Professor Tia DeNora

Research Interests

I'm very involved with music therapy - which for me is like a natural laboratory for watching music 'in action'. I am also active as an editor and editorial board member - please check out the Routledge Series Music & Change: Ecological Perspectives. I serve on the editorial boards of: British J of Music Education, Qualitative Research and I am an Advisory Member of Cultural Sociology.

My current research projects are:

(1) embodied performance of late 18th century keyboard music and the relation between music and science in Beethoven's Vienna and beyond.

(2) an ethnography of music making in late and end of life - with Prof Gary Ansdell, Prof Randi Rolvsjord and Prof Wolfgang Schmid

(3) follow on research from an AHRC grant with Prof Eric Clarke and Dr Jonna Vouskski, Oxford, on music and empathy (focused on theorizing the cultural processes that inform split-second decision making)



Research Supervision

Sociology of Music, Music Sociology, Arts Sociology

I supervise work in the area of arts sociology. That includes anything from studies of music consumption, distribution, production, to studies of creativity, to historically-based studies of music and social change. 


I've had the great pleasure of working with some exceptionally talented PhD scholars over the years. See the Socarts pages for more info on who, what, when, where and where they are working now.

Research Students

Recent PhDs (listing only scholars where I was first or sole supervisor):

Dana Wilson-Kovacs. Thesis: Sexual Intimacy as Aesthetic Practice: An ethnographic investigation of women, pleasure and everyday life (Degree Awarded, 2005, now working here in Exeter as a Lecturer in Sociology and Director of Undergraduate Studies in SPA)

Kari Batt-Rawden. Thesis: Everyday musical activity and health promotion (Degree Awarded, 2007, now working as a Full Time Researcher, East Norwegian Research Institute)

Sophia Krzys Acord (USA). Topic: Artistic Gatekeeping, Tacit Knowledge and Taste (Degree Awarded, 2009)   Honorable Mention in the American Sociological Association's Annual Dissertation Award  2010 now Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Florida

Arild Bergh (Norway/UK). Topic: Music and Conflict Transformation (Degree Awarded, 2010, now working as a Researcher for the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment)

Ian Sutherland (Canada). Topic: Composers' strategies in Nazi Germany (Degree Awarded, 2010, Director of Postgraduate Studies, Bled Business School)

Trever Hagen (USA). Topic: Music in the Prague Underground, 1968-1989 (Degree Awarded, 2012, now a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow here at Exeter


Sigrun Lilja Einarsdottir (Iceland). Topic: Amateur Bach Choirs: the concept of 'choral capital'  (Assistant Professor, Bifröst University, Sociology)

Pinar Guran (Turkey). Topic: Music and cultural memory in Diaspora: the Kreuzberg experience, Wertheim Fellow, NYPL 

Mariko Hara (Japan). Topic: Music, Well-being and the Elderly - the case of Singing for the Brain. Postdoctoral Fellow, Hedmark University, Norway.

Simon Procter (UK) Topic: Music Therapy's Craft. Director of Education, Research, Quality, Nordoff Robbins Centre for Music Therapy. 

Craig Robertson (UK). Topic: Music and Conflict Resolution in Song-writing workshops (Currently also working as a Research Fellow, University of York)

Pedro dos Santos Boia (Portugal, FCT). Topic: The social identity of the Viola and Violists, 1780 to the present. Postdoctoral Researcher, Porto, Portugal

Elizabeth Dennis (UK). Topic: Action Research on Music and Dementia (see )


Current PhD students in the areas of sociology of arts and music sociology are:

Rita Gracia Alberto (Portugal, FCT). Topic: Portuguese Women Rockers - identity, networks and the care of self

Sarah Smith (UK, ESRC 1+3) Dance Psychotherapy, Embodied Sociology and Eating Disorders

Rosanna Mead (UK) Music in Gerontological Hospital Wards

Eva Schurig (EU) Personal Listening, Space and Scenic Features


 For more information see:

And for the on-line journal, founded by  former students, see: