Portrait of Professor Rupert Till Professor Rupert Till

r.till@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472141


Prof. Rupert Till is Professor of Music in the Department of Music and Drama, having worked at the University of Huddersfield since 2002. He is also Associate Dean International in the School of Music, Humanities and Media, responsible for overseeing international development and recruitment.

He has research interests in popular music and sound archaeology. His first book Pop Cult explored religion and popular music, and he has also published material exploring trance, stardom, songwriting and music production. He is a member of the executive committee of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music UK and Ireland Branch. His interest in ritual within music cultures has led to multimedia projects exploring the acoustics of archaeological sites such as Stonehenge and prehistoric painted caves. He also directed Huddersfield activities within the European Music Archaeology Project, a 5 year European Union Culture Programme funded project, which included producing 5 CDs, one of which achieved top 20 chart status.

He studied composition with minimalist Gavin Bryars, Scratch Orchestra founder member Christopher Hobbs, sound artist Katharine Norman, and with George Nicholson. He has written film and TV music, music for dance, ambient techno and electronica compositions, and continues to be an active composer and performer, playing piano, keyboards, guitar, bass, percussion and singing, for example appearing at the Boom Festival in Portugal in 2016.

He has appeared on TV and Radio, including BBC Breakfast, BBC News, the Sky at Night, Mystery Quest, ARTE, the Travel Channel, BBC Radio 2, 4, 5, 6 and World Service, LBC, various international radio stations, and speaks regularly on BBC Radio Leeds and Sheffield on popular music subjects. His research has been featured widely in national and international press and on numerous websites.

You can find further information on his work here:










Research and Scholarship

Electronic Dance Music and its culture

Popular Music Composition

Popular Music Performance

Popular Music and Religion

Stardom and Celebrity Culture

Arhcaeoacoustics, Music Archaeology and Sound Archaeology

Postmodern Composition and Performance

Art of Record Production

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Fazenda, B., Scarre, C., Till, R., Pasalodos, R., Guerra, M., Tejedor, C., Peredo, R., Watson, A., Wyatt, S., Benito, C., Drinkall, H. and Foulds, F. (2017) ‘Cave acoustics in prehistory: exploring the association of Palaeolithic visual motifs and acoustic responseJournal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) , 142 (3), pp. 1332-1349. ISSN 1520-8524

Till, R (2017) EMAP Soundgate. .

Till, R (2017) ‘An archaeoacoustic study of the ?al Saflieni Hypogeum on MaltaAntiquity , 91 (355), pp. 74-89.


Till, R (2016) Soundgate Museum Exhibit. [Show/Exhibition]

Moore, A., Till, R. and Wakefield, J. (2016) ‘An Investigation into the Sonic Signature of Three Classic Dynamic Range Compressors’. In: 140th International AES Convention, 4th-7th June 2016, Paris, France

Till, R (2016) ‘Singer-songwriter authenticity, the unconscious and emotions (feat. Adele's "Someone Like You")’. In: The Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 291-304. ISBN 978-1107680913


Kleinitz, C., Till, R. and Baker, B. (2015) ‘Archaeology and acoustics of rock gongs in the ASU BONE concession above the Fourth Nile Cataract, Sudan: a preliminary reportSudan & Nubia (19), pp. 106-115. ISSN 1369-5770

Green, L., Lebler, D. and Till, R. (2015) ‘Editorial Introduction: Popular Music in Education, Special IssueIASPM: International Association for the Study of Popular Music Journal , 5 (1), pp. 1-3. ISSN 2079-3871


Till, R (2014) ‘Sound Archaeology: An interdisciplinary Perspective’. In: Archaeoacoustics: The Archaeology of Sound: Publication of Proceedings from the 2014 Conference in Malta. : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. pp. 23-32. ISBN 978-1497591264

Till, R (2014) Songs of the Caves [Video]

Till, R (2014) ‘Sound archaeology: terminology, Palaeolithic cave art and the soundscapeWorld Archaeology , 46 (3), pp. 292-304. ISSN 0043-8243


Till, R (2013) ‘Twenty First Century Popular Music StudiesIASPM@Journal , 3 (2), pp. 1-14. ISSN 2079-3871

Till, R (2013) ‘Paganism, Popular Music and Stonehenge’. In: Pop pagans: paganism and popular music. London: Acumen Publishing. pp. 51-78. ISBN 9781844656479

Jim´┐Żnez, R., Till, R. and Howell, M. (2013) Music & Ritual: Bridging Material & Living Cultures . Publications of the ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology. : Ekho VERLAG. ISBN 978-3-944415-11-6

Till, R (2013) ‘The Return of Ritual: Sacred Popular Music Cultures and Cults’. In: Music & Ritual: Bridging Material & Living Cultures. : Ekho VERLAG. . ISBN 978-3-944415-11-6


Till, R (2012) ‘Metal and the Beast: The adoption of apocalyptic imagery in heavy metal music’. In: Anthems of Apocalypse: Popular Music and Apocalyptic Thought. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press. . ISBN 978-1-907534-34-8


Till, R (2011) ‘21st Century Trance Cult: Electronic Dance Music Culture as a Form of Possession Trance, and its Role in Replacing the Traditional Roles of Religions Within Western European Popular Youth Culture.’. In: Religion and Popular Music in Europe: New Expressions of Sacred and Secular Identity. London/New York: I. B. Tauris. pp. 145-162. ISBN 9781848858091

Till, R., Taylor, A. and Unver, E. (2011) ‘Stonehenge Ritual Sound’. In: Palaeophonics: a live multimedia performance event, 27 May 2011, George Square Theatre, Edinburgh.UK

Taylor, A., Unver, E. and Till, R. (2011) ‘Ritual Fire at Virtual Stonehenge’. In: Research Festival 2011(Research Poster Competition) University of Huddersfield, 28 March - 2 April 2011, University of Huddersfield

Mynett, M., Wakefield, J. and Till, R. (2011) ‘Sound at Source: The creative practice of re-heading, dampening and drum tuning for the Contemporary Metal genre’. In: The Art of Record Production 2010, 3rd - 5th December 2010, Leeds , pp. 1-14


Till, R., Taylor, A. and Unver, E. (2010) ‘Digital 3D model reconstruction of Stonehenge phase 3c’. In: TAG 2010: The 32nd Annual Conference of the Theoretical Archaeology Group, 17-19 December 2010, University of Bristol, UK

Taylor, A., Unver, E. and Till, R. (2010) ‘Modelling Stonehenge: An interdisciplinary digital approach to 3D interactive storytelling’. In: TAG 2010: The 32nd Annual Conference of the Theoretical Archaeology Group, 17-19 December 2010, University of Bristol, UK

Till, R (2010) Pop Cult: Religion in Popular Music . London, UK: Continuum Publishing. ISBN 9780826432360

Till, R (2010) ‘We Could Be Heroes: Personality Cults of the Sacred Popular’. In: Pop Cult: Religion and Popular Music. : Bloomsbury. pp. 46-73. ISBN 9780826432360

Till, R (2010) ‘Pop stars and idolatry: an investigation of the worship of popular music icons, and the music and cult of Prince.Journal of Beliefs and Values: Studies in Religion and Education , 31 (1), pp. 69-80. ISSN 1361-7672

Till, R (2010) ‘The Personality Cult of Prince: Purple Rain, Sex and the Sacred, and the Implicit Religion Surrounding a Popular IconImplicit Religion: Journal of the Centre for the Study of Implicit Religion and Contemporary Spirituality , 13 (2), pp. 151-160. ISSN 1463 9955

Till, R (2010) ‘Songs of the Stones: an investigation into the musical history and culture of StonehengeIASPM: International Association for the Study of Popular Music Journal , 1 (2), pp. 1-18. ISSN 2079-3871

Till, R (2010) Soundtrack, European Spallation Source (ESS) short film [Composition]

Mynett, M., Wakefield, J. and Till, R. (2010) ‘Intelligent Equalisation Principles and Techniques for Minimising Masking when Mixing the Extreme Modern Metal Genre.’. In: Heavy Fundamentalisms: Music, Metal and Politics. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press. pp. 141-146. ISBN 978-1-84888-017-7


Till, R (2009) ‘Songs of the stones: the acoustics of Stonehenge’. In: The Sounds of Stonehenge. : Hadrian Books. . ISBN 9781407306308

Till, R (2009) ‘Possession Trance Ritual in Electronic Dance Music Culture: A Popular Ritual Technology for Reenchantment, Addressing the Crisis of the Homeless Self, and Reinserting the Individual into the Community’. In: Exploring Religion and the Sacred in a Media Age. Farnham: Ashgate. pp. 169-188. ISBN 978-0-7546-6527-4

Till, R (2009) ‘Popular Music as Religion: from trance dancing to worshipping popular music icons’. In: Faith is. Searching for Faith and Religion. : Lars Muller Publishers. . ISBN 9783037781449


Till, R (2007) ‘The blues blueprint: the blues in the music of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin’. In: Cross the Water Blues: African American Music in Europe. Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi. pp. 183-202. ISBN 1-57806-960-2

Till, R (2007) Nanotechnology and the iPod [Composition]


Till, R (2006) ‘Mixing experimental and popular musics’. In: Art Of Record Production 2006 Conference, 8-10 September 2006, University of Edinburgh

Till, R (2006) ‘The Nine O'clock Service: Mixing Club Culture And Postmodern ChristianityCulture and Religion , 7 (1), pp. 93-110. ISSN 0143-8301


Till, R. and Garner, A. (2004) Beauty [Composition]


Till, R (2001) ‘Clubbing - a new performance tradition’. In: Changing Sounds: New Directions and Configurations in Popular Music. Sydney, Australia: University of Technology, Sydney. . ISBN 9781863653640

Till, R., Brooks, A. and Howat, T. (2001) Solid Water [Composition]

Till, R () Soundtrack, IPod and Nanotechnology short film [Composition]


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Editorial Board member

Dancecult Journal International Advisory Board Member and Peer Reviewer

Journal of Contemporary Religion Peer Reviewer

Art of Record Production Conference Peer Reviewer

Applied Acoustics Journal Peer Reviewer

Popular Music Journal Peer Reviewer

International Computer Music Conference Reviewer

Arts & Humanities Research Council Peer Review College Member

Arts & Humanities Research Council Grant Panel Member

Arts & Humanities Research Council Fellowship Panel Member

Arts & Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctorate Panel Member


Editor IASPM Journal Special Edition, November 2012


‘Sound Archaeology: The categorisation of archaeological sites according to their sonic characteristics’, Invited Keynote Presentation, Space Matters Conference, University of Manchester (May 2011).


‘Pop Cult: religion and popular music’, invited research presentation, Fakultat fur Sprach und Luteraturwissenschaftern, Ludwig Maximilians Universitat, Munchen, Germany (February 2011).


‘The Sounds of Stonehenge’, Invited Presentation, British Library, London, (December 2010).


‘Sounds of the Stones: The acoustics of Stonehenge’, Invited Presentation, Huddersfield Archaeological Society, Huddersfield Town Hall (February 2011).


‘Ancient Acoustics and Stonehenge’, Invited Presentation, The Hunter Archaeological Society, Sheffield University, (October 2009).


‘Pop Cults: studying popular music subcultures and scenes as forms of new religious movement, a brief overview and a discussion of the possession trance cult of electronic dance music culture’, Invited Presentation, Insititute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts, St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, (April 2009).


‘The Acoustic Properties of Stonehenge and Other Neolithic Sites’, Invited Presentation, Council for British Archaeology, Winter General Meeting: Archaeology and Music, National Centre for Early Music, York, (Feb 2009).


‘Composing Electronic Dance Music: Manipulations, Inducing Possession and Modes of Repetition’, Invited Keynote Speaker, Royal Musical Association Study Day on Electronic Dance Music, Keele University, (May 2008).


‘Pop stars and priests, postmodernity and religion.’ Invited Seminar Presentation, Theology and Popular Culture Research Group, Kings College London, (2000).


Primary Investigator for Arts and Humanities Research Council/Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council joint funded Science and Heritage Programme Research Cluster, Acoustics and Music of British Prehistory Research Network. Host of network website, organised research conferences at Sheffield, Durham and Cambridge Universities in 2009, £30,000, (Jan 2009 – 2010).


Bath Spa Univerity                  External Examiner for PhD submission                     2012

Griffith University                    External Examiner Doctor of Musical arts                 2011

Thames Valley University       External Examiner MA validation                               2010

Surrey University                    External Examiner for PhD submission                     2009

Surrey & Salford Univs.          External Examiner for PhD submission                     2009

Sheffield University                External Examiner for MA by Research                    2008


Hearing the Past, BBC Radio 4 documentary, featuring research into the acoustics of Stonehenge, 2011.


Songs of Stonehenge, Mystery Quest, The History Channel, Dir. Haewon Yom, History Channel USA, documentary on my research. Broadcast in USA Dec 09/Jan 10 (c.1 million+ est. audience); in UK February 2010 (380,000+ est. audience).


Press coverage of similar research including Daily Mail, Telegraph, Independent, Mixmag, Sun, News of the World, Daily Mirror, Kerrang Radio, MSNBC, ABC, National Discovery, National Geographic, over 50,000 websites across the world as well as various press articles.


Stone Age Sounds, New Scientist, (21.08.10), 44-7.


Holiday Hit Formula: analysis of the methodology for producing a UK summer chart recording release. Article for High Life, British Airways magazine, also in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Wire, New Musical Express and websites in the UK, Portugal, Denmark, Russia, Croatia, Greece, Germany, Austria, Spain, (September 2005).



Research Degree Supervision

I have supervised a number of postgraduate research students including subects such as:

Elton John, celebrity, gender and computer music analysis

Literary influences on British psychedelic music and songwriting

Popular music composition

Popular music performance

Experimental popular music and Frank Zappa

The art of record production, including study of the 1176 compressor, and exploration of extreme metal production techniques

Ambient electronica composition

Minimal techno, Plastikman and software controllers for live performance of electronic dance music


Other areas for supervision would include:


Music Archaeology, archaeoacoustics, sound or multimedia archaeology

Star studies and celebrity culture

Music and religion


Enterprise Activities

Stonehenge Augmented Reality IPhone app, Ribui Multimedia, 2011. Ongoing collaboration based on creation of iphone heritage apps.