Dr Simon McKerrell is interested in the social impact of music across three research topics: cultural heritage; sectarianism; and multimodal communication, and how these relate to policy. Methodologically this relies upon critical discourse analysis, ethnography, survey data and multimodal analysis.
He is the author of Focus: Scottish Traditional Music (Routledge), and the Co-Editor of both Music as Multimodal Discourse: Media, Power and Protest (Bloomsbury) and Understanding Scotland Musically: Folk, Tradition, Modernity (Ashgate). He is currently Head of Music at the International Centre for Music Studies at Newcastle University. He has previously held positions at the Universities of Sheffield, 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. He is currently Head of Music at the International Centre for Music Studies at Newcastle University.
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
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
My research focuses upon the social impact of music, particularly in relation to cultural heritage; sectarianism; and multimodal communication, and how these relate to policy. Methodologically this relies upon critical discourse analysis, ethnography, survey data and multimodal analysis. I am currently working on issues surrounding music as intangible cultural heritage and the multimodal relationships between musical sound, image and text. I am the Co-Editor of The International Journal of Traditional Arts (www.tradartsjournal.org) launched in November 2016.
I am currently a Co-I on the EU Horizon grant CoHere, which addresses an intensifying EU Crisis through a study of relations between identities and representations and performances of history, including music as intangible cultural heritage. In 2014-15 I completed an AHRC Early Career Fellowship entitled Understanding Scotland Musically and some of the research from this project has been published in a book for Routledge on Scottish traditional music employing various ethnomusicological, media and discourse analysis methods of analysis entitled Focus: Scottish Traditional Music. I maintain broad interests in the theorization and performance of music and social prejudice, see Performing Prejudice Symposium.
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.
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, Durham and UHI, and served as 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.
· Co-I EU funded international research project Critical Heritages (CoHERE): performing and representing Identities in Europe (2.5€ million).
· PI on 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 Strategic Innovation Fund 2015 Open Educational Resources in a blended approach to teaching popular music culture (£10,000), see www.ispopmus.com.
· 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.
Simon McKerrell has strong interests in open educational resources and has been pursuing a number of open, online educational initiatives at Newcastle University including the open wiki for the course Issues in Popular Music Culture, assisted by Mr Matthew Ord.
He also maintains various resources online for teaching and dissemination of other projects see for instance:
Chair of Board of Examiners in Music (2015-)
Degree Programme Director for the BA (Contemporary and Popular Music) 2015-16.
Simon McKerrell was the Degree Programme Director (2012-13) for the BMus Folk and Traditional Music degree and is currently module leader and teaching the following undergraduate modules in 2015-16:
Issues in Popular Music Culture
Folk Music Studies: Resources and Research Materials
Advanced Studies in the Sociology of Music
Advanced Studies in Ethnomusicology and Traditional Music
He is also a first instrument tutor for Highland pipes and Uilleann pipes.