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Dr Carlo Cenciarelli BA (Soton) MMus (KCL) PhD (KCL)

Dr Carlo Cenciarelli

BA (Soton) MMus (KCL) PhD (KCL)


School of Music

+44 (0)29 2087 0313
1.15, 37 Corbett Road (Annex)
Available for postgraduate supervision


My research focuses on Western musical culture since 1945, and revolves around two related themes: the relationship between aural and visual cultures, and the crossovers between classical and popular repertoires. As a result, my work sits at the intersection between sound studies and film theory, historical musicology and cultural studies. And it is concerned with a notion of 'popular music' that includes J. S. Bach and Mozart, Donizetti and Verdi, alongside (and in a posthumous dialogue with) Luciano Berio and Morton Feldman, Michael Nyman and Thomas Shore, Owen Pallett and Holly Herndon.

I am currently working on a monograph that explores the relationship between listening cultures inside and outside the movie theatre, and I am the editor of a large volume on the history and theory of cinematic listening (The Oxford Handbook of Cinematic Listening, expected publication 2020). My research has been published in edited collections and in journals including Music and LettersTwentieth-Century Music, Cambridge Opera Journal, and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association.

Before joining Cardiff, I was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London. I hold a PhD in Musicology from King’s College London (2011).


Education and Qualifications

2011: PhD, King's College London

2005: MMus, King's College London

2003: BMus, University of Southampton

Honours and awards

Westrup Prize, awarded for articles of particular distinction published in Music and Letters, 2014

Premio Giuseppe Verdi, Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani, Parma, Italy, 2010

Professional memberships

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Academic positions

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Royal Holloway, University of London

Visiting Lecturer at Manchester University, City University, King's College London, Oxford Brookes, and Surrey University.

Speaking engagements

  • 'Listening Alone, Together: The Cinema as a Personal Stereo', invited talk given at research colloquia at Carleton University (Canada), Turku University (Finland), and the University of Surrey (UK). 2018
  • Screen talks, BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, Film Season at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, 2017
  • 'Operatic Duets and Media Afterlives: Testing the Limits of (Audio-visual) Deadness', MaMI, New York University, 2017
  • 'Video Verdi: decontestualizzazione e ricontestualizzazione dell'opera nell'epoca del digitale', Verdi e i nuovi media, Università degli Studi di Parma, 2017
  • 'Bach and Cinematic Time', Research Seminar part of the workshop On (re)connaît la chanson: La musica preesistente nel cinema, Università degli Studi di Milano, 2016
  • Panel participation: 'Journeys on Screen: Travel, Space and the Question of Cinematic Form', Screen Studies Conference, University of Glasgow, 2016
  • 'The Sense of an Ending: Music, Time and Travel in Before Sunrise', MaMI, New York University, 2016
  • 'Music/Performance/Media' workshop at Università degli Studi di Milano, 2015
  • 'Changing the Sound of 1984', International Conference on Music Since 1900, University of Glasgow, 2015
  • 'The Sense of an Ending: Music, Time and Travel in Before Sunrise', MaMI, New York University, 2016
  • 'Music/Performance/Media' workshop at University of Milan, 2015
  • Respondent, 'On Networks: Questions and Models', British Audiovisual Research Network, University of Glasgow, 2015
  • 'The Resilient Liveness of Operatic Deadness', Transnational Opera Studies Conference, University of Bologna, 2015
  • 'Dear David Bowie: iPod Listening as Inner Speech', MaMI, New York University, 2015
  • 'Moving Images and Mobile Music', Research Seminars in Music, University of Bristol, 2014
  • 'Opera's Twilight? Verdi from Cinema to YouTube', Fribourg and Lausanne Universities, 2013
  • Roundtable Speaker and Organiser, 'Framing Verdi: Opera and 21st-century Popular Culture', American Institute for Verdi Studies and New York University, 2013
  • 'Towards a "More-than-representational" Approach to Cinema's Representations of Listening', American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Toronto University 2013
  • 'Listening, in the Future', Colloquia in Music, King's College London 2013
  • 'Western Art Music, "Indie" Cinema, and the Politics of Anti-identity', International Musicological Society Congress, Rome (Italy), 2012













On the UG programme I run a film music module (‘Reading Film Sound’, MU2179 and MU2181) that aims to give students historical and theoretical frameworks for interpreting the role of sound in film, and a module on the history of playback techologies ('Aural Cultures From the Phonograph to the Smartphone).

At MA level I teach a module titled ‘Studying Musical Multimedia’ (MUT201), which tackles a wide range of phenomena from fiction film to documentaries, music video, virtual bands, opera broadcasts, TV commercials, and video games. I also run the PG forum, a weekly meeting with Masters and PhD students where we discuss the practical and intellectual challenges of doing research in Music (for more information, see our blog at

I have supervised UG and MA students on various issues in the history and theory of musical multimedia, and on a wider range of topics including musical borrowing, intertextuality, minimalism and the history of recordings.

I welcome applications from potential PhD students on film music and on topics concerning sound, media and technology more broadly.

I specialise in the intersection between aural and visual cultures in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

At present I am particularly interested in finding ways to theorise the nature of cinematic listening and the relationship between listening cultures inside and outside the movie theatre – a topic that I am exploring in a monograph and through a broader collaborative project (see