Dr Peter Elsdon

Dr Peter Elsdon

Senior Lecturer

Faculty and Department

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


Peter Elsdon is a musicologist and jazz musician. His research interests are wide-ranging, and include jazz studies, improvisation, popular music, sound studies, and studies of recorded music. His publications cover a similarly broad area, from work on Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, to chapters on John Coltrane, theorising improvisation, viewing jazz performance, and music and gesture. He is currently working on a project that examines technologies of listening by using ideas such as mediation, agency, and object-oriented ontology.

In 2013 Oxford University Press published Peter’s book on Keith Jarrett’s Koln Concert, a seminal recording which is now seen as one of the cornerstones of the German ECM label’s output. Peter has also spoken about his research on Jarrett at an event in at the National Library in Oslo, as well as on German radio.

In 2010/11, he worked on an AHRC-funded research project on the use of Audiovisual Resources in Jazz History with Björn Heile and Jenny Doctor. This project resulted in a conference, and the collection Watching Jazz, published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

Within the School, Dr Elsdon founded and directs the Jazz Æsthetic, a 12-piece band which specialises in performing contemporary jazz. He is also currently reviews editor of the Jazz Research Journal.

Peter teaches modules in Performance, Arranging, and Jazz Studies at the University of Hull. He also supervises postgraduate and undergraduate dissertations, and directs a jazz ensemble.

Recent outputs

View more outputs


Watching jazz: Encounters with jazz performance on screen

Elsdon, P. (2016). B. Heile, P. Elsdon, & J. Doctor (Eds.). Watching jazz: Encounters with jazz performance on screen. New York: Oxford University Press

Book Chapter

Jazz and its Sources: Searching for the Creative Process

Elsdon, P. (2020). Jazz and its Sources: Searching for the Creative Process. In The Oxford Handbook of the Creative Process in Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190636197.001.0001

Figuring improvisation

Elsdon, P. (2019). Figuring improvisation. In N. Gebhardt, N. Rustin-Paschal, & T. Whyton (Eds.), Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies (221-230). Abingdon: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315315805-21

Jazz and the Live Performance Event

Elsdon, P. (2018). Jazz and the Live Performance Event. In R. Thumpston, & N. Reyland (Eds.), Music, analysis, and the body: experiments, explorations, and embodiments (209-224). Netherlands: Routledge

Viewing Empathy in Jazz Performance

Elsdon, P. (2017). Viewing Empathy in Jazz Performance. In E. King, & C. Waddington (Eds.), Music and empathy (157-172). Farnham: Routledge

Research interests

Jazz, improvisation, sound recordings, improvisation with live electronics.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Elsdon welcomes applications in the areas of jazz, popular music, and the aesthetics of sound recordings.

Completed PhDs

Jamie Moore, Robert Glasper's Black Radio: Issues of Style and Identity, University of Hull, 2017.

Rowan Oliver, Rebecoming Analogue: Groove, Breakbeats and Sampling, University of Hull, 2015.

Current PhD supervisions

Daniel Banks, An In-depth Analysis of the Improvisatory Style of Chick Corea through Thesis and Performance Portfolio