Research & engagement

The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music attracts honours, higher degree research students and visiting scholars from all over the world and has an outstanding track record in winning competitive research funding. The School has a long history of collaborative research and work alongside musicians and scholars from Asia, Europe and North and South America.

The following goals underpin our research:

  • Study a broad range of music, including Western classical and popular music as well as Indigenous, traditional and contemporary music from Australia, Asia and the Middle East
  • Compose, perform, record, broadcast and publish new music from Australia and overseas and to bring neglected and forgotten repertory back to life
  • Interrogate ideas about music and the role that practice-based research, philosophy and cultural theory have on how we interpret music.

At the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, research supervision is principally offered through the Theatre, Performance and Music Graduate Research Program.

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:

  • Curating New Music and New Audiences
  • Supporting the Music Industry
  • Sustaining Communities and Cultural Relations
  • Teaching and Learning for the Next Generation

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