Staff Profile: Dr. John Cunningham

Dr. John Cunningham
Dr. John Cunningham
Senior Lecturer in Music,
Director of Teaching and Learning,
Chair of Board of Examiners,
Deputy Head of School (Teaching and Learning).
+44 1248 388278
First Floor, School of Music


John Cunningham joined the School of Music at Bangor in September 2011. He read music at University College Dublin (2000), where he subsequently completed his MA degree in musicology (2001). In 2007 he received his PhD from the University of Leeds, with a thesis on the early modern English composer William Lawes. John has taught a range of subjects at UCD and the Dublin Institute of Technology Conservatory of Music and Drama, and has held research posts at the University of Limerick, the University of Leeds, and at University College Dublin (where he was an IRCHSS Post-doctoral fellow in 2008-2009). He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Follow John’s work on academia, where you will also find further information on research papers and publications.


  • Director of Teaching and Learning
  • Examinations Officer
  • Chair of Examinations
  • Deputy Head of School (Teaching and Learning)  
  • Chair of the Special Circumstances Committee
  • Chair of the Staff-Student Liaison Committee
  • Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee


I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PGCE).


Core Modules

  • Year 1: WXM 1001/1002: The Study of Music (team-taught)

Compulsory Module (Year 1)

  • Year 1: WXM 1004/1008: Harmony and Counterpoint (coordinator)

Genre & Composer Modules (Years 2 and 3)

  • WXM 2014/3014: The Trio Sonata in England (coordinator)
  • WXM 2160/3160: The Beatles (co-coordinator, with Chris Collins)

Previous composer/genre modules include: Music on the English Stage, c.1600–95; Telemann; Music and Politics in 17th-century England; Handel; The Classical Symphony

Editorial Musicology

  • WXM 3205/2205: Notation & Edition (coordinator)
  • WXM 3282/3283: Edition (Project) (coordinator)


  • WXM / WXC 2207: Harmony and Counterpoint (Year 2) (coordinator)
  • WXM 3202: Fugue (Year 3) (coordinator)


Postgraduate Taught Degrees in Music (MA, MMus, PGDip)

  • In our newly restructured MA programme, I typically alternate each year between a module on nineteenth-century music and a module on music pre-1750 (the topics vary from year to year, depending on current research activities and the interests of students taking the modules). I have previously taught a range of modules at MA level on historical and editorial musicology. 
  • WMP 4101 Music in historical context (this year: “Shakespearean music in the 19th century”)
  • WMP 4104 Early Music (last year: Shakespearean Music to c.1750”) 

Current Doctoral Supervision

Fueanglada Prawang, ‘Opera and nationalism in Thailand’

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Stephen Bullamore: ‘The Anthems of John Weldon’ (2014)


Research Interests

Music and culture in Britain and Ireland, c.1600–1900; seventeenth-century English consort music (and sources); compositional process; William Lawes; music and drama in early modern England; Shakespeare and music; source studies; editing; popular music since 1950.

John has held research awards and grants from the Music and Letters Trust (2009), the Irish Research Council for the Humanities (2008–9), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2008 and 2011), the Musica Britannica Trust (2007), and from the National University of Ireland (2003–6). In 2016 he was awarded a Donald Tovey Memorial Prize from the Faculty of Music, Oxford University for his forthcoming project ‘Re-imagining the “English” trio sonata between Purcell and Handel’. He is a member of the Purcell Society Committee.

Main Publications


Reviewed in: Early Music; Music & Letters; The Viola da Gamba Society Journal; The Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society of America; Early Music History; The Times Literary Supplement; Early Music Review; The Seventeenth Century; Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland; The Consort;; Reference and Research Book News


  • Music editor for the New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition, ed. Gary Taylor, John Jowett et al. (Oxford: OUP, 2016)
  • 'Ben Jonson and Music', in The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson, ed. David Bevington, Martin Butler, and Ian Donaldson, online archive (Cambridge University Press, 2014)
  • Henry Lawes, ‘Henry Lawes’s music for the songs in A Mask’, in The Complete Works of John Milton, vol. III, ed. B. Lewalski (Oxford: OUP, 2012), 587–598
  • (with Peter Holman), Restoration Trio Sonatas, Purcell Society Edition Companion Series 4 (London: Stainer and Bell, 2012) 
  • Marc-Antoine Charpentier,Laudate Dominum, for Soloists, Double Choir and Orchestra, with introduction by Peter Holman, THM003 (Edinburgh: Thesaurus Musicus, 2010)
  • (with Peter Holman), Maurice Webster, Complete Consort Music (Launton: Edition HH Ltd, 2010)
  • (with Peter Holman), Simon Ives, The Four-Part Dances (Launton: Edition HH Ltd, 2008)


Book Chapters

Dictionary Articles

  • Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, general eds Barra Boydell and Harry White (Dublin: UCD Press, 2013):
    John Abell; Brass and Reed Bands; William Byrd; Denis Collins; Dalway Harp; Kieran Daly; Terry de Valera; John Dowland; Masque; Military Bands post-1840; Orchestras;Burk Thumoth; Thomas Tollett and family; Werburgh Street Theatre


  • in Music and Letters; The Viola da Gamba Society Journal; Eighteenth-Century Music; The Viol  


  • Ed. (with Peter Holman), Restoration Music for Three Violins, Bass Viol and Continuo, Musica Britannica 103 (London: Stainer and Bell)
  • ‘The reception and re-use of Thomas Arne’s Shakespeare songs of 1740/1’, in Shakespeare, Music and Performance, ed. David Lindley and Bill Barclay (Cambridge: CUP)
  • Music editor for the New Oxford Shakespeare: Critical Reference Edition, ed. Gary Taylor, John Jowett et al. (Oxford: OUP, 2017)
  • ‘“Faint copies” and “excellent Originalls”: Composition and Consumption of Trio Sonatas in England, c.1695–1714’, in The Geography of the Trio Sonata, ed. I. M. Groote and M. Giuggioli


  • Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society (2010)

Recent Conference Papers

Papers given since 2010. A complete list can be found on academia.

  • ‘New Light on Thomas Arne’s Setting of The Fairy Prince’, panel and roundtable on Thomas Arne Revisited, RMA Annual Conference, Guildhall, London (3–5 September, 2016)
  • ‘Dowland’s Ayres in Transmission: Texts and Contexts’: John Dowland (?1563–1626) Study Day, Magdalene College, Oxford (4 May 2016)
  • ‘“Faint copies” and “excellent Originalls”: Composition and consumption of trio sonatas in England, c.1690–1710’, The geography of the trio sonata: new perspectives, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (21–22 May 2015)
  • ‘Words, music, and the cult of Shakespearean veneration: the 1864 Tercentenary Celebration’, Words and Music Study Day, Bangor University (2 May 2015) 
  • ‘The roots of English Restoration opera in masque’ (panel on English opera), Eighth European Music Analysis Conference, University of Leuven (17−21 September 2014)
  • ‘Revision and revival: William Boyce’s David’s Lamentation over Saul and Jonathan (1736−1744)’, Sixteenth Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music, University of Music and Dramatic Arts Mozarteum, Salzburg (9–13 July 2014)
  •  ‘A New Messiah: Shakespeare, music, and the 1864 Tercentenary celebration’, Annual Conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, University College Dublin (6–8 June 2014)
  •  ‘Transgressive soundscapes: “art” vs “popular” song in the early modern theatre’, Early Modern Soundscapes, Bangor University (24−25 April 2014) 
  • Performance, expectation and tradition in Shakespearean songs, c.1740–1760’ – Shakespeare, Music and Performance Conference, the Shakespeare Globe, London (3–5 May 2013)
  • ‘Music and identity in Ben Jonson’s Irish Masque at Court’, The Inaugural Bangor conference of Celtic Studies, Bangor University (20-23 July 2012)
  • 'Music and Ben Jonson’s dramatic works', – Fifteenth Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music, Southampton University (30 June - 4 July 2012)
  • 'Mason's Caractacus on the British Stage', – Annual Conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, Dundalk Institute of Technology (24-26 June 2012)
  • ‘“I have brought you a variety of noise”: Ben Jonson and Music, the Late Seventeenth Century and Beyond’ – Seminars in Musicology, Edinburgh University (1 March 2012)
  • ‘“Irregular and not always correct in harmony”: Revisions and re-creations in the consort music of William Lawes’ – Seminars in Musicology, Bangor University (5 October 2011)
  • ‘“I fear the little gentleman is in a galloping consumption”: The Death and Resurrection of Arne’s The Fairy Prince’ – Annual Conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin (24-26 June 2011)
  • ‘Composition and Arrangement in the Lyra-Viol Repertoire’ – Fourteenth Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music, Queen’s University Belfast (30 June - 4 July 2010)


  • Programme notes for concerts of the Irish Baroque Orchestra.
  • Critical editions of the following music for public concerts: Sir Henry Bishop, ‘Lo here the gentle lark’, St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh, Suffolk (Suffolk Villages Festival); 28 August 2016, Psalmody, Essex Baroque Orchestra, dir. Peter Holman; Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Laudate Dominum, for Double Choir and Orchestra (Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, University of Leeds; 9 March 2008; School of Music Project Choir, with Leeds Baroque Choir and Orchestra, dir. Peter Holman); William Boyce, David’s Lamentation over Saul and Jonathan (Dublin version, 1744), short oratorio; William Boyce, O be joyful in God, anthem (St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh, Suffolk; 26 May 2008, Psalmody, Essex Baroque Orchestra, dir. Peter Holman); (with Andrew Woolley), Antonio Salieri, Les Danaïdes (1784), opera (The Great Hall, University of Leeds; 11-12 March 2011).
  • Supervisor of nine Access to Masters projects (2011–15).