Primary Department
School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music
Work Area/Key Responsibilities
Head and shoulders phot
Phone number:
01 700
All Hallows
Room Number
AHC S204

Academic biography

John O'Flynn is Professor of Music at DCU where he teaches courses in popular music, film music, music sociology, intercultural music transmission, choral and group performance, and solfege/musical techniques, and also supervises student research to doctoral level. Between 1999-2008 he was lecturer in music at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, and from 2008-2016 he was senior lecturer and Head of Music at St Patrick's College, DCU. He was programme leader for BA Music and directed the MA in Music at DCU from 2016-2020. He is recipient of  research fellowships from The Irish Research Council (2008), An Foras Feasa (2011) and St Patrick's College (2015), and of awards for excellence in teaching and learning from Mary Immaculate College (2007) and the Shannon Consortium of HE institutions (2008). He is currently President of the Society for Musicology in Ireland (2021-2024), was founding chair of the Society for Music Education in Ireland (2010-2014), and served on the Council of Heads of Music in Higher Education (2008-2021) in various roles, including chair. He is a long-serving member of the international editorial board of Music Education Research, advisory board member for both Irish Musical Studies (Boydell and Brewer) and Performance Research Ireland (Peter Lang), and is general editor for the book series Studies in Irish Music Education (Cork University Press). 

To date he has a total of eight books and edited volumes published, and has written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and encyclopaedia entries. As research supervisor/mentor he is involved with several externally funded postgraduate and postdoctoral  projects (EI, IRC, MSCA). He has delivered keynote addresses and conference papers in Europe, the Americas and Asia, has acted as external examiner for several institutions in Ireland and the UK, and regularly carries out academic review work and various consultancy roles for Irish, UK and EU agencies.

He curates and promotes concerts at DCU, including the Lunchtime Concert Series since 2016, while from 2013-2021 he managed the annual Fidelio Trio Winter Chamber Music Festival. He is also active as a choral conductor and baritone recitalist. 

Research interests

Research interests include film music, the sociology of music, popular music, contemporary genres/practices of music in Ireland, intercultural music, music and identity, vocal and choral music, music ethnography, music and tourism, and music in higher education.

His current monograph project is titled Empires of Sound: Music and Colonial Encounters in 20th-Century Narrative Film (contracted with Palgrave Macmillan). He leads the applied musicology project Bridging Musical Knowledge, and is DCU Primary Investigator for IN-VOICE 4 Empowerment, an Erasmus+ funded project with partner organisations from Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain.  He was Principal Investigator for Mapping Popular Music in Dublin, 2015-16, funded by Fáilte Ireland (Irish Tourism). Earlier book publications include the monograph The Irishness of Irish music (Ashgate/Routledge 2009/2017) and the edited volume Music and Identity in Ireland (with Mark Fitzgerald; Ashgate/Routledge 2014/2016). In 2012 he co-edited a special issue on higher music education for Music Education Research (with Stephen Broad, Royal Scottish Conservatory). He has presented conference papers and keynote addresses in Ireland, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, UK and US. In July 2004 he convened the biennial conference of the UK and Ireland branch of IASPM (International Association for the Study of Popular Music), and in July 2009 he chaired the 6th International Symposium on the Sociology of Music Education in Limerick. He also chaired the high profile Music Education Gathering in Dublin 2013 leading to the forthcoming inaugural volume of Studies in Irish Music Education, for which he is series editor.  In 2016 he chaired the 14th Annual Plenary Conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland (SMI) at DCU. He convenes DCU's Music Research Seminar Series,  was a member of the organising committee for the joint SMI/ICTM-IE Postgraduate Conference at DCU (online) in January 2022, and symposium chair for 'Music for Stage and Screen: Celebrating the SMI at 20' at the National Opera House, Wexford in March 2023.

Recent publications include the monograph Music, the Moving Image and Ireland, 1897-2017 (Routledge, 2022), the co-edited books Ceol Phádraig: Music at St Patrick's College, 1875-2016  (with John Buckley; Peter Lang, 2019) and Made in Ireland: Studies in Popular Music (with Áine Mangaoang and Lonán Ó Briain; Routledge, 2020), a chapter on Dublin popular music scenes in Geographically Isolated and Peripheral Music Scenes: Global Insights and Perspectives (ed. C. Ballico; Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), and a chapter on social media, diaspora and musical belonging in the Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (eds. J. Waldron, S. Horsley & K. Veblen; OUP, 2020). 

Associated Postdoctoral Fellows 
Dr Jelena Gligorijevic, 2022-2024 (MSCA); Dr Kayla Rush, 2019-2022 (MSCA); Dr Donal Fullam, 2020 (EI); Dr Áine Mangaoang, 2015-2016 (Fáilte Ireland/Irish Tourism)

To date, Prof. O'Flynn has supervise