School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Dr Ian Biddle

Senior Lecturer


Other websites:


Ian Biddle is a cultural theorist and musicologist, working on a range of topics in music- and sound-related areas. His work ranges from the cultural history of music and masculinity, theorising music's intervention in communities and subjectivities, sound, soundscapes and urban experience, and the politics of noise. He has interests in memory studies, sound studies, Italian workerist and autonomist theory, psychoanalysis and theoretical approaches to 'affective' states. He is co-founder and co-ordinating editor (with Richard Middleton) of the journal Radical Musicology.


Ian Biddle graduated from Nottingham University in 1988 and completed his PhD at Newcastle in 1995, 'Autonomy, Ontology and the Ideal: Music Theory and Philosophical Aesthetics in Early Nineteenth-Century German Thought', under the supervision of Ronald Woodley and David Clarke. He has also studied composition with Roman Haubenstock-Romati at the Hochschule (now Universität) für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna and Musicology at the Abteilung für Musikwissenschaft at Vienna University. Since then he has taught at Newcastle and UEA Norwich, contributing to the teaching of analysis, cultural history and musical aesthetics and theory, music and politics, the operas of Leoš Janácek, music and gender and music and queer theory. He has published on music theory and aesthetics in the nineteenth century, German popular music, music theory, psychoanalysis and gender and sexuality.


BA (Hons) first class (Nottingham)
PhD (Newcastle)

Previous Positions

1995-1996: Lecturer A (temporary) University of Newcastle
1997-1998: Lecturer A University of East Anglia, Norwich
1998-2005: Lecturer A/B University of Newcastle
2005-present: Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle


some Portuguese (reading knowledge)
some Russian and a little Czech
Yiddish and a little Hebrew 

Informal Interests

Singing flamenco and salsa


Research Interests

  • Music in the Holocaust 
  • Yiddish language and culture
  • Russian language and culture
  • The Austro-German Tradition (1800-1945)
  • Sound studies
  • Continental Philosophy
  • Music and memory
  • Music and gender/sexuality
  • The historiography of technology

Current Work

Current projects include an edited collection of essays Noise, Audition, Aurality: Histories of the Sonic World(s) of Europe, 1500-1945 with Kirsten Gibson, a co-authored book with Richard Elliott and Nanette de Jong entitled In the Shadow of the Phonograph: Ritual, Remembrance and Recorded Sound and a single-authored book Noise Communities: On the Sonic Component of the Social.

His single-authored book, Music, Masculinity and the Claims of History: the Austro-German Tradition From Hegel to Freud (Ashgate) was recently published (click here for more information). 

Other recently completed works include an article with Beate Müller '“… and all of a sudden, in the middle of it, they began singing…”: languages and commemoration in Arnold Schoenberg’s cantata A Survivor from Warsaw (Op. 46)' for the Edinburgh German Yearbook (2014), a co-edited book for Ashgate (with Kirsten Gibson) entitled Masculinity and Western Musical Practice, (click here for more information) articles on popular music and masculinity and several chapters on Flamenco.

Dr Biddle recently gave research papers at the following institutions:

  • Universidad de Alicante, Spain
  • Universidade nova de Lisboa, Portugal
  • University of Uppsala, Sweden
  • Conservatorio de Música, Salamanca
  • University of Bristol, Department of Music
  • University of Sheffield, Department of Music
  • University of Manchester, Department of Music
  • Warwick University German Department
  • University of Durham Music Department
  • Cardiff University Music Department
  • School of Music, UEA
and conference papers at the following conferences:
  • Fado- Percursos e Perspectivas; Congresso Internacional Lisboa, 18 a 21 de Junho de 2008
  • Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland, Valencia, Spain, 2005
  • V Congresso da Seção Latino-Americana da Associação Internacional para o Estudo da Música Popular, IASPM-LA, Rio de Janeiro, 2004
  • Practising Popular Music: 12th Biennial International Conference of IASPM (International Association for the Study of Popular Music), Montréal 2003
  • Annual Conference for the Society for Music Theory (Philadelphia 2001)
  • A Tale of Three Cities: Janáèek's Brno Between Vienna and Prague (School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University of London, 1999)
and has taught as Visiting Professor at

Future Research

Future research plans include work on noise in urban communities, a series of major articles on musical communities and a single-authored monoraph on noise, and a monograph on Flamenco.

Dr Biddle is also a Doutor colaborador for the project hosted at the Instituto de Musicologia, Lisbon entitled A indústria fonográfica em Portugal no século XX [The phongraphic industry in Portugal in the 20th century]. See here for more details.

Research Roles

Co-ordinating Editor for the journal Radical Musicology, Convenor of the Popular Music Research Group

Postgraduate Supervision

  • Xevi Moreno i Peracaula (PhD): Flamenco hybridities
  • Sean MacMenamin (PhD): Sorabji and the periphery 
  • Kieran Rafferty (PhD): Song and Dramaturgy 
  • Adam Potts (PhD): Japanese Noise Music and Philosophy 

Recently successfully completed PhDs include: 

  • Annie Hanlon (PhD): Erik Satie, gender and canons
  • Francisco Bethencourt y Llobet (PhD): Flamenco guitar cultures
  • Joao da Silva (PhD): Portuguese Music on Stage (late nineteenth-, early twentieth century
Dr Biddle is also proud to have supervised the work of:

Esteem Indicators

Dr Biddle was recently shortlisted for the Ruth Solie Prize (click here for more) for the book, co-edited with Vanessa Knights, Music, National Identity and the Politics of Location: Between the Global and the Local (Ashgate 2006).


Undergraduate Teaching

  • Music in the Holocaust (see here)
  • Musics and Nationalisms in Eastern Europe
  • Music in the Soviet Union (see here)
  • Music and Cultural Theory (see here)
  • Musical Romanticism
  • Music, Gender and Sexuality
  • Music and Politics in Germany, 1900-1945
  • Music History (first year module)
  • World Music (first year module) 

Postgraduate Teaching

MMus in Music:
  • Dissertation suoervision
  • Music and Historiography
  • Ritual, Rembrance and Recorded Sound
  • Urban musicologies
  • Research Training
Faculty PhD Research Training
  • Texts Images and Sounds, a unit of HSS8004