Introduction: Music Research


The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash is consistently ranked among the best music schools in Australia according to data provided by the Australian Research Council and the ‘Group of Eight’ consortium of research-intensive Australian universities.

Our research is undertaken in three specialist areas:

  1. Ethnomusicology, including music of Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Southeast Asia generally as well as Jewish music
  2. Musicology, including music criticism, aesthetics, biography and music from Western and Eastern Europe, particularly Britain and Romania
  3. Practice-based Research: Composition/PerformanceNew commissions; premieres; recordings and broadcasts; publication of scores; recitals; invited performances (e.g. at festivals and for touring companies) of new works (including new arrangements of existing works).


In addition to the above areas, many staff are involved in studying Australian art music as well as popular music and its social and cultural contents in Australia and overseas.

Read more about our Research …

Research Groups

The School’s Research Groups promote individual and collaborative research between our staff, students and adjuncts in composition, ethnomusicology, musicology and performance.

Research Projects

Staff in the School are currently undertaking Research Projects in a wide range of areas and topics.

Music Archive of Monash University (MAMU)

The Music Archive of Monash University (MAMU) contains valuable research materials from Southeast Asia (including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines), South Asia (including India and Sri Lanka), East Asia (including China and Japan), Aboriginal/Indigenous Australia (especially the Pitjantjara area) and Jewish Asia and Australia.


During semester, seminars are given by staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars.

Semester 1, 2014

20 March – James Mitchell, ‘Thai music on 78 rpm and the golden age of Thai song’

27 March – John Griffith and Richard Divall, ‘Australian music history and the blue skies beyond: digital humanities, virtual archives and us’

3 April ­– Robert Chamberlain, ‘Composition and piano pedagogy: some creative pathways for school age piano students’

10 April – Michael Spicer, An agent based approach to interactive composition

17 April – Robert Stove, ‘A French Orgelbüchlein: Dupré’s 79 chorales, op. 28’

1 May – Nino Tsitsishvili, ‘Origins of love song as a universal cultural practice: sexual selection or sexual frustration?’

8 May – ‘On shore, Off Shore, Not Sure: Peter Sculthorpe’s Music for Japan and the Australian cultural experience at Expo ’70, Osaka’

15 May – Gay Breyley, ‘From pop divas to metal mayhem: the diversity of popular music and its fans in contemporary Iran’

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