Dr Andrew Killick BMus, MA, PhD

image of Andrew Killick

Department of Music
The University of Sheffield
Jessop Building
34 Leavygreave Road
S3 7RD

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 0460

Email :a.killick@sheffield.ac.uk


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.

I’m currently Reader in Ethnomusicology and Director of two Distance Learning MA degree programmes: World Music Studies and Traditional Music of the British Isles. I teach in all areas of ethnomusicology and world music and also in popular music studies. 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.

So far, my main research area has been the music of Korea, and especially the adaptation of traditional Korean music in modern times. Altogether I’ve published about 30 articles on Korean music topics in edited books and in journals like Ethnomusicology, Asian Music and Korean Studies. My 2013 book Hwang Byungki: Traditional Music and the Contemporary Composer in the Republic of Korea has also been published in Korean translation. In partnership with my wife Cho Sukyeon, who is director of Korean language teaching in the university’s School of East Asian Studies, I’ve also published translations of modern Korean literature, including Lee Ho-Chul’s prize-winning novel of the Korean War, Southerners, Northerners.

Musical theatre of all kinds is another long-standing interest of mine. My first book, In Search of Korean Traditional Opera: Discourses of Ch’angguk, was about a Korean musical theatre form, but I also wrote the general article on musical theatre in East Asia for the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music and the article on the Broadway musical for the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. To appear in a future volume of the Continuum Encyclopedia is my article on “Musical Theatre”, which is probably the first attempt to cover popular musical theatre forms of the world in a single survey.

Research Interests

  • Korean traditional music and musical theatre since 1900
  • Popular musical theatre worldwide
  • World music history
  • World music notation and analysis

Current Projects

My main project currently is writing a book with the provisional title The Making of the Musical World. In this I try to present a new kind of overview of the world’s music focused on what I call “musical ideas” and how they tend to be generated and disseminated through contact between different cultures (rather than the usual “world music” model of separate cultures developing different musics to suit their different needs). As I want the book to be accessible to readers who don’t read music, and I’m not keen on using Western notation for non-Western music anyway, I’m also developing a new notation system that is designed to be easy to learn and able to represent any kind of music accurately. This “global notation” will be used in the book and also made freely available on a website I’m building. Both the book and the notation system are related to my teaching, for instance on the first-year core module MUS125 Music of the World, so there isn’t really a clear distinction between teaching and research work for me.

Selected Grants

  • Kayagum Sanjo of Hwang Byungki: Past, Present and Future (2016); Korea Foundation Fieldwork Fellowship, £2,700.
  • Hwang Byungki: Traditional Music and the Contemporary Composer in the Republic of Korea (2011-12). Academy of Korean Studies Competitive Research Grant, £17,500.
  • New Forms of Traditional Music and Musical Theatre in Modern Korea (2005-06): AHRC Matched Research Leave, £14,013.
  • Translation of Novel “Southerners, Northerners” by Lee Ho-Chul (1997): Daesan Foundation Grant, £5,000.
  • Doctoral Research on Korean Ch’angguk Opera (1995): Social Science Research Council (USA) Dissertation Fellowship, £8,000.

Selected Publications

2017. “Traditional Music and the Work-Concept: The Kayagŭm Sanjo of Hwang Byungki.” Yearbook for Traditional Music 49: 1–25. http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/115955/

2014. “Should World Music Teachers Teach World Music? Popular Music and the World Music Survey Course.” Journal of World Popular Music 1(1): 156-182.

2013. Hwang Byungki: Traditional Music and the Contemporary Composer in the Republic of Korea. Aldershot: Ashgate. http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409420309

2010. In Search of Korean Traditional Opera: Discourses of Ch’angguk. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

2006. “Holicipation: Prolegomenon to an Ethnography of Solitary Music-Making.” Ethnomusicology Forum 15(2):273-299.

2005. Southerners, Northerners. Translation (with Cho Sukyeon) of Korean novel Namnyok Saram Pungnyok Saram by Lee Ho-Chul. Norwalk, Connecticut: EastBridge.

2003. “Road Test for a New Model: Korean Musical Narrative and Theater in Comparative Context.” Ethnomusicology 47(2):180-204.

2002. Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Vol. 7: East Asia. New York: Garland. (Associate editor and author of 16 articles totalling 22,000 words.)

View a full list of Andrew Killick’s publications