Eric Clarke

Emeritus Fellow


Eric Clarke went to the University of Sussex to read for a degree in neurobiology and graduated with undergraduate and masters degrees in music.

After a PhD in psychology at the University of Exeter (a thesis on rhythm and expression in piano performance), he was appointed to a lectureship in music at City University in London in 1981. He took up the James Rossiter Hoyle Professorship of Music at Sheffield in 1993, and was appointed to his current post in Oxford in October 2007.

Eric's research and teaching cover a number of areas within the psychology of music, music theory, the analysis of pop music, and musical aesthetics/semiotics. Current projects include a monograph on music and subjectivity, and an AHRC-funded empirical project on collaborative creativity in contemporary concert music as part of the AHRC Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice – a collaborative research centre involving the music departments at Cambridge, Oxford, King’s College London, and Royal Holloway London. He was an Associate Director of the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM; 2004-2009) and is an Associate Director of the successor AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (CMPCP; 2009-14). He is on a number of editorial boards, and is a member of Academia Europaea and a Fellow of the British Academy.

He has supervised doctoral students on a wide variety of topics, including music and film, expression in performance, music and synaesthesia, the perception of electroacoustic and atonal music, Glenn Gould and the psychology of the recording studio, the perception of musical metre, music and parapsychology, psychological processes in sight-reading, metaphors of embodiment in string playing, embodiment and pleasure in groove-based music, and discourses of lo-fi pop. He is the coordinator of the Wadham Music Exchange – a termly opportunity for anyone in the college to play a track (or sometimes two) of music and talk informally about it to a lively and open-eared gathering of students, staff and fellows.


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