr Herrmann’ Film Music Conference: Celebrating the Centennials of Bernard Herrmann and Nino Rota, University of Leeds, 06/09/2011 - 08/09/2011

    Bernard Herrmann is sometimes accused of falling into a kind of lazy recycling in his later films, employing repetition, both at the micro-level of small melodic cells often in two-bar units, and at the macro-level of previously used and well-worn gestures and ideas. And at the same time, some of the films he scored post-Hitchcock have been regarded by a number of critics as pot boilers on which he worked with little real commitment or enthusiasm. This keynote address explores the late and neglected film The Night Digger, placing it in the context of his overall career and examining the extent to which ‘ghosts’ of his earlier work, both musical and narrative, pervade it.

  • Cooper DG, ‘With Fife and Fiddle: Protestants and Traditional Music in Northern Ireland’, in Music and Conflict ([n.pub.], 2010) 2004 ICTM Colloquium: Discord: Identifying Conflict within Music, Resolving Conflict through Music, University College Limerick, 02/09/2004 - 06/09/2004

  • Cooper DG, ‘Northern Identity and the Traditional Music of Ireland’ Music and the Idea of the North, Leeds Town Hall, 05/09/2008 - 07/09/2008 (Unpublished)

  • Cooper DG, ‘The Orphic Moment and Bernard Herrmann’s Score to Hitchcock’s Vertigo’ The Orpheus Myth in Modern Culture, Opera North Centre, 23/11/2007 - 25/11/2007

  • Cooper DG, ‘Position paper’ Ireland: Celebrating Peace, Embracing Change, Leeds Civic Hall, 18/11/2007 (Unpublished)

  • Ng KC, Cooper DG, ‘Studio Report of the Leeds University Electronic Studio’, in Computer Music Conference (ICMC’98) (Computer Music Conference (ICMC’98), 1998)

    Author URL [www.leeds.ac.uk]

Internet publications

  • Cooper DG, REVIEW: Martin Dowling, Traditional Music and Irish Society, ([n.pub.], 2015)

  • Cooper DG, Béla Bartók: how music broadened the mind of a ‘nationalist’ composer, (The Irish Times, 2015)

  • Cooper DG, Sapiro IP, The Petrie Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland (Website), (None, 2005)

    Author URL [www.leeds.ac.uk]

    Website associated with the book The Petrie Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland. Contains original piano accompaniments.

  • Cooper DG, DAVID COOPER ON BÉLA BARTÓK, ([n.pub.], [n.d.])


  • Cooper DG, Saxophone Quartet No. 2, (2003), Sheet music

    Saxophone Quartet


  • Cooper DG, Béla Bartók, Mikrokosmos 6 & other piano music, Cédric Tiberghien (piano), CD Liner notes. CDA68123, (London: Hyperion, 2016)

Thesis / Dissertations

  • Sapiro IP, ‘Scoring the Score: The Role of the Orchestrator in the Contemporary British Film Industry’

    Investigations into the processes of film-score production are usually centred on the composer, and focus principally on the American film industry based in Hollywood. While such an approach may be understandable given the large volume of contextual information available in the general film-music literature, the prevalence of this line of enquiry has led to assumptions about film-scoring processes which may not hold true in other branches of the industry, or when scrutinised from different perspectives. Accordingly, this thesis breaks away from the normal starting point for a process-based evaluation of film music. The research area is shifted in terms of both protagonist and location, the investigation instead focusing on the role of the orchestrator in the contemporary British film industry. As a member of the composer’s support team, the orchestrator is often overlooked or merely mentioned in passing in much of the published literature, despite composers often stressing the value of such personnel. The current author conducted interviews with ten orchestrators and composers currently active in the British business to generate primary evidence of the UK film-score production process, and provide proper clarification of the role of the orchestrator in this industry. When considered alongside the existing scholarship, this testimony also enables a re-evaluation of film-score production processes in a non-Hollywood context. Additionally, this research attempts to properly establish the differences between orchestration and arrangement, a terminological minefield which permeates much of the film-music literature and has significantly hindered understanding of the role orchestrators and arrangers play in the production of a film score. The findings of the thesis also provide the basis for a new, non-linear model of film scoring, which more accurately situates orchestration and arrangement within the process, and reflects the complex inter-relationships between the various aspects of score production.

Research Projects & Grants

  • Principal investigator, AHRC large award, The Professional Career and Output of Trevor Jones (2013-16) http://www.trevorjonesfilm.leeds.ac.uk/
  • Principal investigator, British Academy Small Research Grant,
  • Principal investigator, AHRC: A Digital Archive of Film Music Materials by Trevor Jones (2006)
  • Principal investigator, AHRB: Bernard Herrmann’s Score for The Ghost and Mrs Muir (2004)
  • Principal investigator, AHRB: Joe Holmes – A Consideration of an Irish Protestant Traditional Musician (2000-2001)
  • Principal investigator, Humanities Research Board of the British Academy/AHRB: Optical Recognition of Hand-written Manuscripts with Application to Film-Music Scores (Institutional Fellowship 1999-2003)

External Appointments

  • External Examiner, BA Music, University of Nottingham (2015-)
  • External Examiner, MA Music Technology, University of York (2011-13)
  • 2014, Music for Audio-Visual Media, University of Leeds, 4-6 September 2014, co-organiser.
  • 2011, Keynote speaker, Herrmann – Rota Conference, University of Leeds
  • 2011, Keynote speaker, Partners in Suspense Conference, York St John University
  • 2009 Film Music Conference, University of Leeds in collaboration with Leeds International Film Festival, Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall, University of Leeds (Friday 6 November 2009), co-organiser with Ian Sapiro, guest composer Ilan Eshkeri.
  • 2009 Heimat Symposium, (DARE) Howard Assembly Room at Opera North, 5 November 2009, co-organiser.
  • 4th Film and Music Conference, Bradford NMM (2008) co-organiser (keynote Patrick Doyle).
  • 3rd Film and Music Conference, Bradford NMM (2007) co-organiser (keynote David Arnold)
  • 2nd Film and Music Conference, Bradford NMM (2006) co-organiser (keynote Michael Nyman)
  • 1st Film and Music Conference, Bradford NMM (2005) co-organiser (keynote Trevor Jones).
  • Associate editor, The Journal of Film Music
  • International conference, Sound, Music and the Moving Image, Senate House London (2007) member of the programme committee
  • Music and The Mediterranean symposium, University of Leeds (2001) co-organiser
  • RMA Film Music Conference, Southampton University (2001) member of the programme committee
  • The Celtic Cultures Conference, University of Leeds (1999), co-organiser
  • Previously a member of the AHRC and EPSRC peer-review colleges.
  • External examinershipsTaught programmes:
    Oxford Brookes University (Music, 1999-2002);
    Queen’s University Belfast (Music Technology, 2001-5);
    University of Huddersfield (Music Technology BA and MA, 2002-6);
    Royal College of Music (MA Composition, 2006-10);
    University College Cork (BA, etc, 2006-9);
    University of York (MA Music Technology, 2011- 2013);
    University of Nottingham (2015 – ).
  • Research Degrees:
    University of Salford (1999)
    University College Cork (2005)
    University of Oxford (2005-6)
    University of Salford (2007)
    Oxford Brookes University (2008)
    University of Sheffield (2011)
    University of Nottingham (2011)
    University of York (2013)
    Queen’s University Belfast (2013)
    Royal College of Music (2014)

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

Past Research Students

  • MA by research
    • 1994, Eileen Guppy, ‘The solo piano music of Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea their historical significance and their contribution to the emergence of a new genre of musician’.
    • 1996, Anthony Faulkner, ‘Thad Jones and the Ellington effect’.
    • 2000, Steven Michael Pierce, ‘Scorebot theory and design of an automated film scoring application’.
  • PhD
  • 1998, Martijn Voorvelt, (with Prof Leigh Landy) ‘British post-punk experimental pop (1977-1983)’.
  • 1999, Rachel Justine Swindells, ‘Stylistic fusion in a postmodern context’.
  • 1999, Ewan James Stefani, Portfolio of musical compositions.
  • 2001, David Fligg, Portfolio of musical compositions
  • 2001, Robert Asmussen, ‘Periodicity of sinusoidal frequencies as a basis for the analysis of baroque and classical harmony: a computer based study’.
  • 2002, Mark Marrington, ‘Extra-musical influences and musical style in the works of Denis ApIvor’.
  • 2003, Rosemary Fitzgerald (with Dr Luke Windsor), ‘Performer-dependent dimensions of timbre: identifying acoustic cues for oboe tone discrimination’.
  • 2004, Adam Tee (with Dr Des McLernon), ‘The Computer Representation and Thematic Analysis of Pre-Twentieth Century Western Art Music’.
  • 2006, John Mackenzie, ‘The guitar works of Stephen Dodgson’.
  • 2007, Robert Ellis Geiger, ‘Trends in contemporary Hollywood film scoring : a synthesised approach for Hong Kong cinema’.
  • 2008, Dale Perkins, Portfolio of original musical compositions and written commentary.
  • 2008, Michael Byde, ‘The later orchestral works of William Walton: A critical and analytical re-evaluation’.
  • 2011, Catherine Haworth, ‘Dames, Darlings, and Detectives: Women, Agency, and the Soundtrack in RKO Radio Pictures Crime Films 1939-1950’.
  • 2011, Constance Louise Wallcraft, ‘Theorising the Film Musical’.
  • 2011, Ian Peter Sapiro, ‘Scoring the Score: The Role of the Orchestrator in the Contemporary British Film Industry
  • 2012, David Ireland (with Luke Windsor), ‘The influence of incongruence on perceived emotional meaning in the film soundtrack’.
  • 2012, Caroline Lucas (with Mic Spencer), ‘Portfolio of original musical compositions with written commentary’.
  • 2014, Daniel Holden (with Luke Windsor), ‘Modelling Motivic Processes in Music: A Mathematical Approach’.
  • 2017, Sarah Hall (with Ian Sapiro) ‘The Television Music of Trevor Jones: Using an Audio-visual Archive to Explore Scoring Processes’.

PhD Thesis


Folio of Musical Compositions

Professional Practice


‘A Favour Returned’ (Prom 42), Twenty Minutes, BBC Radio 3, 14 August 2006.

Interviewed by Moya Brennan (Clannad)  on Compass Ceoil, 3 January 2011, ‘The Origins of the Tradition’, and 6 January 2011, ‘The Tradition Today’.

Interviewed by Tom Service on Herrmann, Music Matters, 12 March 2011.

Interviewed by Tom Service on Béla BartókMusic Matters, 30 May 2015.


Giacomo Joyce, Music Theatre (1997).

Metamorphosis for live electronics with WX7 Wind Controller, Leeds (1993). Richard Ingham. Listed under ‘MIDI repertoire’ in the Cambridge Companion to the Saxophone.

In Limine Sapientiae (Baritone Saxophone and Piano), British Saxophone Congress. October 17th 1992. Listed under ‘Contemporary repertoire’ in the Cambridge Companion to the Saxophone Handbook.

Five Robert Graves Songs (1990) Composer and Deborah Hannah, Leeds 1991.

Fractal Mobiles, Orchestra & Electronic Tape. Leeds (1990).

Dán Leictreonach, Electronic media on PCM encoded Tape. Leeds (1989).

Trio (fl, ob, cl), Leeds Wind Quintet. Leeds (1989).

Septet Northern Sinfonia, 1981; Leeds University 1988.

Solipsism, Solo Alto Saxophone. Nick Turner. Leeds (1987). See under ‘Contemporary repertoire’ in the Cambridge Companion to the Saxophone.

Intermezzo, Leeds Wind Quintet (1987).

Hope’s Voice, song cycle. Composer and Debbie Brussel, Leeds (1987).

Saxophone Quartet No 1, Commissioned by the Northern Saxophone Quartet, 1985. First Performance Washington DC 1986. British premiere Purcell Room Dec 1986. Published by Samuel King.

Piano Fantasy Benjamin Frith. Premiered in the Wigmore Hall in 1984 with more than 30 subsequent performances.

Mes Instantanées Aulos Ensemble, First Prize, 1981 Yorkshire Arts Competition, Huddersfield Festival.

Contrasted Landscapes Gemini. Joint Prizewinner, 1980 Yorkshire Arts Competition, Huddersfield Festival.

Wind Quintet No. 2. Commissioned by the Northern Sinfonia Wind Ensemble with the aid of the Arts Council (Dio Fund, 1978)







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