David R. M. Irving

David R. M. Irving

Institució Milà i Fontanals


David R. M. Irving studied at Griffith University, the University of Queensland, and the University of Cambridge. He held post-doctoral positions at Christ's College, Cambridge, and King's College London, then taught at the University of Nottingham, the Australian National University, and the University of Melbourne. He became an ICREA Research Professor in 2019 and is based at the Institució Milà i Fontanals de Recerca en Humanitats-CSIC. His research interests include the role of music in early modern intercultural exchange, the global history of music, and historical performance practice. He is co-general editor of the forthcoming Cultural History of Western Music (Bloomsbury), and co-editor of the Cambridge University Press journal Eighteenth-Century Music. His awards include the Jerome Roche Prize (Royal Musical Association) and the McCredie Musicological Award (Australian Academy of the Humanities).

Research interests

My research stands at the nexus of historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and global history, examining the role of music in intercultural exchanges during the early modern period. I have worked on musical and cultural repercussions of Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, and British colonialism in early modern Southeast Asia; I have also studied the role of music in various Catholic missions in the early modern world. I aim to develop new conceptual frameworks and theoretical models for global histories of music, and explore the impact of colonialism on musical thought and practice in early modern Europe. I am currently writing a book titled How the World Made European Music: Cultural Convergence in Global Old Regimes. My monograph Transitory Sounds: Performing Praxis of Global Music History is under contract to the University of Michigan Press. I am also Chair of the International Musicological Society’s Study Group “Global History of Music”.

Selected publications

Irving DRM & McCallum J 2020, “The World of Cocos Malay Music and Dance: A Documentary Film on Performing Arts in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands,” Journal of Music Research Online 11: 1-14.

Irving DRM & Maddox A 2020, “Towards a Reflexive Paradigm for the Study of Musics in Australian Colonial Societies (1788–1900),” Context 46: 51-73.

Selected research activities

I published articles in Ethnomusicology Forum and Musicology Australia (both backdated to 2019), as well as Journal of Music Research Online and Context.

I taught classes at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Two of my PhD students and one Master’s student successfully passed examination.

I gave seminars/colloquia at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Cambridge, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Universitat de Barcelona; I also gave a paper and spoke on a panel at the American Musicological Society Annual Meeting.

This year I also submitted a proposal for an ERC Advanced Grant (as PI) and an application for an AEI I+D+i project (as co-PI).