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Jane W. Davidson

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Title: Jane W. Davidson  
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Subject: Music psychology, Musical semantics, Lipps–Meyer law, Max Friedrich Meyer, Generative theory of tonal music
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Jane W. Davidson

Jane Davidson is a British musicologist and Professor of Creative and Performing Arts (Music) on the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at The University of Melbourne.

Davidson has written more than one hundred scholarly contributions on performance, expression, therapy and the determinants of artistic abilities. Her edited volume The Music Practitioner (Ashgate, 2004) explores the uses of research for the practising musician. Current research projects include: the expressive body movements of duettists; the adaptive value of music, including singing and personal identity; the development of ‘talent’; the function of music in mental health settings; the music performances of the Temple Street musicians in Hong Kong; the process of music theatre directing, and the staging of Baroque works. These interests reflect her unusual background in music psychology and musicology, vocal performance and contemporary dance.

Davidson has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in music, vocal performance and contemporary dance, having studied at University of Newcastle, University of Leeds and University of London, and at Laval in Quebec, Canada. She has won many prizes and scholarships, including a Rotary International Graduate Scholarship, and number of awards for singing. In her academic career, she has taught at undergraduate and post-graduate levels, contributing to courses on: psychological approaches to performance, development of musical ability, psychology for musicians, music therapy, music in the community, gender studies in music, opera and music theatre studies, vocal pedagogy and movement classes. She was a recent recipient of the University of Sheffield’s ‘Senate Award’ for her innovatory teaching practices. She moved to Australia as the inaugural Callaway/Tunley Chair of Music at The University of Western Australia and worked there 2006 to 2013.

A former editor of the international academic journal Psychology of Music, she was Vice-president of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music from 2003-2006, and served as President of the Musicological Society of Australia from 2010 to 2011. After much solo operatic performance, which included world premiere performances of operas at London International Opera Festival and a main role with the highly innovative and acclaimed Théâtre de Complicité, Davidson turned her attention to a stage direction in opera and music theatre. Besides forming her own company Soundbodies, Soundmoves, she has collaborated extensively with companies including Opera North and Drama per Musica. Davidson and Andrew Lawrence-King (The Harp Consort) have worked together on a range of Baroque music theatre projects, and have a series of new projects in the pipeline including the forthcoming Window to the Soul involving a cast of blind opera singers.

She has held a number of visiting posts across the globe, including Hong Kong Institute of Education, University of New South Wales, Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London), Luzern Konservatorium (Switzerland), and Aveiro University (Portugal). She holds a Chair in Music Performance Studies at University of Sheffield and was the inaugural Callaway/Tunley Chair of Music at University of Western Australia.[1] In 2012, she was appointed Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100-1800). She moved to The University of Melbourne in 2014 as part of a major new research initiative in the Creative and Performing Arts at The University of Melbourne.[2]


  1. ^ Professor Jane Davidson at University of Western Australia
  2. ^ . 

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