Primary Department
School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music
Phone number: 01 700
All Hallows Campus
Room Number
AHC S114

Academic biography

Dr Barbara Dignam is Assistant Professor in Music in the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music. She holds a PhD in musicology from Maynooth University in addition to a Postgraduate Diploma in higher education teaching and learning, and a masters in music technology and computer music. Her research lies at the interactive juncture of music, language, and digital technologies where she explores 20th and 21st century musics to uncover, among other things, human interactions with cultural output and the relationships and processes underpinning them. Her research work bridges conventional musicological frameworks with digital technologies and contemporary analytical approaches in both its interpretation of various manifestations of musical texts and languages, and its exploration of contexts, cultures, environments and narratives.

She was a contributor to The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (UCD Press, 2013) and extracts from her PhD thesis on the work of contemporary Irish composer Roger Doyle featured in Irish Musical Analysis, Irish Musical Studies 11 (Four Courts Press, 2014) edited by Gareth Cox and Julian Horton. She contributed an article exploring current trends in electroacoustic composition in Ireland to the AIC New Music Journal (2016) and was subsequently invited to submit an extended study on the topic to TEMPO: A Quarterly Review of New Music (2017, Cambridge University Press). Her research on women and electroacoustic music in Ireland will appear in Women and Music in Ireland, Irish Musical Studies 13, eds. Jennifer O’Connor-Madsen, Laura Watson, and Ita Beausang (Boydell & Brewer, forthcoming). Following chairing the Brian Boydell Centenary Conference and Celebrations in 2017, she is co-editor of and contributor to a forthcoming volume on Boydell who is widely recognised as one of the foremost Irish composers and a central figure in developments in music and cultural life in Ireland in the later twentieth century (UCD Press, 2021). Barbara is also actively involved in music education research and holds a professional qualification in Higher Education Teaching & Learning.

Research interests

Twentieth– and twenty–first century musics (history, musicology, analysis incl. methodologies, aesthetics, performance and presentation) Electroacoustic music studies, alternative musicologies, sonic arts, and transitory art DIY culture  Intertextuality, intermediality, inter–art and interdisciplinarity in contemporary musics Technological mediation in music Sound, space, narrative and visualisation Cultural mediation, cultural hybridity and music in the global digital worldWomen in/and contemporary music Contemporary music in Ireland Relationships between the composer, musicologist, performer/practitioner and audience (incl. ethnographic research and audience studies) Music advocacy and education in the wider societal context Internationalising the music curriculum Universal Design for Learning and music programme development Arts culture and policy