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Dr Kenneth Gloag


Kenneth Gloag Position: Reader in Musicology Email:
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 74386
Fax: +44(0)29 208 74379
Extension: 74386
Location: 37 Corbett Road (Annexe), Room 1.13

Kenneth Gloag studied music at Surrey University and completed an MMus in music theory and analysis at King’s College, London, before completing his PhD - an analytical study of the music of Stravinsky - at Exeter University. He has published extensively on a broad range of musics, including popular music and 20th-century British music with particular reference to the music of Michael Tippett. Publications include a book on Tippett’s A Child of Our Time (1999) and a contribution to Tippett Studies (also 1999) and he has recently completed the co-editing, with Nicholas Jones, of The Cambridge Companion to Michael Tippett (forthcoming 2013). He is currently working on, in collaboration with David Beard, a new version of Musicology: The Key Concepts.Other publications include studies of the music of Peter Maxwell Davies, Nicholas Maw and Thomas Adés. Other interests include critical and cultural theory, modernism, postmodernism, music theory and aesthetics, popular music and jazz.



Harrison Birtwistle Studies, co-editor with David Beard and Nicholas Jones (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Birtwistle’s Significant Gestures’, in Harrison Birtwistle Studies.

‘Jazz – Avant-garde – Tradition’, in Ideas in the Aesthetics of Music, edited by Stephen Downes (Routledge, 2014).

‘A thing of the past: Canon Formation and the Postmodern Condition’, in Critical Music Historiography: Probing Canons, Ideologies and Institutions, eds. Markus Manters and Vesa Kurkela (Ashgate, 2014).

Musicology: The Key Concepts, new edition, co-author with David Beard (Routledge, expected publication in 2013).


The Cambridge Companion to Michael Tippett, co-editor with Nicholas Jones (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Postmodernism in Music
(Cambridge University Press, 2012).

(co-editor Nicholas Jones) Maxwell Davies Studies (Cambridge: CUP, 2009)

Nicholas Maw: Odyssey. 'Landmarks in Music since 1950' (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008)

(with David Beard) Musicology: The Key Concepts (London: Routledge, 2005)

Tippett. A Child of Our Time (Cambridge: CUP, 1999)

Book Chapters, Journal Articles and Published Papers

‘Tippett and the Concerto: From Double to Triple’, in The Cambridge Companion to Michael Tippett (Cambridge: CUP, 2013), 168 – 89

‘Tippett’s Operatic World: From The Midsummer Marriage to The Knot Garden, in The Cambridge Companion to Michael Tippett (Cambridge: CUP, 2013), 239 - 63

‘Nicholas Maw’s breakthrough: Scenes and arias reconsidered’, The Musical Times (Summer 2011), 31 – 57.

'Thomas Ades and the Narrative Agendas of Absolute Music', in Beate Neumeier (ed.), Gender and Music (Heidelberg: Winter Verlag, 2009), 97-110

‘Questions of Form and Genre in Peter Maxwell Davies’s First Symphony’, in Maxwell Davies Studies (Cambridge: CUP, 2009), 129-49

'The String Quartet in the Twentieth Century', in Robin Stowell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet (Cambridge: CUP, 2003), 288-309

'Russian Rites: Petrushka, Rite of Spring, Les Noces', in Jonathan Cross (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Stravinsky (Cambridge: CUP, 2003), 79-97

'Gottfried von Einem and the Contexts of Modernism', in Ingrid Fuchs (ed.), Proceedings of the Gottfried von Einem Congress (Tutzing: Schneider, 2003), 33-48

'The Beatles: High Modernism and/or Postmodernism', in Heinonen et al (eds), Beatlestudies 3 (Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä, 2001), 79-84

'Situating the 1960s: Popular Music - Postmodernism - History', Rethinking History, 5 (2001), 397-410

'Tippett's Second Symphony, Stravinsky and the Language of Neoclassicism: Towards a Critical Framework', in David Clarke (ed.), Tippett Studies (Cambridge: CUP, 1999), 78-94

'All You Need is Theory? The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper', Music and Letters, 79 (1998), 577-83.

'The Recent Music of James Clapperton', Tempo, 118 (1993), 10-14

Other Output

Reviews in Popular Music, Music Theory Online, Music Analysis, Music & Letters, British Journal of Music Education and Radical Philosophy


Kenneth Gloag has recently published a book titled Postmodernism in Music and has co-edited, with Nicholas Jones, The Cambridge Companion to Michael Tippett. Current research projects include a study of the potential connections between music and photography, the operas of Michael Tippett, and further more detailed work on the discourses of postmodernism.

Research Papers and Public Lectures


Paper on Tippett's The Midsummer Marriage, Operatic Masculinities conference, Oxford Brookes University, 11 September 2012

‘Tippett and the Concerto: Questions of Style, Form and Genre’, Royal Academy of Music, April 2010.

'Fundamental Polarities and Stylistic Identities in Nicholas Maw's Scenes and Arias', North American British Music Studies Association (NABMSA) conference, York University, Toronto, 1 August 2008; CarMAC, Cardiff University, 5 September 2008

'Thomas Ades and the Narrative Agendas of Absolute Music', 'Dichotonies: a Workshop on Gender and Music', Cologne University (part of the Klang.Körper Festival for Contemporary Music and Gender), 15 June 2008

'jazz/avant-garde/tradition', symposium 'Pursuing the Avant-Garde', Surrey University, 10 November 2007.

'Postmodern Music and the Memory of Romanticism', 'Music and Postmodern Cultural Theory' Conference, Melbourne University, 6 December 2006.

'From King Priam to The Knot Garden: Tippett’s Stylistic Labyrinth and the Culture of Late Modernism’, Tippett Symposium, Glasgow University, 20 January 2005.

‘I Remember When Rock Was Young’, Symposium of the International Musicological Society Melbourne, 14 July 2004 and RMA Music Historiography Conference, Cardiff University, 12 September 2003.

' "The Shape of Jazz to Come”: Repetitions, Revisions and Differences’, ‘Popular Music and American Culture’ Conference, University of Texas at Austin, 21 November 2002.

Current PhD Candidates

Ruth Morris, ‘Music and the Visual Arts’.

Successful PhD Candidates

Ben Curry, ‘Reading Conventions, Interpreting Habits: a Critical Survey of Peircian Semiotics in Music’ (2011).

Alexis Paterson, 'The Minimal Kaleidoscope: Exploring Minimal Music Through the Lens of Postmodernity' (2010).

Frances Mitchell, ‘Interpreting Hanslick’s Vom Musikalisch-Schönen’, 2009.

Carys Wyn Jones, ‘Constructions and Deconstructions of the Popular Music Canon’,2006.

David Manning, ‘Harmony, Tonality and Structure in the Music of Vaughan Williams’, 2003.

Bryan Marshall, ‘Charles Ives and the Absent Presences of Life and Work’, 2003.

Sarah Hill, ‘”Blerwytirhwyng”: Welsh Popular Music, Language and the Politics of Identity’, 2002.

Nicholas Jones, ‘Analytical Perspectives on Peter Maxwell Davies’s Third Symphony’, 1999.