Dr Jonathan Hicks

Dr Jonathan Hicks
BMus, MSt, DPhil


Dr Jonathan Hicks
Dr Jonathan Hicks

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 274537
The University of Aberdeen School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
University of Aberdeen
King’s College
Aberdeen AB24 3UB
Scotland, UK
Office: MacRobert Building, 123
Office hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays, 14:00 - 15:00 
Web Links

I have a profile page on academia.edu


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, led 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.


Research Interests

Much of my work is concerned with the criss-crossing of musical and urban histories in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - especially, though not exclusively, in big cities like Paris and London. 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 the (often multi-media) evocations of particular territories or landscapes. I'm also interested in 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), Music on the Move in Victorian London. If any of this is up your street, do get in touch. 

Current Research

As well as working on my monograph (see above) I am currently finishing a review article entitled "Opera History, the Travel Edition" and a book chapter on sound, fame, and Fingal's Cave. 

Longer term, I will be writing a study 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 Grants below).


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; the next instalment is 16-18 April 2020. 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. We are currently preparing to launch a digital calendar of performances in London theatres, 1800-1844, which will be freely accessible via the Oxford Digital Library when it goes live some time in 2020.

I am a member of the editorial collective of the journal Radical Musicology and the editorial board of the Cambridge Elements series Music and the City. I am also a board member of the newly-formed Nineteenth-century Experimental Song Collective (web link forthcoming).

Research Grants

I am Principal Investigator for an for an AHRC research network on Mapping Music History (2019-2020). 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). 



Teaching Responsibilities

In 2019-20 I will be coordinating the following courses:

  • MU1035 Key Moments 1
  • MU4049 Dissertation in Music
  • MU5003 Music Research Skills

If you have any questions or concerns about the above, please get in touch.

Further Info

Admin Responsibilities

I convene the department's series of Music Research Seminars and welcome suggestions for speakers.