Dr Elaine King

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education
  • School of The Arts


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.


- 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]



- Performance I

- Psychology of Music Performance

- Special Study (dissertation supervision)

- Individual Project (dissertation supervision)


- MMus Special Study (dissertation supervision)


- The Modern Researcher (supervision)

- Research Integrity (supervision)

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Book Chapter

Performers' Perspectives on "Feel" in Music

King, E., & Waddington, C. (2018). Performers' Perspectives on "Feel" in Music. In N. Reyland, & R. Thumpson (Eds.), Music, analysis, and the body: Experiments, explorations, and embodimentsPeeters Publishers


King, E. (2014). Performance. In Music in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An encyclopediaSAGE Publications

12 : The empathic nature of the piano accompanist

King, E., & Roussou, E. (2017). 12 : The empathic nature of the piano accompanist. In Music and empathy. Taylor & Francis (Routledge). https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315596587

Journal Article

Musical shaping gestures: Considerations about terminology and methodology

King, E. (2013). Musical shaping gestures: Considerations about terminology and methodology. Empirical Musicology Review, 8(1), 68-81. https://doi.org/10.18061/emr.v8i1.3925

Book review: Performative Analysis: Reimagining Music Theory for Performance. By Jeffrey Swinkin.

King, E. C. (2017). Book review: Performative Analysis: Reimagining Music Theory for Performance. By Jeffrey Swinkin. Music and Letters, 98(1), 165-167. https://doi.org/10.1093/ml/gcx017

Postgraduate supervision

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)

Current PhD supervisions

Evgenia Roussou, Exploring the Piano Accompanist in Western Duo Music Ensembles (submitting September 2017)

Rae Todd, 'Play' in Chamber Ensemble Music Rehearsal (current)