Joel Crotty

Joel Crotty is a member of the Melbourne Composers’ League and currently serves on the executive committee. He previously held the position of senior lecturer in Musicology at Monash University having taught students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has been an active member of the Musicological Society of Australia, both nationally and at the Victorian Chapter level, and has held other executive and committee positions in those sectors. He was part of the organising committee for the Symposium of the International Musicological Society which was held in Melbourne in 2004. In 2002, he was a visiting fellow at the Thessaloniki Conservatorium of Music, Greece, and has been invited to present addresses at a number of prestigious institutions including (internationally) Spiru Haret University, Bucharest and (locally) the Lyceum Club, Melbourne. His public outreach has extended to being a music critic with Melbourne daily newspapers, Herald Sun and Age (1996-2006), British monthly, Opera (2002-2004) and Romanian monthly, Vivid (2000-2010).

My areas of interest focus on post-WWII Australian art music and Romanian art music.

Australian art music

My strong commitment to Australian music manifests itself through publication, encouragement and mentorship of postgraduate research in the area, and teaching of the subject through the undergraduate programme.  I am also proud of my ongoing relationship with the Australian music-making community. To that end I have been an elected Board Member of the Australian Music Centre (1997-2003); Board Member, Contemporary Music Events (1997-2003), a curatorial organisation with an emphasis on the promotion of new music, particularly Australian;  I have been, on numerous occasions, an adjudicator for the APRA  Australian art music awards, and an occasional commentator on 3MBS and ABC Classic FM. Between 1995 and 2011 I was responsible for the Monash Australian Composers Series, which successfully aimed to connect Melbourne’s composition community with the School of Music. Composers featured in the Series included Helen Gifford, Laurie Whiffin, Christopher Willcock, George Dreyfus, Julian Yu, Christine McCombe, and Barry Conyngham.  I also commissioned, with philanthropic support, Melbourne-based composers including Rob Cossom, Howard Dillon and Peter Tahourdin to write short pieces for undergraduate student performance.  My published research has appeared in book chapters, reference entries (Oxford Companion to Australian Music and the Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia), refereed articles, as well as commentaries in current affairs magazines both locally and abroad. In 1994 I edited a significant and seminal collection of articles that appeared in Sounds Australian, as it was one of the first re-assessments of Australia’s musical heritage and historiography since Roger Covell’s 1967 book on the topic.   My current projects demonstrate my interest with music history as well as current music practices in Australia and include Australian Youth Orchestra’s programming for their overseas tours since 1970 and the songs of Melbourne-based composer Joseph Giovinazzo.

 Recent Publications

‘Ballet and the Australian Way of Life: the Development of a National Dance Repertoire, 1951-1961’ Acta Musicologica LXXXII/2, 2010, pp. 305-340

‘Australian Ballet Composition in the Immediate  Aftermath of the Ballets Russes’  in The Ballets Russes in Australia and Beyond ed. Mark Carroll, Adelaide, Wakefield Press, 2011, pp. 179-189

‘Towards an Australian Art-Music Canon’ Quadrant October, 2011, pp. 91-97

 Romanian art music

I have made regular fieldtrips to Romania since 2000. My interest lies both in the nation’s music history, particularly since WWII, and with contemporary music practices. The various articles I have produced as a result of this research have been published in Australian and international  journals including Music and Politics, Journal of Musicological Research, Mikropolyphonie and the Journal of the International Society for Orthodox Church Music (with Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea).  My current project in this field is the chant influences in Ştefan Niculescu’s Requiem (with Livia Teodorescu- Ciocănea).  I am on the Editorial Board of Analele Universitaţii Spiru Haret: Seria Muzică in Romania. Along with colleagues I was instrumental in producing two CDs on the Move label: Bridges 1 featuring new music by Romanian, Australian and Korean composers, and Bridges 2 focussing on Romanian and Czech composers.  I am one of only a few non-Romanian scholars who publish in English on Romanian music topics, and I am dedicated to the dissemination of information on this music to a wider audience.

Recent Publications

‘A Preliminary investigation of Music, Socialist Realism, and the Romanian Experience, 1948-1959: (Re)reading, (Re)listening, and (Re)writing Music History for a Different Audience’   Journal of Musicological Research 26/2-3, 2007, pp.151-176

‘Promoting Romanian Music Abroad: The Rumanian Review (1946-1956)’ Music and Politics 3/2, 2009 http:/

‘Spectral Examination of Byzantine Chant’ Journal of the International Society for Orthodox Church Music (with Livia Ciocănea-Teodorescu) 2014 (on-line, January, 2014)

‘Beyond the sneer: revisiting musical socialist realism’ Transcultural Studies (forthcoming)

Honours programme

I have been active in supervising and teaching honours students for over a decade.  Over the years I have supervised students’ honours research projects (one semester duration) and theses (two semester duration) across both classical and improvisational musics. My successful completion rate pertaining to honours students is over sixty.

Higher Degree Supervision

I have a strong record in higher degree supervision in many areas of music, particularly in musicology and performance-based research and have completed all the university requirements for supervisor training. Over the years I have sat on School, Faculty and University committees that focus on higher degree research. I am currently supervising, in collaboration with colleagues, PhD candidates with musicological interest in: Robert Ward’s The Crucible; Australian military bands and music, 1915-1955; Australian navy bands in active service 1965-2003. Similarly I am supervising candidates undertaking performance-based research (PhD and MA) in Hindemith (French Horn); Gillet and Pasculli (oboe); Mansurian (viola);  Bartolozzi and Reginald Smith Brindle (flute);  Jacob ter Veldhuis (flute);  Grieg and Carl Vine (cello);  William Sterndale Bennett (piano);  Bonneau and Leonard (classical saxophone); Teodorescu-Ciocănea (piano);  and Resanovic (clarinet).

The following list of successful competitions demonstrates my diversity in regard to supervision:


  • Julie Waters: “Against the stream”: intersections of music and politics in the conception, composition and reception of Alan Bush’s first three symphonies. (PhD, 2012)
  • Andrew Mathers: How theories of expressive movement and non-verbal communication can enhance expressive conducting at all levels of entering behaviour (PhD, 2008, with Prof. Margaret Kartomi)
  • Andrew Duncan: Noah Greenberg’s presentation of medieval liturgical music drama: a study in expedience over scholarship (MA, 2010)
  • Helen Duggan: Wild Card—the Dorothy Hewett song cycle by Moya Henderson:  a musical reading of an autobiographical text (MA, 2005)

Performance-based research


Hui-Ling Yeo (MA (Mus Perf), 2002, with Max Cooke)

  • Thesis: The development of the Classical pianoforte sonata between 1770 and 1825, citing the Keyboard Sonata in A Major, op. 17 no.5 (c.1773) by JC Bach and the Piano Sonata in a minor D. 805 (1825) by Schubert as examples of the early and late pianoforte sonata respectively.
  • Major Recital:    François Couperin: Les Fastes de la grande et ancienne Mxnxstrxndxsx (c.1716); JC Bach: Sonata in A Major, op. 17 no. 5 (c.1773); Schubert:  Sonata in a minor D.845 (1825); Heller: Miscellanees, op. 40 nos. 2 and n3 (1840-1850); Granados: El Pelele (c.1913)

Josephine Agostinelli (MA (Mus Perf), 2005, with Mira Jakpanetz)

  • Thesis: Tradition and innovation in Percy Grainger’s Ramble on Strauss’s The Rose-Bearer (1927). The performer’s role in interpreting this transcription in relation to the specific Graingerisms used.
  • Major Recital:    JS Bach—Busoni: Chaconne in d minor (1897); R. Strauss—Grainger: Ramble on Strauss’s The Rose-Bearer (1927); Tchaikovsky-Grainger: Paraphrase on the Nutcracker Suite (1905); Gershwin—Grainger: The Man I Love (1944); Gareth Farr: Sepuluh Jari (1996); Elena Kats-Chernin: Schubert Blues (1995)

Hsaio-Ni Axtens  (MA (Mus Perf), 2012, with Robert Chamberlain)

  • Thesis: Tone-cluster techniques in piano performance: methods of tone-cluster performance as required in Henry Cowell’s Tides of Manaunaun (1912) and Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Sonata nr. 2 “Fire Sermon” (1970).
  • Major Recital: Rautavaara: Sonata nr. 2 “Fire Sermon”  (1970); Cowell: ‘Tides of Manaunaun’ from Three Irish Legends (1912); Liszt: ‘Funerailles’ from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (1849); Scriabin: Etudes, op. 8 nos 2 and 3 (1894);              Rachmaninov : Etudes-Tableaux, op. 39, no 5. (1917);
  • Minor Recital 1: JS Bach Fantasia and Fugue BWV 904 (1725); Chopin: Fantaisie-Impromptu, op. 66, c# min (1834); Scriabin: Sonata-Fantasy nr 2, op 19, no 2. (1894)
  • Minor Recital 2: Rautavaara: Etydit nos. 1-6 (1969); Mendelssohn: Fantasy, op. 28 (1833)

Daniel Liston (MA (Mus Perf), 2014, with Robert Chamberlain)

  • Thesis: The use of Bartok’s ethnomusicological writings as a window to a performance of the composer’s Piano Sonata, sz. 80 (1926)
  • Major Recital: Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit (1908); Kodaly: Dances of Marosszék (1927); Bartok: Piano Sonata sz. 80 (1926);
  • Minor Recital 1: Bartok: Piano Suite op. 14 (1918); Rzewski: Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues (1980); Lutoslawski: Variations on a theme by Paganini (1941)
  • Minor Recital 2: Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata nr 2 (1931); Rachmaninov: Elegie (1892)


Paul Todd (MA (Mus Perf), 2005 with Peter Handsworth)

  • Thesis: The philosophies of Karlheinz Stockhausen in Aus Den Sieben Tagen and In Freundschaft performance as a means of communication
  • Major recital: Margaret Sutherland: Sonata for Clarinet or Viola and Piano (1949); Paul Moulatlet: Ellipsis (solo) (2000-2001); Stockhausen: Amour: 5 Stücke für Klarinette (1976); Stockhausen: ‘Kommunion’ from Aus Den Sieben Tagen (1968); Stockhausen: In Freundschaft (1977)

Karen Heath (MA (Mus Perf), 2005 with Peter Handworth)

  • Thesis: The synthesis of music and dance: performance strategies for selected choreographic music works by Karlheinze Stockhausen.
  • Major Recital: Karlheinze Stockhausen: Der Kleine Harlekin (1975); Karlheinze Stockhausen: In Freundschaft (1977); Tom Dunstan: Box Modula (2004); Karen Health: Maze Pieces vol. one (2005)

Claire Murray (MA (Mus Perf), 2011, with David Griffiths)

  • Thesis: Arthur Benjamin’s Tombeau de Ravel: approaches for accurate tuning and intonation for Bb clarinet.
  • Major Recital:    Marţian Negrea: Suiţa (1960); Gerald Glynn: Gorlywhorl (solo) (1984); Arthur Benjamin: Tombeau de Ravel (1957); Martin Wesley-Smith: For Clarinet and Tape (1983); Nino Rota: Trio (clarinet, cello and piano) (1973)
  • Minor Recital 1: Paul Stanhope: Phosphoric variations (clarinet and percussion) (1998); Larry Sitsky: Zugerq (solo) (1984); Miriam Hyde: Sonata (1949)
  • Minor Recital 2: Robert Muczynski: Time Pieces (1983); Larry Sitsky: Vartarun (solo) (1984); Linda Phillips: Two Moods (n/d)


Tanya Riordan (MA (Mus Perf), 2003, with Loris Synan)

  • Thesis: The Trio—voice, clarinet and piano:  a study of interrelationships between the voice and ensemble in Ned Rorem’s Ariel, Five Poems of Sylvia Plath (1971).
  • Major Recital: Lachner: Frauen-Liebe und-Leben, op. 82 (1831); Schubert: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, op. 129 (1828); Bliss: Two Nursery Rhymes (1920); Seiber: Drei-Morgenstern Lieder (1929); Margaret Sutherland: The Orange Tree (1939); Ned Rorem: Ariel, Five Poems of Sylvia Plath (1971)

Louisa Hunter-Bradley (MA (Mus Perf), 2005, with Stephen Grant)

  • Thesis: Handel’s Gloria: Steps taken to facilitate an historically-informed performance.
  • Major Recital: Handel: Laudate Pueri Dominum HWV 236; Handel: Salve Regina HWV 241; Handel: Gloria (GB RAM MS 139)

French Horn

Jeffrey McGann (MA (Mus Perf), 2008)

  • Thesis: Achieving an historically informed performance of William Lovelock’s Rhapsody for French Horn and Piano: the quest for an English sound
  • Major Recital: Clifford Abbott: Sonata (1963); Moya Henderson: G’day USA 1: ‘Not instantaneous or merciful’ (2003); Helen Gifford: Of Old Angkor (1970); Andrew Batterham: Chemical Vision (1998); William Lovelock: Rhapsody (1957); David Keeffe: Poems (2004); Paul Stanhope: Dawn Interlude (1999)


Karina Window (MA (Mus Perf),  2011 with Jeffrey Crellin)

  • Thesis: Margaret Sutherland’s Trio for oboe and two violins (1955) and results from an informed performance of the work, as inspired by the Czechoslovakian oboist Jiri Tancibudek
  • Major Recital: Henri Tomasi: Evocations (solo) (1967); Marcel Mihalovici: Trio (oboe, clarinet and bassoon) (1955); Marcel Mihalovici: Sonatine (1924); Margaret Sutherland: Trio (oboe and 2 violins) (1955)
  • Minor Recital 1: Bohuslav Martinu: Oboe concerto (1955); Marcel Mihalovici: Melopeia (solo) (1973)
  • Minor Recital 2: Giles Silvestrini: Etudes I-IV; Dorian Le Gallienne: Trio (oboe, violin and viola)

Vivienne Brooke (MA (Mus Perf), 2014 with Stephen Robinson)

  • Thesis: The use of Studies to conform to the ideals of deliberate practice and to overcome its inherent constraints with particular reference to Georges Gillet’s Studies for the Advanced Teaching of the Oboe and Antonio Pasculli’s 15 Capricci guise di Studi
  • Major Recital: Antonio Pasculli: Fantasia sull’opera Poliuto di G. Donizetti; Mozart, arr. Thurner: Sonata in F Major K.374d (two oboes); Pasculli: Study Number 11 (solo); Georges Gillet: Study Number 12 (solo)
  • Minor Recital 1: Eugène Bozza: Fantaisie italienne; Pasculli: Gran Concerto su temi dell’opera I vespri siciliani di Verdi
  • Minor Recital 2: Larry Sitsky: Sonatina (1962); Sitsky: Sayat-nova  (solo) (1984); Samuel Barber: Canzonetta, op.48 (1977-1978)


Emily Cameron (MA (Mus Perf), 2004 with Elizabeth Sellars)

  • Thesis: Music in tempore belli: an exploration of how to perform Dmitri Shostakovitch’s Eighth String Quartet and George Crumb’s Black Angels: Thirteen images from the Dark Land for electric string quartet as written in response to war.
  • Major Recital: Britten: Violin Concerto, op. 15 movements 1 & 2 (1939); Shostakovitch: String Quartet nr 8, op. 110 (1960); George Crumb: Black Angels: Thirteen images from the Dark Land for electric string quartet (1970)

Saxophone, improvisation

Michael Wallace (MA (Mus Perf), 2007)

  • Thesis: Unifying composition and improvisation: applying Bob Brookmeyer’s pitch module concept to composition and improvisation
  • Major Recital: all works by Michael Wallace Beginning (2007); White Swan Black Swan (2007); In a Groove (2007); Yojimbo (2006); Parallel Lives (2007); The Elements (2007); Module 1 (2006); Module 2 (2006)
  • Minor Recital 1: Kern: All the things you are; Coleman: Kathelin Gray; Nacio Herb Brown: You stepped out of a dream; Eyton/Green/Heyman/Sour: Body and Soul; Miles Davis: Four; 
  • Minor Recital 2: Trgve Seim: Un fingo Andolou; Coleman: Broken Shadows; Lovano: Emperor Jones; Gershwin: But not for me; Coltrane: Countdown

Guitar, improvisation

Lliam Freeman (MA (Mus Perf), 2008)

  • Thesis: Developing an improvisor’s ‘tool-kit’:  exploring methodologies towards the development of improvisational skill and fluency in the performance of original work in jazz ensemble
  • Major Recital: all works by Lliam Freeman Blues for Flippy; Spindrift; Stella Mai; Favourite secret; Back in five; List in time; Kerfuffle; Big ballad