Dr Chris Kennett

Principal Lecturer

+44 20 7911 5000 ext 68385
Harrow Campus Northwick Park HA1 3TP
Mondays 12 - 2pm

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UG Music, Film & Visual Communication | Department
Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media | Research

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I am research-active, published in English and in Catalan, writing for journals including Music Analysis, Popular Music (I referee for these journals also), Computer Music Journal and Music & Letters. My PhD on pitch-class set-generic theory was the first such thesis to be examined anywhere in the world; increasingly, however, my research and teaching interests revolve around the reception of mass-mediated commercial musics, forensic musicology and pop music as social history. I chair the Music Research Group at Westminster, and have overall responsibility for the largest cohort of commercial music PhDs in the UK, spread equally among CAMRI and CREAM research centres.

Returning to a full-time post at Westminster in 2004, I teach currently at UG, PG and Doctoral Level, and was part of the team which designed the original BA(Hons) Commercial Music degree at Westminster, the first of its kind in Europe. Before that, I taught for over a decade at Goldsmiths University of London, as well as visiting roles at the Universities of Bristol, Nottingham, Exeter, Reading and Surrey among others, and I was the first full-time Senior Music Examiner for the Rockschool system of graded commercial music exams (1997-2001).

My current External Examiner post is for BA(Hons) Music Journalism at University for the Creative Arts (until end 2013). My extramural interests are two sides of the same cultural coin, as I collect Loire, and Alsace wines on the obverse side and persist in holding a season ticket to Leyton Orient FC on the reverse. I curate the UoW Staff wine-tasting group, Westminster Winos, and I was a tastings judge for the International Wine Challenge from 1995 to 2005; I have no excuse for the football.

PhD Supervision

Completions include: Tom Perchard (Goldsmiths London, 2006) Lee Morgan: Life, Work, Culture; Margarita Alexomanolaki (Goldsmiths London, 2007) Music and Memory in TV Advertising; John Eacott (University of Westminster, 2007) Contents May Vary: the Play and Behaviour of Generative Music Artefacts; Anders Sjolin (University of Westminster, 2011) Plastic Modes of Listening: Affordance in Constructed Sound Environments.

Current Supervisions include: Lucas Mateo Guingue (hardware and software history of the recording industry in Colombia 1930-1960); Max Cervellino (EU funding and workplace-based/project-based music pedagogy); Paul Richards (Facebook and the politics of musical taste); Julia Jones (marketing music to over-50s using Web 2.0); Tony Farsides (social history of the British music industry since 1945); Will Benjamin Nagari (film music and post-Jungian- Image); Mykaell Riley (the golden age of British reggae, 1975-1985); Paul Coleman (the production ecology of music reality TV); Julia Jones (marketing music to the over-50s using Web 2.0); Tony Farsides (social history of the British music industry since 1945); Will Saunders (music curation and heterotopic spaces); Xuefei Zhang (music copyright and music as IP in China). Examinations: Bryan Solomon (Kings London): Schoenberg's Early Lieder, Opp. 6 and Op. 8: A Theoretical Perspective (examined successfully in 2003).

2012-13 is my twenty-first year as a University Lecturer. As overall Subject leader for music sociology and musicology modules on the BA and BMus Commercial Music degrees, I have an administrative overview of the subject at all levels within the Music Department. My current Module Leaderships include:

  • MCMU504 Conference Paper (students design, peer-review and execute a real-world one-day conference on a musicology/sociology topic of their choice)
  • MCMU601 Publishing Research (students research individually agreed topics and present these either as extended journal articles or as broadcast podcasts) I also teach on and/or oversee the sociology/musicology content for the following Westminster modules:
  • MCMU400 The Learning Burst
  • MCMU401 The Club Show
  • MCMU403 The Musical Work
  • MCMU501 The Released Recording
  • MCMU502 The Touring Show

2BMU503 Music and Meaning In the inaugural Westminster Student Appreciation Awards 2012, I was honoured to receive multiple nominations for an Outstanding Teacher Award. I have taught modules in the following subjects at Masters Level at Goldsmiths London and/or the University of Bristol: -

  • pop music analysis
  • set-theoretic and set-generic analysis
  • Schenkerian analysis
  • Schoenbergian analysis
  • Semiotics of Music

I have designed and taught over forty modules at UG level at Bristol, Goldsmiths, Nottingham, Surrey, Exeter and other Universities.

Current Research Interests:

  • idioethnomusicology
  • pitch-class set genera analysis and cognition
  • trivial and quotidian music cognition
  • popular music sociology and analysis
  • music education and social justice

forensic musicology PhD Supervision Doctoral Completions include:

  • Tom Perchard (Goldsmiths London, 2006) Lee Morgan: Life, Work, Culture
  • Margarita Alexomanolaki (Goldsmiths London, 2007) Music and Memory in TV Advertising
  • John Eacott (University of Westminster, 2007) Contents May Vary: the Play and Behaviour of Generative Music Artefacts
  • Anders Sjolin (University of Westminster, 2010) Plastic Modes of Listening: Affordance in Constructed Sound Environment

Current PhD Supervisions include students researching:

  • Facebook and the politics of musical taste
  • marketing music to the over-50s using Web 2.0
  • socio-industrial history of the British, Colombian and Chinese music industries (three separate PhDs)
  • EU funding for WBL and PBL projects in HR music education
  • Music curation and heterotopic spaces

2010

Music as first-order and second-order conditioning in TV commercials (2010)
Alexomanolaki, M., Kennett, C. and Loveday, C. 2010. Music as first-order and second-order conditioning in TV commercials. Music and the Moving Image. 3 (2).

2008

A tribe called Chris: pop music analysis as idioethnomusicology (2008)
Kennett, C. 2008. A tribe called Chris: pop music analysis as idioethnomusicology. Open Space Magazine. 10 (1).

2006

Erkki Huovinen, pitch-class constellations: studies in the perception of tonal centricity (2006)
Kennett, C. 2006. Erkki Huovinen, pitch-class constellations: studies in the perception of tonal centricity. Music Analysis. 25 (1-2), pp. 231-239.

2003

Computer-applications in music research (2003)
Kennett, C. 2003. Computer-applications in music research. Computer Music Journal. 27 (4), pp. 95-98.

2002

Book review: John Rahn: Music Inside Out: Going Too Far in Musical Essays Softcover, 2001, ISBN 90-5701-342-8, ISSN 1025-9325, US$ 28.00, 191 pages, illustrated, references; Gordon and Breach Publishing Group (2002)
Kennett, C. 2002. Book review: John Rahn: Music Inside Out: Going Too Far in Musical Essays Softcover, 2001, ISBN 90-5701-342-8, ISSN 1025-9325, US$ 28.00, 191 pages, illustrated, references; Gordon and Breach Publishing Group. Computer Music Journal. 26 (1), pp. 97-100.

2001

Book review: Rap music and the poetics of identity (2001)
Kennett, C. 2001. Book review: Rap music and the poetics of identity. Music and Letters. 82 (2), pp. 352-356.

2006

Music and memory in advertising: music as a device of implicit learning and recall (2006)
Alexomanolaki, M., Loveday, C. and Kennett, C. 2006. Music and memory in advertising: music as a device of implicit learning and recall. in: Baroni, M., Addessi, A.R., Caterina, R. and Costa, M. (ed.) 9th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, August 22-26 2006: Proceedings Bologna, Italy ICMPC-ESCOM. pp. 1190-1198

2003

Is anybody listening? (2003)
Kennett, C. 2003. Is anybody listening? in: Moore, A.F. (ed.) Analyzing popular music Cambridge, UK Cambridge University Press. pp. 196-217

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