April Academic of the Month: Martin Clarke

Dr Martin ClarkeThis month, it’s my turn to share some insights into the variety of activities I’m involved in as part of my work as a Lecturer in the Music Department. I have a number of ongoing research projects that I’ll be working on, as well as one public lecture at the end of the month. On 30 April, I’ll be presenting a lecture entitled ‘A Singing People in the Land of Song’ to the Wesley Historical Society in Wales’ annual meeting, which is being held in Caerphilly. This lecture draws on my principal¬†research interest in sacred music, and particularly the hymnody of Methodism, and links it to my interest in ideas about music and Welsh identity. Ongoing research work includes my role in the Listening Experience Database project; I’m working on Listening Experiences in Christian Worship and am currently exploring the role of music in people’s accounts of religious conversion experiences. I also have a visit to the Durham Cathedral archive planned, in order to consult documents about the employment of lay clerks (professional singers) in the nineteenth century. This will feed into a chapter on church musicians in nineteenth-century Durham I’m preparing for inclusion in a volume of essays. I’m also continuing to work on my book project, British Methodist Hymnody: culture, music, culture and experience, which is due to be published next year.

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

I’m also heavily involved in the department’s teaching activities in my roles as Director of Teaching and deputy module team chair for A342 Central Questions in the Study of Music. We’re now getting towards the end of the first presentation of A342, and it’s been great to see how students have engaged with the range of music studied in this module. This month, I’ll be planning ahead for a revision forum for A342 students to help them revise for their exam, and preparing materials on writing piano accompaniments for A224 Inside Music students as they begin to think about their composition projects. I’ll also be finishing my contribution to the first unit of the OU’s collaboration with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, a Certificate in The Practice of Music Making.

Later in the month, I’ll be attending the department’s research day, at which one of my PhD students will be presenting a paper on ‘The Orchestra as a component of Sullivan’s style’ and I’ll also have supervision sessions with two other PhD students, who are working on the nineteenth-century guitar, and music in nineteenth-century Manchester respectively.

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