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.

Our research encompasses both traditional and non-traditional outputs, and engages with music communities worldwide. Our overarching focus on Australian music informs our strengths and International research partnerships in musical biography, digital notation, improvisation, street music and music of Asia, and we grow artistic researchers by encouraging our undergraduate performance students to engage with exegetical approaches to writing from their first year. We are  home to the Music Archive of Monash University (MAMU), a physical and digital collection of musical instruments, scores, field recordings and diverse other musical, dance and theatrical materials acquired since the foundation of the music school in 1965.

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:

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