Dr Lauren Redhead

Lauren’s research spans composition, performance and contemporary musicology., with a focuses on the music and aesthetics of the 21st Century and the methodological critique of practice research.

Staff details

Dr Lauren Redhead


Head of Department, Reader in 20th and 21st Century Music




l.redhead (@gold.ac.uk)



My primary interests are in 20th and 21st Century Music; my musicological work focuses on the aesthetics and sociosemiotics of music, psychoanalytic perspectives on music, minority discourse, anti-aesthetics, materialism and notation. I am also a composer of experimental music whose scores are published by Material Press (Berlin) and a performer of music for organ and electronics. My music has been released on the engraved glass, sfz music, Innova, and pan y Rosas discos labels. My current research falls into three broad areas: the methodological critique of practice research, concentrating on its epistemology and phenomenology; the investigation of materiality and notation through experimental approaches to composition; and the development of live-interactive approaches to performance for organ and electronics through collaboration with other composers. I have recently published on the music of composers Michael Finnissy, Chris Newman, and Annette Schmucki. From 2013-2018 I was the president of the RMA’s Music and/as Process Study group, in which role I organised many conferences and edited two collected volumes of research. I am the chair of the conference committee for the RMA’s 56th Annual Conference in 2020 which will take place as an online event.

I currently lead the following modules: Approaches to Contemporary Music (Level 4), Aesthetics, Meaning and Culture (Level 5); Music/Modernities (Level 6); Creative Research Project (Level 6); Philosophies of Music (MA/Level 7). I have also contributed to topics on contemporary performance and  20th and 21st Century Music across the curriculum. I also supervise dissertations and creative projects at Undergraduate and Masters level. I have previously taught composition across all levels of Higher Education. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority and am currently the Co-Head of the Department of Music, the Head of Undergraduate studies and the Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee for Music.

Publications and research outputs


Redhead, L. 2024. Listening Intertextually in Beat Furrer's Music Theatre Works. Tempo, 78(307), pp. 51-61. ISSN 0040-2982

Attah, Tom; Cavett, Esther; Dueck, Byron; Miller, Sue and Redhead, L. 2024. Teaching music theory in UK higher education today: contexts and commentaries. Music Education Research, 26(1), pp. 71-81. ISSN 1461-3808

Redhead, L. 2023. ‘Developing Live-interactive Approaches to New Music for Organ and Electronics Through Collaboration’. Contemporary Music Review, 42(3), pp. 339-350. ISSN 0749-4467


Redhead, L. 2020. the octopus.

Redhead, L; Zaldua, Alistair and Cannon, J. 2018. hearmleoþ—gieddunga.

Mwamba, C and Redhead, L. 2018. Corey Mwamba and Lauren Redhead - Live at Contra Pop.

Book Section

Redhead, L. 2022. ‘Nothing Really Changes’: Material Processes in and as Time in hearmleoþ—gieddunga. In: Michelle Phillips and Matthew Sergeant, eds. Music and Time: Psychology, Philosophy, Practice. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 9781783277087

Redhead, L. 2019. The Medium is Now the Material: The ‘Folklore’ of Chris Newman and Michael Finnissy. In: I Pace and N McBride, eds. Critical Perspectives on the Music of Michael Finnissy: Bright Futures, Dark Pasts. Routledge. ISBN 9781138491977

Redhead, L. 2018. A Common Method? Distributed Creativity in Composition and/as Practice Research. In: L Redhead and R Glover, eds. Collaborative and Distributed Processes in Contemporary Music-Making. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, pp. 27-44. ISBN 978-1-5275-1398-3


Redhead, L. 2019. puer natus est.

Redhead, L. 2019. The Whale.

Redhead, L. 2018. 12 fragments for transverse flute.

Conference or Workshop Item

Redhead, L. 2023. 'The Practice of Practice Research'. In: Public Research Seminar: Dr Lauren Redhead - The Practice of Practice Research. Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, United Kingdom 21 February 2023.

Redhead, L. 2022. 'Using Collaborative Event Ethnography to Explore Embodied Approaches to Performing Experimental Music'. In: Performance Studies Network Conference 2022. University of Surrey, United Kingdom 30 June - 3 July 2022.

Redhead, L. 2021. 'Practice Research: Accessibility and Reproducibility Enhancing searchability: archiving practice research'. In: Enhancing searchability: archiving practice research. Online workshop, United Kingdom 15 November 2021.

Edited Book

Redhead, L and Glover, R, eds. 2018. Collaborative and Distributed Processes in Contemporary Music-Making. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 978-1-5275-1398-3

Hawes, V and Redhead, L, eds. 2016. Music and/as Process. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 978-1-4438-9491-3

Edited Journal

Redhead, L, ed. 2020. Musik und Sprache: Music/Language/Speech, Contemporary Music Review, 39(3). 0749-4467

ap Sion, Pwyll and Redhead, L, eds. 2014. Musical Borrowing and Quotation in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, Contemporary Music Review, 33(2). 0749-4467


Redhead, L. 2021. Performing ‘the radicality of unknowing who we are becoming’.

Redhead, L. 2021. Language as a Material Process.

Redhead, L. 2016. Ijereja - Music as an interative process performance lecture.


Redhead, L. 2022. Creative Textual Practices as Critical Re-writings. In: "NoiseFloor 2022", Staffordshire University, United Kingdom, 12 May 2022.

Redhead, L and Zaldua, Alistair. 2020. vox humana. In: "vox humana", Ideas of Noise Festival, United Kingdom, February 2020.

Redhead, L and Zaldua, Alistair. 2019. hearmleoþ-gieddunga: performance at Summit Salford, 26.09.19. In: "Summit No.11", Eagle Inn, Salford, United Kingdom, 26.09.2019.

Printed Ephemera

Redhead, L. 2014. False relationships: Nicola Lefanu, I am Bread.


Kanga, Zubin; Dyer, Mark; Rowley, Caitlin; Packham, Jonathan; Benjamin, Mira; Climent, Ricardo; Gioti, Artemi-Maria; Gorton, David; Hayden, Sam; Howard, Emily; Hunt, Edmund; Laidlow, Robert; McLaughlin, Scott; Nickel, Luke and Redhead, L. 2024. Technology and Contemporary Classical Music: Methodologies in Practice-Based Research. Project Report. National Centre for Research Methods, Southampton.


Redhead, L. 2024. 54 stops, grésillement, alphabet des rauschens: collaboration and/as performance autoethnography. Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

Redhead, L. 2022. hearmleoþ-gieddunga (research portfolio). pan y rosas discos, Orpheus Instituut, Boydell & Brewer.

Redhead, L. 2022. the whale: Creative Textual Practices. INMM Darmstadt, Buxton Fringe Festival.

Research Interests

20th and 21st century music; music aesthetics; music and philosophy; music semiotics; analysis of 20th century music; contemporary music performance practices; practice research; composition

Areas of supervision

At present I supervise 9 PhD students at Goldsmiths.My completed PhD students have undertaken research on the performance of contemporary microtonal music for the recorder, the composition and facilitation of experimental music projects for community choirs, and interrelation in the performance of Improvised Music.My current PhD students are focused on a range of topics, including interdisciplinary approaches to Practice Research that encompass sound, performance, and art; the aesthetics and historiography of the presentation of the ‘past’ in music; and composition projects embracing opera, the theatre, experimental music and sound art. I am interested in supervising projects in the areas of practice research in music, the aesthetics and philosophy of contemporary music, the analysis of 20th and 21st century music, and experimental approaches to performance.I have examined PhDs at the University of Bangor, the University of Salford, Edinburgh Napier University and Kings College, London as well as internally at Goldsmiths and Canterbury Christ Church University. I have also supervised many undergraduate and masters dissertations on topics including film music, music education, music analysis, contemporary aesthetics and music in the community.