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Australian Music and Art Research Group

Image / Artist credit: Aedan Howlett

Mission Statement

The Australian Music and Art Research Group fosters scholarly and practical research into the intersections between music and visual culture, including – but not limited to – the study of music iconography and the development of new creative work.

Its aims are to promote studies in inter-arts and cross-cultural dialogue; to provide a framework (as the Australian National Centre and Working Group of Association RIdIM) for the interpretation and cataloguing of visual sources referring to music, dance, theatre and opera; and to develop and support a network of researchers and creative practitioners through the organisation of workshops and scholarly meetings etc.

Based in Australia at the University of Tasmania, the activities of the Music and Art Research Group have a national focus, but it welcomes communication and involvement from scholars, musicians and artists from across the world.

Our Research Group

As our Research Group evolves, we welcome expressions of interest from musicians, artists and scholars. Please send a short summary of your interests in this area to Dr Arabella Teniswood-Harvey.

Music Performance and Composition; Music Technology and Instrument Building; Video Art. Since 1970, Warren Burt’s work has bridged disciplines between visual art, music, experimental poetry and scientific research. In many of his video works, the visual and sound components develop from similar processes, sometimes invoking sound poetry as well. He is a builder of experimental acoustic musical instruments, is involved in web-based media work, and is the author of many published articles. He is currently a Lecturer, and Coordinator of Postgraduate Studies in Music, at Box Hill Institute, Melbourne.

Musicology. Denis Collins is Senior Lecturer in Musicology at the University of Queensland. His interests include the interaction between music and the visual arts in the medieval and early modern periods.

Musicology. Jane Hardie is an Honorary Associate at The Medieval and Early Modern Centre at the University of Sydney. Trained as a Rare Book Librarian and Musicologist she has published widely on Medieval and Renaissance Iberian topics including music and visual culture.

Music Performance and Composition. Since curating music for the 1993 Melbourne International Art Fair, Michael Kieran Harvey has been actively involved in the cross-domain interface between the visual arts and music, whether through the creation and performance of graphic scores, through improvisation contexts in which the visual stimulus is applied to sound, or in the application of art theory and techniques to music composition.

Musicology. Jason Stoessel is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of New England. His research addresses music in European visual culture of the 14th-17th centuries, including the representation of canon and canonic techniques.

Music Performance, Musicology and Art History. Arabella Teniswood-Harvey is Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of Classical Music Performance at the University of Tasmania. A trained art historian as well as a pianist, her research traverses the late 19th -21st centuries, and includes the impact of music and theatre on James McNeill Whistler’s art, the ways in which music and musicians are depicted in Australian visual culture, and the visual marketing of celebrity pianists.

Music Performance and Composition. Vanessa Tomlinson is Associate Professor of Music at Griffith University. She is a percussionist, devoted to using the skills of listening to enhance community engagement. She does this through performance, composition, improvisation, site-specific work, environmental works, intercultural work and artistic and architectural collaborations.

Art History. Arvi Wattel is Lecturer in the History of Art at the University of Western Australia. His interests include the representation of music in early sixteenth-century Ferrarese art, in particular the use of music in allegories of love, and the depiction of ritual performance and identity in the Dutch colonial city of Batavia (today’s Jakarta).

Music Performance and Musicology. Suzanne Wijsman is Associate Professor and Head of Strings at the University of Western Australia. She is a cellist and musicologist whose particular interest is the study of images of music and sound in Hebrew mediaeval manuscripts.

Composition. Natalie Williams is Lecturer in Music at the Australian National University. As a composer of concert music she frequently works with artworks, video and photography in her pieces.

News and Events

Australian Music and Art Research Group

Opening April 2018

'On Listening' Exhibition

Held at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, and curated by A/Prof Vanessa Tomlinson and Dr Leah Barclay, 'On Listening' is the latest instalment from 100 Ways to Listen and celebrates innovative music making and sonic explorations at the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre. The photos in this collection are the starting point of an ongoing project, thinking about how Artist/Researchers interact with listening in their research projects, and how they can share some of the more intimate moments of their working process.


Find out more

Institutional Affiliations

The Grainger Museum

The Grainger Museum displays and manages an internationally significant archive and material culture collection relating to Australian composer and pianist Percy Grainger (1882-1961). Grainger himself formed the collection, intended for display and research in the Museum that he built on the grounds of the University of Melbourne. The collection numbers in excess of 100,000 items, including Grainger’s own music (MS and published music), Grainger’s personal collection of visual artworks (his own artworks and those of other artists), an audio collection including historical recordings of Grainger’s ethnomusicological research in folk music, musical instruments used by Grainger including his experimental ‘Free Music’ machines, his domestic and clothes collection, and his extensive photograph, correspondence and business archive documenting his life and career.

The Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne logo

Photographic reproduction on card of John Singer Sargent's portrait of Percy Grainger.

Photographic reproduction on card of John Singer Sargent's portrait of Percy Grainger. Inscribed by Percy Grainger to Kaare Nygaard, including fragment of music “Marching Song of Democracy”, dated 20 June 1953. Photographic print and ink on card, 35 x 27.3cm. Grainger Museum Collection, 16.0001

Percy Grainger, Kangaroo Pouch method of synchronising and playing 8 oscillators, 1952.

Percy Grainger, “Kangaroo Pouch" method of synchronising and playing 8 oscillators, 1952. Watercolour, ink and typescript on paper, 28 x 43.5cm. Grainger Museum Collection, 04.0173


Rare Music (Special Collections)

Rare Music (Special Collections) at the University of Melbourne comprises more than 12,000 catalogued items of print music and books about music, music manuscripts, and archival material, including photographs and correspondence. There is also a large concert and theatre program collection. Australian and French music are notable collection strengths. Also of significance is the Hanson-Dyer collection of early imprints and music manuscripts (15th–early 19th century) and Rare Music recently acquired the extensive archive of Louise Hanson-Dyer’s publishing house, Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre (1932–2013). Performing musicians’ archives include that of renowned French horn virtuoso Barry Tuckwell, and Rare Music also has large holdings of music for clarinet and flute.

Rare Music (Special Collections), University of Melbourne logo

Michel Corrette (1707-1795), Frontispiece to Nouvelle méthode pour apprendre à jouer de la harpe, Paris, 1774.

Michel Corrette (1707-1795), Frontispiece to Nouvelle méthode pour apprendre à jouer de la harpe, Paris, 1774.

Lithographic postcard, In the camp: Suttons’ talking machines. Melbourne: Suttons Ltd., [between 1910 and 1919].

Percy Grainger, Lithographic postcard, In the camp: Suttons’ talking machines. Melbourne: Suttons Ltd., [between 1910 and 1919].