Professor Edward Campbell
BMus (Hons), PGCE, PhD
Room 006, MacRobert Building,
School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen AB24 5UA
I am Professor of Music at the University of Aberdeen and co-director of the university’s Centre for Modern Thought.
After studies in philosophy and theology, I took a BMus degree at the University of Glasgow and a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. I specialise in contemporary European art music and aesthetics including historical, analytical and aesthetic approaches to European modernism, the music and writings of Pierre Boulez, contemporary European opera and the interrelation of musical thought, continental philosophy, critical theory, psychoanalysis and post-colonial theory. I have been working in recent years on the developing relationship between East and West particularly in relation to musical, philosophical and literary modernism.
I am the author of the books Boulez, Music and Philosophy (CUP, 2010) and Music after Deleuze (Bloomsbury 2013) and co-editor/contributor/translator to Pierre Boulez Studies (CUP, 2016) and The Cambridge Stravinsky Encyclopedia, (CUP, 2021). I am also currently working on a monograph East-West Encounters in Music in France since Debussy, editing the volume Boulez in Context (under contract to CUP) and working on various chapters and articles on aspects of contemporary music and aesthetics.
I am particularly interested in supervising MMus and PhD research in the following areas:
- Musical modernism
- Aesthetics/Aesthetics of Music - historical and contemporary
- Contemporary Opera
- Interdisciplinary research linking, music, philosophy, literature
- The interrelation of musical thought and continental philosophy/critical theory/psychoanalysis/postcolonial theory
- Asian Modernism -particularly China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam
- Western-style Operas and Operatic Hybrids by Chinese Composers
Memberships and Affiliations
- Internal Memberships
- Programme Director for the BMus (Hons) (SH) (2019-)
- Co-Director of the Centre for Modern Thought (2015-)
- Academic Line Manager for Music (2015-19)
- Head of Music (2015-18)
- Depute Head of Music (2011-15)
- External Memberships
External examiner for the MMus Musicology, MMus Early Keyboard Performance, MMus Composition, MSc Composition for Screen, MMus Musical Instrument Research, University of Edinburgh, 2012-17.
Member of BEd Music Evaluation Group, Royal Conservatory of Scotland, 2009-12.
Invited Peer reviewer for articles for the following journals and publishers: Music Analysis, Deleuze Studies, Theory, Culture and Society, Music and Letters, Music Theory Spectrum, Twentieth Century Music, Journal of Musicology, French Studies, Music Theory and Analysis, Cambridge University Press, Indiana University Press, Intellect Press, Oxford University Press, University of Chicago Press, Routledge, Peter Lang.
- Historical, analytical and aesthetic approaches to European modernism
- The music and writings of Pierre Boulez
- Compositional approaches in post-1945 Europe
- Contemporary European opera
- Music aesthetics/philosophy of music
- Music theory in 20th century France
- Music in relation to French intellectual culture of the 20th century
- 20th century French music, ethnology, colonialism and post-colonial perspectives
- The interrelation of music, philosophy, theology, literature and visual arts
- Western-style Operas and Operatic Hybrids by Chinese Composers
Books (in progress)
Pierre Boulez in Context (editor) - under contract with Cambridge University Press. Due for submission to CUP, 31 March 2023.
Sharing Cultures and Traditions: The mutual Impact of French and East Asian Nusic since 1945. Manuscript in progress.
Assemblage Theory in Experimental Music. Manuscript in progress.
Book Series – Resonances – I am co-editor with Dr Chris Stover of this book series on music and philosophy with Edinburgh University Press. We are contracted initially to commission and edit eight books on the philosophy of music in the period 2020-2025.
Articles (accepted and forthcoming)
Chapter on the music of François-Bernard Mâche. Title tbc
Edward Campbell and Caroline Rae. ‘Debussyian Descendencies: Investigating Influences since 1945’. Debussy Studies 2. Barbara L. Kelly and David Code (eds.). Cambridge University Press (9,000 words), submitted, July 2021.
Edward Campbell. ‘Generational Lines of Flight: Stravinsky and subsequent compositional trends in France’, in Stravinsky in France, Caroline Rae, Danick Trottier and François de Médicis (eds), submitted September 2021.
Review of Rancière and Music. João Pedro Cachopo, Patrick Nickleson and Chris Stover (eds.). pp. 416. (Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2020. ISBN 978-1-4744-4022-6.) Music and Letters, (in press, forthcoming September 2021) (2000 words). In press.
Conference papers and events
Refereed Papers at Conferences
‘Questions of Force and Consistency in the Deleuze-Guattarian Musical Assemblage’, 12th Annual Deleuze & Guattari Studies conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, 8-10 July 2019.
‘Boulez’s Le Marteau sans maître as Assemblage of the Surreal’. Surrealism and music in France, 1924-1952: interdisciplinary and international contexts. Senate House, University of London, 8 June 2018.
‘Made in France but Celebrating the World’, International Conference, ‘Creating Music across cultures in the 21st century, The Centre for Advanced Studies in Music, Istanbul Technical University (Turkey), 25-27 May 2017.
‘French Music and the East: Colonising the Sound of an Empire’. Conference. OM: Orient in Music – Music of the Orient. Lódz (Poland), Gra?yna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music, Department of Music Theory, International Conference, 10-11 March 2016.
‘Charting the beautiful and the sublime in musical modernity’. Conference: ‘New Music, the Beautiful and the Sublime’, as part of the SOUND Festival, The University of Aberdeen, 29-31 October 2015.
‘Tartan in Baden-Baden, Pierre Boulez at the 1965 Edinburgh International Festival’. Musica Scotica, Ninth Annual Conference, University of Aberdeen, 26–27 April 2014.
'A Rainbow in Curved Air: A Deleuzian Consideration of Musical Pitch Space'. 'Beyond the Semitone', Conference on microtonality. University of Aberdeen, 24 October 2013.
'A Rainbow in Curved Air: A Deleuzian Consideration of Musical Pitch Space'. Sixth International Deleuze Studies Conference, "the territory in between", University of Lisbon, July 8-10, 2013.
'Aspects of nostalgia, utopia and distance in Les Nègres by Michaël Levinas', Seventh International Conference on Music since 1900/Lancaster Music Analysis Conference, University of Lancaster, July 28-31 2011
'Operatic assemblages, sentence-images and the question of impurity', First Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association of Music and Philosophy, King’s College, University of London, 1-2 July 2011
'Messiaen, Boulez and Grisey: Three Generations of French Composers on Musical Time', Conference - 'Time's excesses in music, literature and art', University of Caen Basse-Normandie, France, 27-28 May 2011
‘Dusapin, Faust and the Rhizome’, Sixth Biennial International Conference on Music since 1900, University of Keele, July 2009
‘A Parisian Mélange: Michael Levinas and Les Aragons', Conference on Nostalgia and Innovation, University of Lancaster, May 2009
‘Music, Dialectics and Phenomenology in post-war Paris’, SMA Study Day: ‘Contemporary Questions in Music Aesthetics’, University of Glasgow, April 2006
‘Boulez, Souvtchinsky and Dialectical Thinking: An Exercise in Genealogy’, 20th Century Music Conference, University of Sussex, August 2005
‘Making a Scene: Moments from Nono’s Al gran sole carico d’amore’, Society for Music Analysis Conference, University College, Dublin, June 2005
‘Staking the Territory: Philosophical Models of thought and the Music Aesthetics of the Future’, SMA Study Day, Royal Northern College of Music, May 2005
‘Boulez’s Webern: perceptive development, creative misunderstanding or self-deception?’, Music Analysis Conference, Hull University, July 2003
‘Boulez and Philosophy: dialectics, structures and the philosophy of difference.’ Third Biennial International Conference on Twentieth Century Music, University of Nottingham, June 2003
‘Signals and Envelopes: Boulez and Musical Perception’, 5th European Music Analysis Conference, University of Bristol, April 2002
‘Boulez and Expression’, 31st RMA Research Students’ Conference, University of Southampton, January 1998
Invited Papers at Conferences
'Guattari, Consistency and (some) Experimental Musical Assemblages'. DARE 2019. Machinic Assemblages of Desire (Deleuze and Artistic Research). Orpheus Institute, Ghent, 9-11 Decemner 2019. (keynote lecture).
‘Catching the Sound and the Scent: East meets West in France’, ‘Aberannt Nuptials: International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research (DARE 2017)’, organised as part of ERC Starting Grant project Experimentation versus Interpretation: Exploring New Paths in Music Performance in the 21st-Century (ME21), Orpheus Institute, Ghent, 20-22 November 2017 (invited participant).
‘Le bon vin et l’opéra belge: Julie de Boesmans au Pays de Galles’. Conference, ‘Post-moderne ou singulier? Philippe Boesmans, Fondation des Treilles, Tourtour 18-23 juillet 2016 (invited paper).
‘The Dark Precursor and the Musics of the World’. ‘The Dark Precursor: International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research (DARE 2015)’, organised as part of ERC Starting Grant project Experimentation versus Interpretation: Exploring New Paths in Music Performance in the 21st-Century (ME21), University of Ghent, 9-11 November 2015 (keynote lecture).
‘Pierre Boulez: Composer, Traveller, Correspondent’. Interdisciplinary Symposium: ‘Boulez at 90’, The Barbican Centre, London. Organised by the Institute of Musical Research, 20 March 2015.
‘Aperghis on Opera Today: the working of the interdisciplinary assemblage’. 'Love to Death: Transforming Opera Incorporating the Royal Musical Association Annual Conference. Cardiff University, 31 May 2012.
‘Assembling Abstraction: Boris Blacher’s Abstrakte Oper Nr 1’. Event run by The Opera Group/Courtauld Institute, King’s College, University of London, 26 March 2012
‘Re-thinking Boulez: Schemes, Logics and Paradigms of Modernity’. Seminar on Musical Modernism, organised by the University of Oslo and the Centre franco-norvégien en sciences sociales et humaines, MSH, Paris, (key note speaker, 10-12 October 2011.
'The Boulez/Souvtchinsky Correspondence'. Exploring the Labyrinth: An International Study Day on the Music of Pierre Boulez, organised by the Southbank Centre in association with the Royal Academy of Music, 1 October 2011.
‘Dusapin, Faust and the Rhizome’ (revised), Modernism/Music: An Interdisciplinary Workshop, The Scottish Network of Modernist Studies, University of Aberdeen, May 2010
‘Boulez: Negation, binary thinking and dialectical "discourse."’ Boulez Day, Roehampton, University of Surrey, February 2004
Invited Research Seminars
'Made in France but celebrating the world'. University of Aberdeen PG research seminar, 12 September 2019.
‘Music becoming-animal in works by Levinas, Aperghis and Grisey’. Invited seminar. University of Uppsala, Sweden. 20 February 2018.
‘Introducing Musical Assemblage Theory’. Invited post-graduate lecture. University of Uppsala, Sweden. 21 February 2018.
‘Made in France but Celebrating the World’. Invited lecture. Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 10 January 2018.
‘Introducing Musical Assemblage Theory’. Invited post-graduate seminar. Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 10 January 2018.
‘French Music and the East: Colonising the Sound of an Empire’ (revised and expanded). Invited Seminar. University of Leuven, Belgium, 23 November 2017.
‘Made in France but Celebrating the World’ (revised and expanded). Invited Lecture. University of Leuven, Belgium, 23 November 2017.
‘Pierre Boulez: Composer, Traveller, Correspondent’. University of Leuven postgraduate seminar, 12 November 2015.
‘Pierre Boulez: Composer, Traveller, Correspondent’. University of Aberdeen Post-graduate Seminar, 1 October 2015.
‘Rethinking Musical Modernism’: nine two-hour interdisciplinary seminars given at the University of Aberdeen, Centre for Modern Thought, February-April 2014.
‘A Rainbow in Curved Air’: Musical Pitch and some implications for Thought. University of Aberdeen Post-graduate Seminar, 7 March 2013.
‘Music after Deleuze: Aspects of Difference in music from Beethoven to Boulez’. University of Leeds Music Post-graduate Seminar, 9 February 2012
‘Music after Deleuze: Difference and Rhizomes’. University of Aberdeen Post-graduate Seminar, 17 November 2011
‘A Parisian Mélange: Michael Levinas and Les Aragons' (substantially revised and expanded), University of Glasgow, Colloquium Series, October 2010'
'Boulez and Musical Virtuality', University of Aberdeen Music Department Seminar, December 2008
‘Footnotes to an Apprenticeship: Boulez and his Mentors’, John Bird Lecture, University of Cardiff October 2006
‘Boulez, Deleuze and the Music of Difference’, University of East Anglia Postgraduate Seminar, October 2004
‘Serialism as a Musical Language: The Structuralist Debate’, Music and Language Conference, University of Aberdeen, June 2004
'Serial Music, Difference and Repetition', University of Edinburgh, Music, Minds, Machines AI/Music Group, (by invitation), February 2000
‘Boulez and Difference’, University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Seminar, February 1999
Other Invited Lectures
Pre-concert talk: ‘Finding the Beauty and More in Modern Music’, as part of the SOUND Festival, The University of Aberdeen, 29-31 October 2015.
'A Rainbow in Curved Air': A Philosophical Consideration of Musical Space', Summerhall. Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 11 August 2012
From Plato to Primal Scream: Music and its connection to Philosophy, Summerhall. Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 17 August 2011.
Nono’s ‘Al gran sole carico d’amore’, Edinburgh International Festival, August 2004.
20th Century Composers Unveiled, Edinburgh Festival Muses, May 2004 (Nono, Feldman, Birtwistle).
The Music of Helmut Lachenmann, Edinburgh International Festival, August 2003.
Adorno and the Philosophy of New Music, University of Edinburgh, March 2003.
The Music of Igor Stravinsky, Edinburgh International Festival, August 2002.
The Liberation of Sound (4 sessions), Edinburgh International Festival, Feb-March 2002.
The Music of John Cage, Edinburgh International Festival, August 2001.
I have chaired individual sessions and participated in panel sessions at the following conferences:
Invited chair and moderator for papers given by Bernard Foccroulle (director of the Festival d’Aix en Provence), Dr Cécile Auzolle and Dr Julie Obert, Conference, ‘Philippe Boesmans, post-moderne ou singulier?’and part of the Festivel Aix en Provence, Aix en Provence, 20 July 2016 (by invitation).
Delivered and Chaired pre-concert talk/conversation with Tony Moffat (violin) and Scott Mitchell (piano) on Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. University of Aberdeen Concert Series, 4 February 2016.
Roundtable discussion of my book ‘Music after Deleuze’ (CUP, 2013). With Paolo de Assis, Martin Scherzinger, Brian Hulse and Bernhard Lang. The Dark Precursor: International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research (DARE 2015)’, University of Ghent, 9-11 November 2015 (by invitation).
Panel member in roundtable discussion ‘quel langage musical pour l'opéra au XXIe siècle?’ with Cécile Auzolle, Michael Levinas, Hector Parra, Mathis Nitschke, Jean-Claude Petit, Régis Campo, Pierre Thilloy. La Création Lyrique aujourd’hui: question de genres. Onzième et douzième journées d'étude du groupe de recherche OPEFRA. Paris, SACD, 9 rue Ballu, Paris IXe, 18-19 June 2015.
Participant in seminar ‘Le rationalisme musical et sa crise au XXe siècle: Adorno, Webern, Maderna, Nono’. with Paolo Quintili and Cécile Auzolle. Collège International de Philosophie, Paris, 16 June 2015
Panel member in roundtable discussion with Pierre Laurent-Aimard and a number of other Boulez scholars. Exploring the Labyrinth: An International Study Day on the Music of Pierre Boulez, organised by the Southbank Centre in association with the Royal Academy of Music (by invitation), 1 October 2011.
‘Approaches to Opera’ (invited chair), Seventh International Conference on Music since 1900/Lancaster Music Analysis Conference, University of Lancaster, July 28-31 2011.
‘Twentieth Century Music in France 2’ (invited chair), University of Keele, Sixth Biennial International Conference on Music since 1900, July 2009.
‘Boulez and Schaeffner’ (invited chair), Boulez Day, Roehampton, University of Surrey, February 2004.
Public Interviews/Conversations (by Invitation)
‘The music of Igor Stravinsky’. Interviewed by Andrew Ford for The Music Show, ABC National Radio Network, Sydney, Australia. The interview linked the 50th anniversary of Stravinsky’s death with the publication of my co-edited volume The Cambridge Stravinsky Encyclopedia. Interview recorded for ABC National Radio, 7 April 2021; broadcast 11 April 2021.
‘Boulez and his Rumble in the Jungle’. 45 minute BBC Radio 3 documentary arising from my lecture/chapter ‘Pierre Boulez: Composer, Traveller, Correspondent’ given in London in March 2015 and published in Pierre Boulez Studies on 13 October 2016. Interviews recorded for the BBC on 26 September 2016. Aired on Radio 3 on 29 January 2017 at 6.45 pm.
'Samuel Beckett and the Arts - to adapt or not to adapt?' Opening talk by Professor Dan Gunn
With the participation of Dr. Eddie Campbell (Music) and Dr. Adrienne Janus (English), University of Aberdeen, 24 February 2016.
Laurennt Cuniot and Bill Sweeney, Sound-Conversation, Sound Festival, 24 October 2014, Music Hall, Aberdeen.
Julian Anderson: Composer Portrait, University of Aberdeen Music Prize, University of Aberdeen, 5 November 2011.
'With Giorgio Battistelli:on his work ‘Experimentum Mundi’, Edinburgh International Festival ‘Behind the Scenes’ event, August 2009.
'With Jörg Widmann', Edinburgh International Festival Festival Insight, August 2005.
Funding and Grants
Cambridge University Press, £14,000 for expenses incurred in preparation of the Cambridge Stravinsky Encyclopedia, June 2015.
The Carnegie Trust, June 2013, £2,380 received for research at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris (August-September 2013)
University of Aberdeen, 2009, College of Arts and Social Science, Seed Funding, £465 received for additional costs in publication of the book ‘Boulez, Music and Philosophy’.
The British Academy, December 2006-October 2007, £1569 received for research visits to: Bibliothèque nationale, Paris Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, Brussels.
Current Teaching and Course Coordination
- MU2023 Introduction to Musicology (course coordinator)
- MU3051/MU4051 Early Musical Modernism (course coordinator)
- MU3522 Music Aesthetics (course coordinator)
- MU30M4 Musical Modernism after 1945 (course coordinator)
- MU4043 Music Dissertation (Honours)
- MU451N/551N Global Musical Modernism (course coordinator)
- MU5016 Contemporary Issues in Aesthetics (course coordinator)
- MPhil/PhD Dissertation in Musicology
- MU1033 Music from 900-1700/Writing about Music
- MU1035 BMus: Key Moments 1 (course coordinator)
- MU1053 A Survey of Western Art Music
- MU3003 New Directions (Course Coordinator)
- MU30M3 European Art Music 1945-2000 (course coordinator)
- MU3520 Contemporary European Music, Culture and Ideas (course coordinator)
- MU4502/5504 Contemporary European Opera (course coordinator)
- ED4018 Aesthetic Education
- MU5003 Music Research Skills and Methodologies (course coordinator)
- FS5006 Current Debates and Controversies in Visual Culture
- Music since 1945
- Music since 1980
- Music Theory 1
- MU2510 Music Education 2 (course coordinator)
- MU3044 Music Education 3 (course coordinator)
- MU4093 Music Education 4 (course coordinator)
- The Rise and Fall of the Avant-Garde
- Music since 1980
- Music Theory 1
Completed PhD students
Lucinda Rose Stroud: ‘“Real Life” Women’s Magazines, 1985-2018’, (50% supervisor with Professor Ed Welch). Full time studies.
Hans Ludwig Buchholz: ‘Meaning and normativity in a postmodern textual world’, (50% supervisor with Dr Andrea Teti in the Centre for Modern Thought ). University of Aberdeen. December 2018.
Rodrigo Ferrari-Nunes: Steps to a Reconstitution of Dwelling: Toward a Critical Anthropology of Listening (joint supervisor with the Anthropology department). University of Aberdeen, March 2016.
Shelagh Noden: The revival of Roman Catholic Church music in Scotland, University of Aberdeen. PhD awarded July 2014.
PhD dissertations examined
Anne Martin, ‘Idiomatic instrumental style in the textile consort music of William Byrd’, University of Aberdeen, July 2020.
Debbie Moss. ‘Jean Cocteau and Georges Auric: The poésie and music that shaped their collaboration in the mélodies, Huit poèmes de Jean Cocteau (1918)’. Kingston University, Surrey, 18 May 2020.
Dimitra Papachristou. ‘L’esthétique des arts technologiques à travers le “Capitalisme et Schizophrénie” I et II de G. Deleuze et F. Guattari’, Ionian University, Corfu, Greece and University of Paris VIII, 20 March 2020.
James Davis. 'Berio in History: Music, Politics and Philosophy from Darmstadt to Postmodernism'. University of Birmingham, November 2019.
Jane Leatherbarrow, 'Thickened Textures in the Organ Fugues of J. S. Bach: Embroidered Counterpoint and the Expressive Dissonance'. University of Aberdeen, June 2018.
Lucia D'Errico, ‘Powers of Divergence: An Experimental Approach to Music Performance’. University of Leuven/Orpheus Institute, Ghent, February 2018.
Ellen Hooper, ‘Singing relations: performance, transformation, and practices’. University of Sydney, Australia, August 2017.
Indioney Carneiro Rodrigues, ‘The Rhythmic Idea and the Musical Representation of Time’, Goldsmith’s, University of London, January 2017.
Klaas Coloumbier, ‘Multi-temporality: Analyzing simultaneous time layers in selected compositions by Elliot Carter and Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf’, University of Leuven, 29 May 2013.
M.Litt dissertations examined
Stephanie Colley, 'The Evolution of a Cindarella Instrument: Discussion of Three Key Works Arranged for the Viola'. Department of Music, University of Aberdeen, December 2011.
Sean Higgins, The Centre for Modern Thought, University of Aberdeen, ('Toward an art of noise: music, medium, and listening in the age of phonography ') June 2010.
Completed M.Mus Dissertation Students (dissertations supervised)
Thomas Michie. ‘The Position of the Human Subject in Musical Modernism: Perspectives from Adorno and Deleuze’. Department of Music, University of Aberdeen, September 2018.
Anya McCrae. ‘Making Waves: The Progressive Impact of Feminist Discourse in the Musical Domain’. Department of Music, University of Aberdeen, September 2018.
Anna Gillies. Shostakovich topic. Department of Music, University of Aberdeen, September 2017
Deirdre Filan. Strong Female Characters in Contemporary European Opera, Department of Music, University of Aberdeen, September 2016
Kirsty Campbell, 'The History and Development of the wind ensemble - its resulting popularity and documentation with musicological studies, Department of Music, University of Aberdeen, September 2014.
Thomas Lebrocq, ‘Michael Tippet’s ‘The Ice Break’ An analysis of realism and surrealism in the music and stage of Sir Michael Tippet’s fourth opera’. Department of Music, University of Aberdeen, September 2014.