Music in Australia


Dr Joel Crotty

Music in Australia is the flagship research group of the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance. It promotes music and music-making in Australia through publications, concerts and advocacy.

The unit aims to heighten awareness of Australian music in all its forms and diasporas to the rest of the world via historical research as well as contemporary practice.

The research group takes particular interest in music-making through the acknowledgement of gender and social cohesion within Australian cultural life.  The ‘Gender in Diversity in Music-Making Conference’ held in July 2018 at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music demonstrates a commitment to cultural inclusion.

Current Research Projects

Megan Burslem and Cat Hope. (2018 in press). Music History Education in Australian Universities. Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft. University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

Joel Crotty and Bronia Kornhauser are researching Felix Werder’s incorporation of Jewish music into own compositions in the 1950s and 1960s.

Joel Crotty and Cat Hope (2018 in press) ‘Speechless: An Operatic Response to Human Rights Abuse in Twenty-First Century Australia’ Davidson, Jane, Halliwell, Michael, Rocke, Stephanie (eds) Opera Emotions and the Antipodes 

Cat HopeSpeechless. A new Australian opera work, directed by Aaron Wyatt, premiering at the Perth Festival in 2019.

Cat Hope: Gender in the Australian music industry. This project has seen a series of talks in Canberra, Hobart and Adelaide in 2017 and 2018. An abridged version is here:

Merlyn Quaife and Johanna Selleck (Melbourne Conservatorium of Music) are editing and performing Georgette Peterson’s Children’s Songs to texts by Annie Rentoul and illustrated by Ida Rentoul.

Paul Watt is currently researching the connections between Mechanics’ Institutes and Music in nineteenth-century Australia.

Rob Burke and Paul Grabowsky: Gravity Project – Collaboration between Australian and Japanese Musicians. The overarching aim for The Gravity Project is to create and disseminate a transcultural musical dialogue through a carefully structured collaboration involving Australian and Japanese improvising musicians in both a traditional and modern context. This project has financial and administrative support from the Australian Embassy Japan and Monash University, a DFAT cultural grant, and forms an integral part of DFAT’s Focus Country Program for 2018. The performances and recordings celebrate the collaborative nature of music, and showcases master musicians from the Japanese, alongside some of Australia’s finest contemporary improvisers.