Dr Jonathan Hicks

Dr Jonathan Hicks
Dr Jonathan Hicks
Dr Jonathan Hicks

BMus, MSt, DPhil


Accepting PhDs

Email Address
Office Address
123 MacRobert Building
Old Aberdeen Campus
581 King Street
AB24 5UA

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School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture


I grew up in a village outside York (North Yorkshire) and took my undergraduate degree in music at the University of Birmingham. I spent a year working in creative education and arts admin before starting a masters in musicology at the University of Oxford. I stayed at Oxford for my doctoral studies, where I wrote my dissertation on “Music, Place, and Mobility in Erik Satie's Paris” under the supervision of Peter Franklin. I then held a Junior Research Fellowship at Lincoln College, Oxford, which led to a postdoctoral post on the European Research Council project, Music in London, 1800-1851, directed by Roger Parker at King’s College London. I began moving back north with a fellowship at Newcastle University's Humanities Research Institute before joining the University of Aberdeen in 2019 as a lecturer in music.


  • BMus Music 
    2005 - University of Birmingham 
  • MSt Musicology 
    2007 - University of Oxford 
  • DPhil Music 
    2013 - University of Oxford 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Member of:

  • University Senate
  • Aberdeen branch of University and College Union
  • Museums and Special Collections Academic Forum
  • George Washington Wilson Centre for Art and Visual Culture
External Memberships

Learned society memberships:

  • The Royal Musical Association
  • The International Musicological Society
  • North American British Music Studies Association

Editorial roles:


Research Overview

Much of my work is concerned with music and theatre in the British nineteenth century. I am particularly interested in the criss-crossing of musical and urban histories in big cities like London (and Paris). I like to approach the music of the past via the places and spaces with which it was commonly identified. This might mean paying close attention to particular sites of performance (Italian opera is a different beast when taken out of the theatre and into the street, for instance) or it might mean asking how music contributed to various (often multi-media) evocations of territories or landscapes. I also research the history of how music and musicians travel and adapt. The notion of cultural mobility is central to The Melodramatic Moment, a collection of essays that I edited with Katherine Hambridge (Durham) as well as my first monograph (in preparation) on music and commerce in Victorian London. If any of this is up your street, do get in touch. 

You can find details of some of my published research on my Academia.edu profile page.

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Music.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me


Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Urban Studies
  • History of Music
  • Musicology
  • Theatre Studies
  • British History

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

As well as working on my monograph (see above) I have recently finished an essay about the cinematic afterlives of the Victorian hymn "Onward, Christian Soldiers." I have further essays in the pipeline about the uses of incidental music in late-Victorian urban melodrama and interdisciplinary approaches to nineteenth-century song. I have also been commissioned to write a chapter introducing the study of music and the built environment.  

Longer term, I plan to write about of sound and music in the early town planning movement (mainly in Britain, from the late-nineteenth to the early-twentieth century). I also aim to publish something on the history of musical cartography (see the section on grants below). 

Past Research

I was a founder member of the Hearing Landscape Critically research network, which brought together scholars and practitioners from various fields between 2012 and 2016 to address the significance of sound in landscape and the role of landscape in shaping our understanding of music.


I am co-director of The London Stage Project led by Michael Burden (New College, Oxford), which hosts a biannual conference on The London Stage and the Nineteenth-Century World as well as the London Stage Calendar of theatrical performances, 1800-1844 (Part 1: 1800-1832 was launched in April 2021). In previous years we have curated a major exhibition on Staging History, 1780-1840 (2016-2017) and published a volume of essays (also titled Staging History, 1780-1840) on the phenomenon of historical drama in Britain and the United States. 

I am a founding member of the Nineteenth-century Song Club, which meets quarterly to support the literary, historical, and musical study of nineteenth-century songs and singers. 

I am also a member of the Music Studies in/of the Anthropocene Research Network, and have been an active participant in the network's two conferences to date. 


My current supervision areas are: Music.

First supervisor:

  • Ignasi Solé Piñas (analysis of recordings of Beethoven's cello sonatas)
  • Junqiong Guan (history of graded music exams in China)

Joint supervisor:

  • Mollie Carlyle (life and legacy of Stan Hugill)

Second supervisor:

  • Alistair Rennie (the weird and the eerie in soundscape practice)
  • Claudia Falcone (women and domestic music-making in early nineteenth-century Britain)
  • Jingjie Xu (exoticism in late-nineteenth-century French opera)


Funding and Grants

I am Principal Investigator for an for an AHRC research network on Mapping Music History (2019-2022). As the network gather steam we will be posting blogs and resources to musicalgeography.org, a site run by my co-investigator Louis Epstein (St. Olaf College). 




  • Undergraduate, 4 year, September start

    I am the programme coordinator for the BMus in Music. I also help to oversee the Music part of major/minor or joint programmes with Music. If you are studying on any of these programmes or thinking about transferring, please don't hesitate to get in touch.


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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Journals

Other Contributions