Dr Peter Elsdon

BMus(Belfast), MA(Belfast), PhD(Soton)



Senior Lecturer

Office: L226
Email: p.s.elsdon@hull.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1482 465013


I am a jazz musician and musicologist. I have written extensively on the pianist Keith Jarrett, including a book on his Köln Concert recording, which is currently available from Oxford University Press. I have also recently worked on the AHRC-funded Beyond Text project ‘The Use of Audiovisual Resources in Jazz Historiography and Scholarship’. As a result of this project I am co-editing a volume of essays for Oxford University Press with Bjorn Heile and Jenny Doctor.

Within the School, I founded and direct the Jazz Æsthetic, a 12-piece band which specialises in performing contemporary jazz. The band perform a range of engagements at regional jazz clubs, and give students a taste of life as professional musician. In addition, I also work as a jazz pianist in the Yorkshire area, playing with a wide range of musicians from the region.

Selected Publications


  • (Co-edited with Björn Heile and Jenny Doctor). Watching Jazz: Encountering Jazz on Screen, eds. Jenny Doctor, Peter Elsdon, and Bjorn Heile. (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
  • Keith Jarrett: The Köln Concert. (Oxford University Press, 2013)


  • ‘Viewing Empathy in Jazz Performance’, in Music and Empathy, eds. Elaine King and Caroline Waddington. Ashgate Press (forthcoming).
  • ‘Jazz and the Live Performance Event’, in Music Analysis and the Body: Experiments, Explorations and Embodiments, eds. Nicholas Reyland, Stacey Sewell and Rebecca Thumpston, eds (London: Routledge, Peeters/Leuven Studies in Musicology, forthcoming).
  • ‘Framing Jazz’, in Watching Jazz: Encountering Jazz on Screen, eds. Jenny Doctor, Peter Elsdon, and Bjorn Heile. Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
  • ‘Embodied Listening and the Music of Sigur Rós’, Popular Musicology Online.
  • ‘The Potential of the Jazz Record’, in Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, ed. Wolfram Knauer. Wolke Verlagsgesellschaft. 2014. 'Jazz Recordings and the Capturing of Performance' in Recorded Music: Society, Technology and Performance, ed. Amanda Bayley (Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 146-166.
  • 'Style and the Improvised in Keith Jarrett's solo concerts' Jazz Perspectives, Volume 2, No. 1, May 2008, pp. 51-67.
  • ‘Listening in the gaze: the body in Keith Jarrett's solo piano improvisations’ in Music and Gesture, eds. E. King and A. Gritten (Ashgate, 2006)
  • Appendices (chronology and personalia) for The Cambridge Companion to Western Twentieth Century Music, eds. N. Cook and A. Pople (Cambridge University Press, 2004)
  • 'Crossing Over? The Charles Lloyd Group and the problem of stylistic identity', in Jazz Research Proceedings Yearbook, 2000, International Association of Jazz Educators.


  • Review of Oh Boy! Masculinities and Popular Music, F. Jarman Ivens ed. (London: Routledge 2007), Journal of Gender Studies, 18/1 (2009), pp. 92-3.
  • Review of Jazz On The Road, C. Wilkinson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), Music and Letters, 84/1 (2003), pp. 143-5
  • Review article on The Cambridge Companion to Jazz, eds., M. Cooke and D. Horn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), Frankfurter Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft.

Recent conference papers and invited lectures

  • 'ECM and the Solo Piano Record', National Library, Oslo, October 2013.
  • ‘Musicology, Recordings, and Keith Jarrett’s Koln Concert’. Research Seminar, Birmingham Conservatoire, October 2011.
  • ‘Filmic Composition and Jazz on Film’, Lancaster Music Analysis Conference, July 2011.
  • ‘Framing Jazz: Thoughts on Representation and Embodiment’. Watching Jazz Conference, University of Glasgow, February 2011.
  • ‘Jazz on Film: Representation and Mediatisation’ panel session at Jazz and Race, Past and Present Conference, Open University, November 2010.
  • 'Fairy tales and near death experiences: the music of Sigur Ros', research seminar at the University of Sheffield, November 2008
  • 'Constructing Improvisation: Keith Jarrett's 'Prism'', presented at the Cardiff International Music Analysis Conference, September 2008
  • 'The sound of a rock record?', presented at CHARM/RMA Annual Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, September 2007.
  • 'Air guitar and the music of Sigur Ros', 2nd International Conference on Music and Gesture, Royal Northern College of Music, July 2006.
  • 'Gesture and the Improvised in the music of Keith Jarrett', seminar at the Institute of Music Research, University of London, June 2006.

Unpublished Writings

  • 'Keith Jarrett's solo piano concerts and the aesthetics of free improvisation, 1960-73', PhD thesis, University of Southampton, 2001.


Research Interests

  • The music of Keith Jarrett
  • Jazz, especially post-1960
  • Popular music
  • Improvisation



Level 4

  • Introduction to Performance (Jazz and Pop)

Level 5

  • Jazz History
  • Performance (Jazz and Pop)
  • Orchestration and Arranging

Level 6

  • Performance (Jazz and Pop)
  • Special Study (supervision)


Level 7 (MMus)

  • Performance (Jazz and Pop)
  • Improvisation (including live electronics)



  • Programme leader, BA Jazz and Popular Music
  • Collaborative Provision academic contact (Leeds College of Music)
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