Research & Engagement

Staff in the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music have been at the forefront of music research in Australia for more than fifty years. Our expertise lies in a broad range of areas including composition, ethnomusicology, musicology and creative practice. We are interested not just in music itself but its capacity for interrogating issues of equality, social justice, exclusion and identity.

Our research is both global and national in outlook. Our research is published by the world’s prestigious publishers and staged all in many parts of the world. It also has local resonance and impact. We are actively engaged in understanding music in Australia in all its forms: social, political, economic and cultural.


Our research networks and partnerships include some of leading universities in the world including:

With our partners, we have established eight networks that inspire new and innovative research. These partnerships provide an international community and research opportunities for our staff and postgraduate students.

Research groups

Engagement and impact

Staff from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music participate in many programs for community and government organisations, NGOs and the music industry. Collaborative research is conducted according to the following themes:

Visit staff profiles to learn more about our collaborations.


The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music convenes a range of conferences each year to support our research strengths.

Upcoming (2019)

  • The Fifth International Conference of Technologies of Music Notation and Representation
  • The Musicological Society of Australia Conference


International research partners

The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music enjoys formal links with major research universities in Asia the UK and Europe. These links foster internationally significant, collaborative research, and in some cases student exchanges and joint postgraduate supervision are possible.

  • Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Government of India
  • Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
  • National University of Music, Bucharest
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Surrey
  • Centres for Nineteenth Century Studies International