Dr Simon McKerrell
Head of Music

  • Email: simon.mckerrell@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5609
  • Personal Website: www.musicalmeaning.com
  • Address: Dr Simon McKerrell
    Head of Music
    International Centre for Music Studies (ICMuS)
    Armstrong Building
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU

 

Dr Simon McKerrell is interested in how music communicates meaning in everyday life, particularly how this is constructed as discourse. His research focuses upon how music and text communicates sectarianism, belonging and cultural heritage and how these relate to policy. Methodologically this relies upon critical discourse analysis, ethnography and multimodal analysis. He has previously held positions at the University of Sheffield and Glasgow and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and prior to this worked at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow. He is an expert performer of Highland-, Border- and Uilleann-pipes and has toured, taught and performed throughout the world. See website for further details

Previous Positions

  • Senior Lecturer in Music, Newcastle University (2015-)
  • Lecturer in Music, Newcastle University (2010-2015)
  • Knowledge Exchange Officer, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (2009-2010)
  • Research Assistant, Glasgow University (2008-2009)
  • Lecturer in Ethnomusicology fixed-term, University of Sheffield (2008-2009)
  • Head of Piping Studies for the BA (Scottish Music-Piping) degree, The National Piping Centre, Glasgow (2005-2008).
  • Lecturer in Music (part-time), Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, (2003-2008).

Qualifications

2012 Certificate of Advanced Studies in Academic Practice (HEA accredited)  

2005 PhD 'Scottish Competition Bagpipe Performance: Sound, Mode and Aesthetics' St. Andrews University

2000 BA (Scottish Music) Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama



Research Interests

My research focuses upon how music and text communicate sectarianism, belonging and cultural heritage and how these relate to policy. Methodologically this relies upon critical discourse analysis, ethnography and multimodal analysis. I am currently co-editing a book that for Bloomsbury's Advances in Semiotics with Lyndon Way which examines music as multimodal communication provisionally entitled Music, Power, Protest: Social Semiotic Approaches, and I am also undertaking some research relating to the cultural and financial sustainability of music as Intangible Cultural Heritage in policy and practice.

I recently completed an AHRC Early Career Fellowship entitled Understanding Scotland Musically and some of the research from this project will be published in a book for Routledge on Scottish traditional music employing various ethnomusicological, media and discourse analysis methods of analysis in September 2015 entitled Focus: Scottish Traditional Music. I maintain broad interests in the theorization and performance of music and social prejudice, see Performing Prejudice Symposium.

Other Expertise

Simon McKerrell is an expert performer of Highland-, Border- and Uilleann-pipes and has recorded 11 commercial albums. He has toured, taught and performed throughout the world and was a founding member of the band Back of the Moon, Rough Tides, The Sprit of Scotland Pipe Band (http://www.spiritofscotlandpipeband.com/) and La Banda Europa (www.labandaeuropa.com). For more information and discography see: Simon McKerrell's Discography

Postgraduate Supervision

I currently supervise one PhD student-- Matthew Ord (philosophical and theoretical approaches to the recording and technology of folk music).

I have examined doctoral theses at the Universities of Ulster, Sheffield and Durham and am currently the external undergraduate examiner at the University of the Highlands and Islands distance learning BA Applied Music and MA Music and the Environment programmes from 2012-2016.

Grants & Esteem 

·      AHRC Early Career Fellowship 2014 Understanding Scotland Musically (£68,682)

·      Scottish Government Research Grant (as Co-Investigator), Community experiences of sectarianism, (c. £80,000)

·      Newcastle University Faculty Research Grant 2012 Hearing Sectarianism (£2,192)

·      Newcastle University School Strategic Research Fund 2013 Challenging Sectarianism Bid Preparation (£2,227)

·      Member of the AHRC Peer Review College 2014-17.

·      Registered expert for the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) 2015-19.


 

Undergraduate Teaching
Simon McKerrell was the Degree Programme Director (2012-13) for the BMus Folk and Traditional Music degree and is currently module leader for the following undergraduate modules:
Issues in Popular Music Culture
Folk Music Studies: Resources and Research Materials
Postgraduate Teaching
He contributes to:
MMus Research Training Module
Advanced Studies in Popular Music Studies
Advanced Studies in Ethnomusicology and Traditional Music


He is also a first instrument tutor for Highland pipes and Uilleann pipes.