Dr Andrew Killick

Department of Music

Reader in Ethnomusicology

Director, MA in Traditional and World Music (distance learning)

Academic playing drum

Full contact details

Dr Andrew Killick
Department of Music
Jessop Building
Leavygreave Road
S3 7RD

I’m currently Reader in Ethnomusicology and Director of our distance learning MA programme in Traditional and World Music. I teach in all areas of ethnomusicology and world music and also in popular music studies. My research has been primarily on the music and musical theatre of Korea and more recently on world music transcription and analysis more generally.

I’ve supervised PhDs on topics ranging from the traditional, popular and (Western-style) classical musics of East Asia to Nigerian popular music, the adaptation of traditional Cretan music to the classical flute and the flat-second scale degree in various traditions worldwide. I like to take a holistic view of music, valuing all forms of music and all approaches to the study of music for what they can teach us about human musicality.

I came to Sheffield in 2003 after working my way east around the world. My BMus at Edinburgh was followed by a winter in India studying dhrupad singing, then an MA at the University of Hawaii and a PhD at the University of Washington, both with periods of fieldwork in Korea. I taught at Illinois State and then Florida State before completing the circle back to my native Yorkshire. When not engaging with music, I enjoy walking and running in the Peak District.

  • PhD in music (ethnomusicology), University of Washington, 1998.
  • MA in music (ethnomusicology), University of Hawaii, 1990.
  • BMus in music, University of Edinburgh, 1984.
Research interests

I have published on traditional and contemporary musics of Korea, musical theatre of various cultures, world music transcription and analysis, ethnomusicological theory and method and the teaching of world and popular musics.

My main focus at present is “global notation” (globalnotation.org.uk), a new form of music notation that I have developed with the aim of being able to represent any kind of music in terms of its own principles while being as easy to learn as possible. I am currently working on refining and extending the system to cover a wider range of musical situations and purposes and making it easier to produce and play back.

For the longer term, I am using global notation for the examples in a book with the provisional title The Making of the Musical World. Most existing overviews of “world music” portray the world as a set of separate cultures developing different forms of music to suit their different needs, but that is, at most, only half the story, and I’m trying to tell something of the other half by tracing how musical ideas tend to be generated and disseminated through contact between different cultures.

My view is that the intrinsically interconnected nature of the world’s musical idioms will be best revealed through a common and culturally unspecific notation system, global notation.



  • Killick AP (2015) Hwang Byeonggi yongu: Hanguk cheontong eumak-ui jipyeong-eul neolpida. Seoul: Pulbit. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


Book reviews

  • Killick A (2016) Taking Part in Music: Case Studies in Ethnomusicology. FOLK MUSIC JOURNAL, 11(1), 79-81. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

I’ve supervised research on a wide range of topics in ethnomusicology and popular music studies, including doctorates by Dissertation and by Performance Studies. Many of these projects have been related to my own primary area of research, traditional music of East Asia, while others might focus on any part of the world with my input being mainly methodological. I am particularly interested in supervising research that applies analytical approaches to world and popular music.

Current PhD projects

  • John Ball: Transmission of Indian Classical Music in the UK
  • Xiao Gao: Musical Culture of the Chinese Diaspora Community in Indonesia
  • Xinyi Liang: Piano Transcriptions of Chinese Traditional Music from the Cultural Revolution Period
  • Kate Walker: Taiko and the UK

Completed PhDs

  • Adewale Adedeji: Yoruba Culture and its Influence on the Development of Modern Popular Music in Nigeria
  • Chingyi Chen: Claiming Musical Hybridity: Guoyue and Guoyue Tuan in Contemporary Taiwan
  • Julia Chieng Chin Yee: Sound Properties, Festival Experience and Soundscape Perception of the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak Cultural Village, MalaysiaFay Hield: English Folk Singing and the Construction of Community
  • Li-Hua Ho: Buddhist Music and Dance in Contemporary Taiwan
  • Sheng-Wei Hsu: Interpreting the Piano Music of Taiwanese Composer Kuo Chih-Yuan
  • Chiung-Hui Hwang: The Multilayered Monophony and Sliding Tones of Qin Music: Perception, Structure and Aesthetic Interpretation
  • Efi Ioannidou: Greek Cypriot Wedding Music and Customs: Revival and Identity
  • Shu Jiang: Yaogun Is Not Rock 'n' Roll: Place, People and Performance in Chinese Yaogun (1997-2008)
  • Celia Ya-Chen Lee: Chen Qigang’s Voices, 1995-2008: Cross-cultural Aesthetic, Ethnicity, Translated Modernity, Gender and Politics
  • Sarha Moore: The Other Leading Note: A Comparative Study of the Flat Second Pitch Degree in North Indian Classical, Ottoman or Arabian Influenced, Western, Heavy Metal and Film Musics
  • Ruth H. Mueller: Female Participation in South Korean Traditional Music: Late Chosŏn to the Present Day
  • Lonán Ó Briain: Hmong Music in Northern Vietnam: Identities, Traditions and Modernities
  • Lijuan Qian: Pop Song Composition in China in the 1980s: An Elite Synthesis for the Mainstream
  • George Zacharioudakis: Interpreting Early Cretan Dance Music with Cretan Instruments and with the Western Flute: A Musical Revival
  • Yue Zhao: The Musicality of C-Pop: A Study of Chinese Popular Music from 1985-2010
Professional activities
  • Sheffield Korea Day: performance contest adjudicator (2018, 2019)
  • Local Arrangements Chair, Annual Conference of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (2017)
  • Co-editor, Ethnomusicology Forum (2007-2010)
  • Secretary, British Forum for Ethnomusicology (2004-2007)
  • Council Member, Society for Ethnomusicology (2000-2003)
  • President, Association for Korean Music Research (2000-2002)