Confucius Institute Chinese Cultural Event

Creation of Cross-Cultural Music-Language Artefacts

About this project

This set of research projects aims to investigate a range of phenomena and practices, in two distinct cultural settings (initially Hull/UK and Tianjin/China) emerging in response to creative artefacts and experiences rooted in music and Chinese language(s). 

Creation of Cross-Cultural Music-Language Artefacts 

Scope: Music Composition, Translation Studies, Cultural Studies

In contradistinction to existing modes of thinking about creativity as fabrication, building, ordering or structuring, this research project characterises creative outputs as emerging from the act of changing ideas and materials from one state to another, moving from one place to another, from one cultural and linguistic context to another. Through the act of translating the materials of musical creativity (words, stories, sounds, melodies, rhythms) sites of interrogation, challenge and discovery are established from which emerge new artistic works. Such artistic works encode new types of understanding relating to linguistic and cultural values, symbols, meanings and aesthetics. The successful PhD candidate will contribute to addressing one or more of the following research questions: 

  1. How can we understand creativity as a process of translation?
  2. What new works will emerge through cross-cultural exploration?
  3. How does the cultural lineage of participants (specifically composers and performers in defined cultural and educational settings) inflect the nature of their participation in terms of their comprehension of compositional techniques (those to do with practices, processes and performance places), aesthetic appreciation, and perceived cultural function of a particular artefact?

Researchers will engage with existing studies on musical creativity (e.g. Collins 2012; Donin and Theureau 2008; Clarke, Doffman and Timmers, 2016; Slater 2015, 2016) to propose a new philosophical position that adapts ideas from translation studies (e.g. Budick and Iser 1996; Hardwick 2000) to be applied in the realm of music-making. 


You are strongly advised to contact a potential supervisor and to discuss your research proposal, well before you submit an application. Please refer to the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education research pages and the Confucius Institute website.

If you have any queries, please email Professor Marina Mozzon-McPherson.

Next steps


To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering a full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship or International Fees Bursary.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a 2.1 or 1st-class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in either Music and/or Chinese Studies or related discipline (e.g. Translation, Psychology, Applied Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition) and a Masters degree (preferably with Distinction or equivalent) and/or relevant experience. Some knowledge of Chinese might be an advantage.

How to apply

Applications for scholarship consideration at the University of Hull should be made through the Postgraduate Application system.

On the second page of your application, please select “Graduate Scholarship” as the type of scholarship you are applying for. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to first identify and contact a potential supervisor.

Apply now

Application deadline: Monday 19 February 2018


Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,553 in 2017/18) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress. PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.