Faculty of Music

The Oxford University Music Faculty is one of the largest and liveliest music departments in the UK. As an internationally renowned centre of teaching and research in all aspects of music, it is an exciting and stimulating environment in which to work and study.

Our undergraduate and graduate curricula are strong in traditional musicological and musical skills – for musicologists, performers and composers – but are also notably wide-ranging and imaginative. They reflect the spectrum of contemporary developments in music and musicology: from the 13th-century motet to global hip-hop; from ethnomusicology to music psychology; from historically informed performance practice to electroacoustic composition. Alongside our formal programmes, we organise a wide variety of concerts, masterclasses, workshops, public lectures and conferences. Our resources include the celebrated Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, a high-spec electronic music studio, a prize-winning library, an Indonesian gamelan and specialised resources for the study of performance. Students work closely with our resident ensembles, which include the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, the Cavaleri String Quartet and Contrapunctus. And all this is complemented by the exceptionally rich musical and academic life of the wider University and its colleges, with world-famous choirs, University orchestras and chamber groups, jazz and contemporary music ensembles, as well as the unrivalled resources of the Bodleian Library.

Our research, too, covers a broad spectrum, including European music from 800 to the present day, ethnomusicology, composition, opera studies, film and popular musics, music theory and analysis, the psychology of music and performance studies. The Faculty is home to the European Research Council’s €1.7m research centre, Music, Digitization, Mediation: Towards Interdisciplinary Music Studies. And our own work is greatly enriched by a roster of regular visitors from the worlds of musicology, performance and composition, and from the wider professional musical world.

Teaching and Research Showcase

Podcast: Unlocking Late Schumann

Unlocking late schumann

In this series TORCH Knowledge Exchange Fellow, Professor Laura Tunbridge from the Faculty of Music, introduces music by German Romantic composer Robert Schumann, focusing particularly on the late works being featured in the Oxford Lieder Festival (14-29 October, 2016). Prof. Tunbridge discusses the challenges of performing and interpreting this music with Professor Barry Murnane and Richard Wigmore, and performers Sarah Connolly, James Gilchrist, Tim Horton, Eugene Asti, and Roger Vignoles.

More podcasts from the Faculty of Music

Research: Balzan Research Project, Towards a global history of music

balzan research project

The idea of a global history of music, which may be traced back to enlightenment forerunners, and has been reiterated in the 1970s by the music historian Leo Treitler, among others. The present situation in various branches of western musicology is characterised by specialisation – on European music history on the one hand, on ethnological or sociological fieldwork on the other. Research on specific musical cultures sometimes lacks comparative outreach or is insufficiently reflected in the wider discipline. The historical depth of other civilisations is often underrated by western scholarship, and a concern for the world’s musical past, shared with non-western speakers, is rarely visible.

Postcolonial critique has challenged the West’s self-ascribed position at the heart of world history. In the light of this challenge, how might a historical understanding of western music in the world proceed? How should it position, or justify itself? Who might be authorised to speak for, or against, it? What would ‘western music’ look like in an account of music history that aspired to be truly global?

More research projects and centres from the Faculty of Music

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For more information, visit the Music Faculty website



Undergraduate courses

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Graduate courses

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Academic staff

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