Dr Elaine King

Reader in Music

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education


01482 465627

Dr Elaine King is a performer and musicologist with research interests in performance studies, psychology of music and music analysis.

Her doctoral thesis focused on the nature and effects of interaction in cello-piano duos during ensemble rehearsal and performance.

Since then, she has developed her research into different aspects of performance, especially in ensemble contexts.

Recent projects include investigations into ensemble rehearsal strategies, team roles, social familiarity, 'feel' and empathy in small chamber groups.

As a cellist, Dr King studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and she continues to direct and perform in chamber ensembles and orchestras.


Research Interests

  • Performance studies

  • Psychology of music

  • Music analysis

Research groups

  • Research Collaborations: Music and Gesture (with Anthony Gritten; Jane Ginsborg); Music and Familiarity (with Helen Prior); Music and Empathy (with Caroline Waddington); Music Students in Education (with Karen Burland) [see publications]

  • Research Facilitator for the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education Interdisciplinary Research Area 'Creativity in Cultures and Communities' at the University of Hull

  • Science, Technology and Pedagogy Research Group (Music, University of Hull, 2011-16)


King, E. & Gritten, A. (2017): Dialogue and Beyond: Communication and Interaction in Ensemble Performance. In J. Rink, H. Gaunt and A. Williamon (eds.), Musicians in the Making: Pathways to Creative Performance (pp. 306-21). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

King, E. & Waddington, C. (eds.) (2017): Music and Empathy. Abingdon: Routledge.

King, E. & Prior, H. (eds.) (2013): Music and Familiarity: Listening, Musicology, Performance. Farnham: Ashgate.

Gritten, A. & King, E. (eds.) (2011): New Perspectives on Music and Gesture. Farnham: Ashgate.

Gritten, A. & King, E. (eds.) (2006): Music and Gesture. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Full list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list


  • Performance I
  • Performance 2
  • Psychology of Music Performance
  • Special Study (dissertation supervision)
  • Individual Project (dissertation supervision)


  • MMus Special Study (dissertation supervision)


  • The Modern Researcher (supervision)
  • Research Integrity (supervision)

Research PhDs

Dr King welcomes applications in the areas of music psychology and performance studies, particularly in the context of ensemble playing.

Completed PhDs 

Artemis Apostolaki, Solfège and Memorisation (completed 2013)

Helen Daynes, Emotional Responses to Tonal and Atonal Music (completed 2008)

Rachel Poyser, University Music Students’ Ways of Thinking about Performance (completed 2015)

Panayiotis Teklos, Pupils’ Attitudes Towards Secondary Music Education in Cyprus (completed 2012)

Caroline Waddington, Empathetic Attunement in Chamber Ensemble Performance (completed 2015)

Colin Wright, Aural Perception and Training in Musicians (completed 2015)

Evgenia Roussou, Exploring the Piano Accompanist in Western Duo Music Ensembles (completed November 2017)

Current PhD supervisions 

Rae Todd, 'Play' in Chamber Ensemble Music Rehearsal (commenced September 2016)

Effy Taha: Chinese Whispers: Emotional and Experiential Responses to Choral Singing in a Second Language (commenced September 2018)

Eloise McCann: Chinese Whispers: Reception of Cross-Cultural Music-Language Artefacts in Performance (commenced September 2018)

Teaching awards and accolades

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (awarded February 2017)

  • Licentiate Diploma

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) in Music (University of Durham)

  • MMus in Theory and Analysis (King's College, London)

  • PhD in Music (Royal Holloway, University of London)

  • LGSM (Guildhall School of Music and Drama)

External roles

PhD External Examiner: University of Edinburgh (2017), University of Cambridge (2016), Malmo Academy, Sweden (2016), University of Western Australia (2016), Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA, USA (2011-12)

MPhil External Examiner: University of Sheffield (2009)

UG/PGT Programme External Examiner: University of Huddersfield (BMus and MMus performances (strings), 2013-16); University of Sheffield (MA Psychology of Music, 2009-12); Royal Northern College of Music (MMus, 2011-14); University of York (BA programmes, 2018-)

External Consultant for the Creative Partnerships Scheme, Creative Action Research Awards, CAPE UK (2005)

Validation Panel Member for the Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus (2004–2008)

Adjudicator: East Coast Young Musician of the Year (2012-16; Longcroft School Young Musician of the Year, Beverley (2012-13)

Membership of Councils, Societies and Associations

Royal Musical Association, Ordinary Member of Council (2009-12), Member (since 2009);

Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE), Conference Secretary (2007-12), Member (since 2007);

European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM), Member (2001-07);

Society for Music Analysis, Member (1997-2002)

Awards and accolades

Faculty Research Support Fund, University of Hull (£5,000) for one semester of study leave (January 2005)

Arnold Bentley New Initiatives Award (£300) from the Society for Education and Music Psychology Research (SEMPRE) (July 2004)

British Academy (£500) Overseas Conference Grant (July 2004)

Faculty Research Support Fund, University of Hull (£500) for expenses to attend the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Northwestern University, Chicago (August 2004)

Faculty Research Support Fund, University of Hull (£400) for expenses to attend the European Conference for the Cognitive Sciences of Music, University of Liège, Belgium (April 2002)

Research Grant (£15,000) from the University Research Support Fund, University of Hull (December 2000)

Margaret K B Day Memorial Scholarship (£1,000) awarded by the British Federation of Women Graduates (September 1999)

Central Research Fund for Doctoral Research (£358), University of London (November 1998)

Postgraduate Bursary, Society of Music Analysis (£2000)(September 1995)

Michael James Scholarship (University of Durham, 1993)

Eve Myra Kirsch Prize (University of Durham, 1995)

Professional highlights


  • Associate Editor, Psychology of Music (2012-17)
  • Reviews Editor, Frontiers in Performance Science (2016-)
  • Editorial Board, British Postgraduate Musicology (1996-8)

Conference management

  • Musical Cultures International Conference, University of Hull, April 2017 (Co-director)
  • Piano Accompaniment in Practice Symposium, University of Hull, November 2016 (Co-director)
  • Music and Empathy, SEMPRE Conference and Study Day, University of Hull, November 2013 (Co-organiser)
  • SEMPRE 40th Anniversary Conference, Institute of Education, London, September 2012 (Director)
  • RMA Research Students’ Conference, University of Hull, January 2012 (Director)
  • Music and Familiarity, SEMPRE Conference and Study Day, University of Hull, 23-24 October 2009 (Co-organiser)
  • Music and Gesture, Second International Conference, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 20–23 July 2006 (Co-director)
  • Music and Gesture, First International Conference, University of East Anglia, Norwich, August 2003 (Co-director)
  • Organiser and Chair of the University of Hull Research Seminar Series, (2002–06)


  • ‘The Dynamics of Music’, Interview broadcast for BBC Radio 4, August 2004
  • 'Musical Cultures', Live Interview broadcast for BBC Radio Humberside, April 2017
  • 'Music Listening Tips for Examination Revision', Recorded Interview broadcast for Heart FM, June 2017     

Public lectures

  • ‘Encouraging Young String Players: A Psychological Perspective (University of Hull, October 2008 & November 2009);
  • ‘Mozart’s Symphony No. 41’(University of Hull, November 2008)

Music performance activity

  • Secretary: Hull Music Recital Club (2000–07)
  • Cellist: Annikyra String Quartet (deputy; 2009–); Friary String Quartet& Clarinet Quintet (2004–07); Aegle Trio (2004–07); Hull Philharmonic Orchestra (principal; 2000–07); Hull Sinfonietta (2004–05); East Riding Sinfonia (2007); Imperial Piano Trio, London (1999–2000); Slough Philharmonic Orchestra (co-principal; 1997-2000); Marylebone Symphony Orchestra, London (principal; 1998); Nutford String Trio (1995–96)


  • Hull University Camerata (2015-) [Repertoire includes direction of Mendelssohn, Octet; Haydn, London Trios; Mozart, Clarinet Concerto; Mozart, Keyboard Concerto; Beethoven, Symphony No. 5; Schubert, Unfinished Symphony]
  • Hull University Orchestra and Choir (2009–) [repertoire includes: Rachmaninov, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Shostakovich, Jazz Suite No. 2; Hedges, Bridge for the Living, Walton, Crown Imperial March]
  • Musical Director, Hessle Sinfonia (2003–2009) [repertoire conducted includes: Alfven, Midsummer Vigil; Rimksy Korsakov, Russian Easter Festival Overture; Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, Ballet Suite from The Nutcracker, Symphony No. 5; Dvorak, Symphony No. 9; Weber, Clarinet Concerto No. 2; Khachaturian, Spartacus Suite No. 2; Hérold, Zampa Overture, Music from La Fille mal Gardée; Gounod, Ballet Suite from Faust; Delibes, Prelude & Mazurka from Coppélia, Offenbach, Gaîté Parisienne, Shostakovich, The Gadfly Suite]