Dr Simon McKerrell
Senior Lecturer in Music
Dr Simon McKerrell is interested in the social impact of music and the creative industries. His research largely focuses upon the communicative power of music and how this relate to cultural policy. Current research focuses upon music in the creative economy in rural areas, and taking a quantitative and mixed methods approach to questions of money, aesthetics and policy in Scottish music. 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 (Routledge).
He is Associate Dean for Research & Innovation in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at Newcastle University, having previously held positions at the Universities of Sheffield, Glasgow and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and The National Piping Centre in Glasgow. He is currently Co-I on the EU funded international research project Critical Heritages (CoHERE): performing and representing Identities in Europe (2.5€ million), in 2014-15 he was PI for the AHRC project Understanding Scotland Musically (£68,000) and was concurrently a Co-Investigator for a Scottish Government Social Research project entitled Community Experiences of Sectarianism (£73,000).
In 2016, along with Dr Simon Keegan-Phipps he was the
founding Co-Editor of The International Journal of Traditional Arts (www.tradartsjournal.org). In addition
to this, Simon is an expert performer of Highland and Uilleann bagpiping,
having recorded 11 commercial albums and taught throughout the world. He is also a slightly less useful tenor banjo player (but keen).
- Head of Music, Newcastle University (June 2015-September 2017)
- 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).
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
Google Scholar: Click here.
My research focuses upon the social impact and communicative power of music in relation to cultural policy. Current research focuses upon music in the creative economy in rural areas, and taking a quantitative and mixed methods approach to questions of money, aesthetics and policy in Scottish music. I have maintained an interest in music and social conflict, specifically around sectarianism in Scotland and how music and culture perform and combat social conflict.
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. I am also the lead academic on an AHRC postdoctoral fellowship with Dr Jasmine Hornabrook examining the rural creative economy in Argyll and Bute throughout 2018. 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 am the Arts & Cultures Theme lead for the Newcastle University Institute for Social Renewal
which is an extremely productive and exciting cross-university role. My blog is available here
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 am currently part-supervising Niles Krieger's PhD entiteld ‘John Gaylord Jr. and His Milieu - A Social History of the Fiddle in Early National New England’
I supervised a PhD student-- Dr Matthew Ord whose doctoral thesis focuses on the philosophical and theoretical approaches to the recording and technology of folk music (graduated 2017).
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.
AHRC Creative Economy Northern Bridge Postdoctoral Fellowship (as academic lead/mentor) £178,794
Co-I on major EU research grant on heritage, culture and Europeanization CoHere 2.5€ million
PI on AHRC Early Career Fellowship Understanding Scotland Musically, £68,682
Co-I for Scottish Government funded social research entitled ‘Community experiences of sectarianism’, c. £86,000, major policy report published and disseminated in 2015.
John Renbourn Archive School Strategic Fund Grant (£3,709).
Newcastle University Faculty Bid Preparation Fund, Transdisciplinary perspectives on music and efficacy in the prison context (£4,953)
Newcastle University Strategic Innovation Fund Grant, Musiwiki for Digital Open Educational Resources (£10,000)
Newcastle University School Strategic Research Fund, Challenging Sectarianism Bid Preparation (£2,227)
Newcastle University Faculty Research Grant, Hearing Sectarianism (£2,192)
External Roles and Peer Reviewing
Carnegie Trust Research Assessor
British Forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference 2018 host/organiser
AHRC Peer-Review College & Peer Review Knowledge Transfer College 2014-2021
AHRC Panel Member for Collaborative Doctoral Awards
Invited panel member HEFCE Open-Access consultation
International Editorial Advisory Board for Popular Musics Matter: Social, Political and Cultural Interventions series (Rowman and Littlefield)
Chair British Forum for Ethnomusicology
Executive Committee British Forum for Ethnomusicology
Co-Editor and founder of The International Journal of Traditional Arts (Gold Open Access—distributed open access via LOCKSS network)
Registered expert for the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT)
Panel member for Scots Trad Music Awards nominations and accepted an invitation to sit on the panel of adjudicators for the BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award
|various||Peer Reviewer for the following journals: Popular Music, Popular Music and Society, Critical Discourse Studies, Social Semiotics, Ethnomusicology, Ethnomusicology Forum, Ethnomusicology Ireland, Scottish Music Review, Participations, Radical Musicology, Journal of Open Cultural Studies|
Simon McKerrell has 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 Dr Matthew Ord.
Modules taught include: Issues in Popular Music Culture; Advanced Studies in the Sociology of Music; Introduction to World Music; Transcription & Analysis; Advanced Studies in Ethnomusicology; Folk Music Studies; Studying Vernacular Music.
He also maintains various resources online for teaching and dissemination of other projects see for instance:
University Roles and Responsibilities
• Associate Dean for Research & Innovation, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Newcastle University
• Arts and Cultures Theme Champion for The Newcastle University Institute for Social Renewal (HASS Faculty role)
• Head of Music, Newcastle University
• Member of University-wide Alcohol Awareness Committee
• Chair of Board of Examiners in Music (2015-2017)
• Degree Programme Director (2012-13) for the BMus Folk and Traditional Music degree
• MUS2065 Issues in Popular Music Culture, Module Leader
• MUS2088 Folk Music Studies: Resources and Research Materials, Module Leader
• Web Editor in Music 2011-2013
• Advanced Studies in the Sociology of Music
• Advanced Studies in Ethnomusicology and Traditional Music
• First instrument tutor for Highland pipes and Uilleann pipes.
- McKerrell S, Hornabrook J. Traditional Music and the Rural Creative Economy in Argyll & Bute, Mapping Report, 2018. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Newcastle University, 2018.
- McKerrell S. Traditional music and cultural sustainability in Scotland. In: McKerrell S; West G, ed. Understanding Scotland Musically: Folk, Tradition and Policy. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2018, pp.17-29.
- McKerrell S, West G, ed. Understanding Scotland Musically: Folk, Tradition and Policy. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2018.
- McKerrell S, West G. 'Understanding Scotland Musically'. In: McKerrell, S; West, G, ed. Understanding Scotland Musically: Folk Tradition and Policy. Abingdon, Oxon & New York: Routledge, 2018, pp.1-14.
- McKerrell S, Way L. Understanding music as multimodal discourse. In: Way, LCS and McKerrell, S, ed. Music as Multimodal Discourse: Semiotics, Power and Protest. London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017, pp.1-20.
- McKerrell S. Middle Eight: Social Constructionism in Music Studies. Popular Music 2016, 35(3), 425-428.
- Way L, McKerrell S, ed. Music as Multimodal Discourse: Semiotics, Power and Protest. London & New York: Bloomsbury, 2017.
- McKerrell S. Focus: Scottish Traditional Music. New York & London: Routledge, 2016.
- McKerrell S. Social distance and the multimodal construction of the Other in sectarian song. Social Semiotics 2015, 25(4), 614-632.
- Goodall K, McKerrell S, Markey J, Millar S, Richardson M. Sectarianism in Scotland: A ‘West of Scotland’ Problem, a Patchwork or a Cobweb?. Scottish Affairs 2015, 24(3), 288-307.
- Goodall K, Hopkins P, McKerrell S, Markey J, Millar S, Richardson J, Richardson M. Community experiences of sectarianism. Edinburgh: Scottish Government Social Research, 2015. Social Research series.
- McKerrell S. Traditional Arts and the State: the Scottish case. Cultural Trends 2014, 23(3), 159-168.
- McKerrell S. Scotland: Contemporary performance practice. The SAGE Encyclopaedia of Ethnomusicology 2016. In Press.
- McKerrell S. Scotland: Music in history, culture and geography. The SAGE Encyclopaedia of Ethnomusicology 2016. In Press.
- McKerrell S. Hearing sectarianism: understanding Scottish sectarianism as song. Critical Discourse Studies 2012, 9(4), 363-374.
- McKerrell S. An ethnography of hearing: somaesthetic hearing in traditional music. In: Flath, B., Pirchner, A., Pölzl, E., Sackl, S, ed. The Body Is The Message. Graz, Austria: Grazer Universitätsverlag Leykam, 2012, pp.76-89.
- McKerrell S. Live at the King's Hall. UPC: 5055489229119: Digital CD release, 2012. Digital CD.
- McKerrell S. Sound Performing: Sound Aesthetics among Competitive Pipers. International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 2011, 42(1), 165-187.
- McKerrell S. Bagpipes: A National Collection of a national Instrument, Hugh Cheape, Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland, 2008 [Review]. Ethnomusicology 2011, 55(3), 508-511.
- McKerrell S, O'Neill P, Reid J. The Friday Night Sessions - Traditional Music From Glasgow. Glasgow, UK: Footstompin Records, 2011. CD.
- McKerrell S. Modern Scottish Bands (1970-1990): Cash as Authenticity. Scottish Music Review 2011, 2(1).
- McKerrell S. The Concept of Mode in Scottish Bagpipe Music. In: Dickson, J, ed. The Highland Bagpipe: Music, History, Tradition. Farnham: Ashgate, 2009, pp.279-300.
- McKerrell S. Scottish Fiddle Music. In: Vallely, F, ed. Companion to Irish Traditional Music. Cork: Cork University Press, 2011, pp.603-605.
- McKerrell S. Scotland: Scottish Song. In: The Companion to Irish Traditional Music. Cork: Cork University Press, 2011, pp.595-595.
- McKerrell S. 2 tracks for compilation album 'On the Day'. California, USA: John MacDonald, 2011. CD.
- McKerrell S. 'Balkan and Roma Musics'. Classroom Music Magazine 2009, (33).
- McKerrell S. The Best of Piping Live, recital series 2006/07. Glasgow: The National Piping Centre, 2008. CD.
- McKerrell S, MacDonald F. The McKerrell-MacDonald Collection of Bagpipe Music. . Glasgow: Privately Published, 2007.
- Malcolm J. Tam O'Shanter. Perth: Beltane Records, 2005. CD.
- Douglas B. Angels from the Ashes. Aberdeen: Ridge Records, 2004. CD.
- McKerrell S, MacDonald F, Gibb C. Highland Games. Portree: Macmeanma Records, 2004. Audio CD/MP3.
- Daquin L-C. Les Douze Noëls. Linn Records: Glasgow, 2004. CD.
- Frame G, Napier F, Napier H, McKerrell S. Fortune's Road. Edinburgh: Footstompin Records, 2003. CD.
- Malcolm J. Home. Perth: Belatane Records, 2002. CD.
- Frame G, Napier F, Napier H, McKerrell S. Gillian Frame and Back of the Moon. . Edinburgh: Footstompin Records, 2001.
- McKerrell S. Scottish competition bagpipe performance: sound, mode and aesthetics [PhD Thesis]. St Andrews University/Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 2005.