Centre for the Study of Music, Gender and Identity (MuGI)


Yorkshire Sound Women Network

This new social enterprise initiative has been set up to create a community of experts and students working with music and sound technology.

mugi-proc2.jpg The idea for this network was motivated by sociological research on how collaboration and knowledge-sharing communities can provide opportunities for informal apprenticeships, and offer the gift of confidence for learning and practice. It follows evidence of extra-curricular practice and innovation developed through CollabHub, a social enterprise developed for multi-disciplinary collaboration within and across different communities in Kirklees. Since 2012 this collaboration hub has fostered mentoring and new projects, providing students with a network and further confidence to build their portfolios, and developing their experience outside the curriculum.

The Yorkshire Sound Women Network is based in Huddersfield and linked with the Centre for the Study of Music, Gender and Identity at the University of Huddersfield. It is for all women, including transwomen and all genders traditionally underrepresented in any technology-facilitated music and sound work. The aims of this group are to provide:


  • a welcoming and supportive network for all women regardless of age, background and experience;
  • a low risk environment that facilitates mentoring and learning through exploration; 
  • opportunities to undertake structured training in professional facilities, but also to deliver and facilitate informal workshops;
  • opportunities connect with other workshops to provide pathways into a range of music industries and education opportunities;
  • performance and dissemination opportunities;
  • to generate new initiatives that inspire women and girls in their exploration of music and sound technology;
  • opportunities for experienced practitioners to develop a portfolio of training and mentoring, helping to raise their visibility as experts in their respective fields;
  • a strong network of women, especially for girls, to be inspired and motivated to have an unself-conscious engagement with any area of music technology and production.

Other initiatives include a Sound and Music 'Go Compose' for 11-16 yr olds, and special guest workshops for YWSN on coding and dirty electronics to be delivered by Norah Lørway and John Richards respectively.

For information about any of these initiatives, please contact Dr Liz Dobson.

Previous events

Facing the Music of Medieval England

21-22 March 2015, University of Huddersfield

Supported by the generous funding from the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society, Early English Church Music, and the Royal Musical Association, Facing the Music of Medieval England explored musical repertoire composed, cultivated and disseminated in England before c. 1500. Dr Margaret Bent's keynote address, 'What next? Avenues for new work on English music' raised a range of questions about the topics and directions of future scholarship in this and related areas, and digital conference packs allowed delegates to explore a range of sources and interactive materials together during the symposium.

Together with the conference programme and paper abstracts, selected presentations can be viewed via a Google Hangouts archive by following the links below.
Facing the Music conference programme
Paper presentations: Helen Deeming; Louise McInnes
Paper presentations: Magnus Williamson; John Caldwell; Monica Roundy; Elina Hamilton
Paper presentations: James Cook; Peter Wright
Paper presentations: Philip Weller and Andrew Kirkman

Sources of Identity: Makers, Owners and Users of Music Sources Before 1600

4-6 October 2013, University of Sheffield

Generously supported by the Royal Musical Association, Music and Letters Trust, and the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society, MuGI's second international conference explored the role of manuscript and print sources in creating and communicating aspects of identity for their creators, owners, and users. The conference turned the spotlight onto the people involved in music manuscripts and prints, asking what the sources with which they are connected can tell us about the various motives lying behind their investment in music. Invited speakers included Jane Alden (Wesleyan), Julie Cumming (McGill), Honey Meconi (Rochester), and Marica Tacconi (Penn State). 

An anthology of essays deriving from the conference will be published in the Brepols series 'Epitome musical'. Click below to view the conference schedule.

Sources of Identity schedule


Gender, Musical Creativity and Age

6-7 October 2012, University of Huddersfield

This interdisciplinary conference took a broad approach to matters of representation and identity, examining the intersection of age and gender in relation to musical creativity across a wide range of historical periods and genres. Dr Sophie Fuller (Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; MuGI Visiting Research Fellow) gave the keynote paper, '"Something Revolting": Women, creativity and music after 50', which explored narratives of ageing and female creativity in the work of composers including Grace Williams, Elizabeth Maconchy, Joni Mitchell, and Patti Smith.

Click below to view the abstracts for all the papers presented at the conference. You can also view a Storify of tweets related to #MuGI2012 here. Thanks to Lauren Redhead for archiving these.

Gender, Musical Creativity and Age abstracts