School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Dr Ian Biddle

Senior Lectureri in Music



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.

Other websites

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)
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 the monograph The Flamenco Effect: Authenticity, Community and Tradition in the South of Spain the articles 'Music, Affect and the Posttraumatic Community in Holocaust Cinema: Natan Gross's Unzere kinder (1948)' , 'A promessa do Fado na pós-fonografia: entre a tradição e o desejo' and 'Romance cartographies: flamenco articulations of queer spaces in urban Andalusia'.

See for more details of current projects.

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 Cultural Histories of Noise, Sound and Listening in Europe, 1300–1918 (for more click here) and 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 as follows:

  • Durham University, May 2018: 'Masculinity, Gender nostalgia and the listening subject: towards a critical cultural history of the ear'
  • Kunstuniversität Graz, keynote presentation November 2017: 'Masculinity, Creativity and the Ethics of Writing: Towards a Critical Account of Musicology’s Gender Politics'
  • Universität Göttingen 2014 Research seminar: ‘Gender nostalgia and the listening subject or the many traumatic lives and afterlives of listening’
  • São Paolo 2015 IASPM conference    Paper: ‘Nostalgia and the many ends of hauntology: Klezmer, Yiddish, and the new(ish) Europe’
  • Labour History Research Group, Newcastle University 2017  Paper: ‘Song, work and sentiment: the work of song and the song of work as historiographical problem’
  • Laing Art Gallery Newcastle 2016  Public talk: ‘Exile and the Jewish Imagination: Jewish cultural displacement and migration in the twentieth century’
  • Newcastle City Library 2017  Public Talk: ‘'Mir zenen do': Jewish communities' cultural activities in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust’
  • Bristol University Music Department 2015  Research Seminar: ‘Singing the Holocaust: the Yiddish Song Corpus, Media Archaeology and the Limits of Testimony’
  • 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 the musics of Soviet Jewry

Dr Biddle was 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 

Recently successfully completed PhDs supervised by Ian include: 

  • Annie Hanlon (PhD): Erik Satie, gender and canons
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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