Department of Music
2017 National Student Survey results
100% overall student satisfaction: City first in the UK for Music in 2017 National Student Survey.
Situated right at the heart of one of the world's greatest musical cities, the Department of Music combines world-leading research with exceptional teaching in performance, composition and musicology.
We offer excellence in everything we do. Our education quality is underpinned by outstanding lecturers, two of whom received National Teaching Fellowships in 2012 and 2013.
Our flourishing performance culture is sustained through the provision of private performance lessons from visiting professional musicians and from the exceptionally wide range of classical and world music ensembles we sustain. We nurture musical creativity in a rich variety of forms, enhanced through outstanding facilities for performance, sound recording and composition, and building on our longstanding international reputation for creative work in music, media and technology.
City was ranked 14th in the UK for Music in the Guardian University Guide 2017.
City received a 98% satisfaction rating in teaching, a 100% satisfaction rating in academic support and a 100% score in learning resource - access to facilities (National Student Survey 2017).
What our students say...
“I enjoy the diversity of areas we can choose to study, from ethnomusicology through to classical, but also that I can really focus on my creative work for my major projects. I chose composition and performance.” (Anna, year 3 student)
“The performance opportunities in the department are outstanding, both solo performance and the wide range of ensembles, workshops, concerts and other activities.” (Leo, year 3 student)
“The studio facilities are amazing. They are the latest you could have. Plus, the fact that you can patch from any space, such as the gamelan room, into the recording studio makes for a great many possibilities when it comes to multi track recording.” (Catherine, year 2 student)
“If you’re into composition, any genre, then you’re totally spoilt with a regular composition forum, world-leading visitors from film composers through to sound artist, and lots of opportunities to have your pieces workshopped by professionals. It’s been very inspiring.” (Vincent, year 3 student)
Department of Music at City, University of London
See what the Music Department at City, University of London has to offer
The Music department at City, University of London offers a range of courses at undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research degree level.
See which course is right for you:
At City, we offer you the opportunity to gain experience of a music-related work environment during the second-year elective work placement module. It is a great way to apply the skills and experiences you have acquired and engage with your future career plans.
Students may also apply to take a sandwich year working in a placement between years two and three of the degree as part of the School or Arts and Sciences Integrated Professional Training Programme.
It is also possible to combine the options above by spending one term on the study abroad scheme and one term in a work placement in the UK. Alternatively, the Erasmus Plus Scheme enables students to spend a year working in Europe.
BMus students have recently undertaken placements at:
- Brains and Hunch
- British Harpischord Society
- Les Misérables, The Queen's Theatre (Sound Department)
- Live Music Now
- London Ear Festival
- London Philharmonic Orchestra (Education and Community Department)
- Record of the Day
- Richmond Music Trust
- The Roundhouse
- Songlines Magazine
- Southwark Cathedral
- Wired4music/Sound Connections
- A large number of schools, colleges and community music organisations.
"My name’s Flo, and I completed a 40 hour work placement at Juice 107.2, an independent radio station broadcasting 24 hours, 7 days a week in Brighton. During my placement, I gained skills such as music coding, using the GSelector software to organise and select songs to go into different themed categories, such as the Nothing but Noughties Show. I also updated radio playlists and researched new music releases on Spotify to investigate what music would fit into the daytime or evening shows and used RadioMonitor to see which songs were being played most frequently across radio stations similar to Juice. I was given the opportunity to interview R&B singer Rationale, which was one of my favourite experiences of working at Juice. Since doing my placement, I have been offered a more permanent intern role and I have gained amazing contacts in the industry. The work placement module has given me the opportunity to gain skills which will be useful for me when looking for future employment."
"As part of my degree I undertook 40 work placement at PRS for Music: a collection society that collects royalties on behalf of composers, song writers and music publishers in the United Kingdom. Within this company I worked with the PPS (Public Performance Sales) Licensing Team who is in charge of music licenses. During my time there I was involved in different kinds of tasks, such as researching, organising and analysing data. I managed to contextualised my knowledge of music copyright and how it is administered and I was able to explore the different kinds of music licenses, get an idea of how much money is involved in the process and how the income from music licenses is split among musical creators.
Overall what I enjoyed the most was the environment. The atmosphere of the office was relaxed and friendly. During the short time I spent there I managed to build good relationships both with my colleagues and my manager who helped me get the most out of this experience. Working in a team I was able to develop my interpersonal skills and realise my weaknesses and strengths.
Apart from gaining hands-on experience, I would strongly recommend undertaking a work placement because it does help a student in higher education to build their confidence and skills for the future."
For more information please see our student exchange webpages.
The Music BMus (Hons) at City has been designed to help you to broaden your musical and personal horizons. If you perform well in your first year, you can apply to spend a full academic year studying at one of our international partner institutions (between years two and three of your degree). This option will lead to the award of the four-year degree ‘BMus (Hons) Music with a Year Abroad’.
Our international partners include:
- Koç University, Turkey
- National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
- RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
- Queensland University of Technology, Australia
- University of Queensland, Australia
- Seoul National University, Korea
- Northeastern University, USA
- University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
- University of Turku, Finland
There are also options to study abroad through either the Erasmus or international exchange programmes. City, University of London's partner institutions in music include the University of Queensland (Australia), and the University of Turku (Finland).
School of Arts & Social Sciences Postgraduate Scholarships 2016/17
The School of Arts and Social Sciences is delighted to offer a number of scholarships for postgraduate students. The scholarships are worth £2,000 towards tuition fees awarded on the basis of academic merit and applicants' personal statements.
Dr Laudan Nooshin
Here is a list of the staff who work in the Department of Music. You can find out more about each member of staff, including their latest publications and their contact details by following the links below.
- Dr Newton Armstrong, Senior Lecturer in Composition and BSc Programme Director
- Leo Chadburn, Performance Officer
- Professor Stephen Cottrell, Professor of Music, MA Programme Director, Director of Music Research Degrees
- Dr Aaron Einbond, Senior Lecturer in Music
- Dr Adam Harper, Lecturer in Music
- Dr Alexander Lingas, Reader in Music and BMus Programme Director
- Dr Shay Loya, Lecturer in Music
- Dr Miguel Mera, Reader in Music and Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise
- Dr Claudia Molitor, Lecturer in Music
- Dr Laudan Nooshin, Reader in Music and Head of Department
- Ian Pace, Lecturer and Head of Performance
- Dr Tullis Rennie, Lecturer in Music
- Professor Rhian Samuel, Emeritus Professor
- Professor Denis Smalley, Emeritus Professor
- Professor Steve Stanton Emeritus Professor
Visiting Lecturers and Ensemble Leaders
- James Ball
- Laurie Blundell
- Marius Carboni
- Andy Channing
- Drew Crawford
- Tim Hooper
- Edmund Jolliffe
- Paul Newis
- Robert Percy
- Jo Saunders
- Barak Schmool
- Shirley Smart
- Stephen Wilford
Honorary Visiting Research Fellows
- Spiros Antonopoulos
- Graham Griffiths
Individual Instrumental/Vocal Tuition
We offer free tuition to our BMus students, with highly accomplished professionals who are active in and around London and many of whom also teach at leading conservatoires in the city.
- Alena Lugovkina, Nancy Ruffer
- Clarinet: David Campbell
- Horn: Julian Faultless
- Trumpet: Julie Ryan
- Percussion: Chris Brannick
- Piano: Laura Roberts, Richard Uttley, Katya Lebedeva, Mark Knoop, Mariko Brown
- Organ: Catherine Ennis
- Violin: Madeleine Mitchell, Tanja Goldberg, Persephone Gibbs
- Viola: Nigel Goldberg
- Cello: Alison Moncrieff-Kelly, Shirley Smart
- Voice: Ian Kennedy.
Professor Stephen Cottrell
The studios include the main Recording Studio (Audient), two recording/mix studios (Neve, SSL), and three composition/surround studios. Most studios are equipped with either 5.1 or 8.1 Genelec systems. All of the studios are equipped for sound editing, processing and mixing, and are equipped to deliver multi-track recording and mixing to a professional standard. As well as general software such as Logic, Sibelius and Pro Tools, these studios are equipped with Native Instruments Komplete, Ableton live, Max and IRCAM.
City Sound Studios
The recording studio is equipped to deliver multitrack recording and mixing to a professional standard. Following a recent refurbishment, the studio is now equipped with Protools HD (24/24), and an Audient 8024 36 channel in-line analogue console. For the more digitally minded, we also have Euphonix MC Control and MC mix.
The Mac pro is housed in a separate machine room, and has Logic, Protools HD, Native Instruments Komplete and VSL Sound Cube (full version) installed, as well as numerous stand alone effects plugins such as Altiverb. Outboard effects and processing include Maselec MLA-2, Drawmer 1969, Lexicon PCM80 and TC Finalizer.
All the studios at City University London have access to a large array of microphones, including Neumann U87, AKG414s and Soundfield ST450. Please use the download link below for a full list of microphones available.
The room itself is analyzed and acoustically treated to a high standard. It adjoins, and has line of sight with via control room windows, a vocal booth, a larger live room, and our large acoustically treated performance area. This enables recordings of anything, ranging from solo instruments, right up to large ensembles and orchestras. Download the equipment list.
Neve and SSL Rooms
The Neve (Genesys Black) and SSL (AWS 948) rooms are equipped to a very high standard with equipment used in many commercial recording studios. These rooms can be used for a variety of purposes, including mixing, mastering, multitrack recording and film and electroacoustic composition. The SSL room has a large array of outboard equipment and keyboards, which can by viewed by downloading the equipment lists.
The composition studios include three surround (8.1 / 5.1) studios, one of which is dedicated to film and live electronics work, and three stereo composition studios, all equipped for sound editing, processing and mixing. As well as general software such as Logic, Sibelius and Protools, these studios are equipped with Native Instruments Komplete, Ableton Live, Max PSP and VSL (full version).
All rooms are spectrum analysed, soundproofed and acoustically treated to a very high standard. These rooms are intended for film scoring, electronic music composition and general pre/post production work.
RoomsAll rooms are spectrum analysed, soundproofed and acoustically treated to a very high standard. Recent work created by students and staff in the composition studios has included multichannel compositions, music for dance, data sonifications, works for instruments and live electronics, digital instrument and software design, interactive audiovisual environments, and Foley, dubbing, sound design and music scoring for film.
The studios and Performance Space are managed and maintained by full-time technical director Will Goring, and a full-time technician. Technicians also provide specialist workshops for students in mixing and mastering techniques.
Module: Sound Recording and Studio Techniques
The undergraduate elective module 'Sound Recording and Studio Techniques' allows BMus students to learn how to use the studio for both classical and popular multi-track recording and mixing. The module is delivered by professional sound engineers Will Goring and Paul Newis.
Meet Cleo, a student at City who has gone on to be a sound engineer, working at some of the UK's most exciting festivals. Find out what she loved about her studies with us and discover our outstanding music facilities.
Established in 1975
The Sound Studios at City, University of London were established by Simon Emmerson (now Professor of Music, Technology and Innovation at De Montfort University) at the foundation of City's Music Department in 1975. Since then the Studios have played a major role in the development of electronic and electroacoustic musics, producing generations of leading composers and researchers in these fields.
Since their inauguration the studios have moved and undergone refurbishment several times. In 1990 Peter Gabriel formally opened the newly constructed studios in the College Building, and in 2007 the studios were refurbished once again to their current high specification.
Professor Emmerson served as Director of the Studios from 1975-2004. Denis Smalley joined City in 1994 and served as Director of the Studios from 2004 until his retirement as Emeritus Professor in 2009.
Full-time faculty members (past and present)
- Dr Laurie Radford, (2005-8)
- Dr Katharine Norman (2009-10)
- Dr Newton Armstrong (2009-present)
- Dr Miguel Mera (2009-present)
- Dr Diana Salazar (2013-2015)
- Aaron Einbond (2016-present)
- Claudia Molitor (2016-present)
- Tullis Rennie (2016-present)
The Studios have also hosted a number of eminent visiting professors including (among others)
- Iannis Xenakis (Gresham Professor of Music, 1975)
- John Chowning
- Francis Dhomont
- Jonty Harrison
- R. Murray Schafer
- Karlheinz Stockhausen
City's heritage in electronic & electroacoustic music
The studios remain integral to many of City's offerings in music, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In recent years the Department of Music's strong heritage in electronic and electroacoustic music has expanded to encompass a broad range of contemporary practices, including: composition for moving images, live and interactive electronics, interdisciplinary and intermedia work, and music combining instrumental and electronic resources. City's BMus, MA Music, PhD and staff composers continue to make an impact in contemporary music and sound art at national and international levels.
PhD Alumni of the City Sound Studios
Numerous postgraduate research students who worked in the City Sound Studios during their doctoral studies have gone on to receive recognition in prestigious international contemporary music competitions and festivals. Many have experienced substantial success as composers, sound artists, writers and/or software developers, and several now hold research and teaching posts in academic institutions around the world.
News, events and recent research
Relationship between music, sound and film explored in new book from City researcher
Dr Miguel Mera has edited the book The Routledge Companion to Screen Music and Sound...