Dr J. Harry Whalley

Dr J. Harry Whalley

Reader in Sound and Music

  • Academic
  • Research
Dr J. Harry Whalley

Harry Whalley lectures on our BA/BSc (Hons) Music Composition & Technology course and is an award-winning composer of contemporary classical, film and electroacoustic music.

Dr J. Harry Whalley


Harry's works have been performed around the world and on BBC Radio 3 by music groups such as the Hebrides Ensemble, Artisan Trio, Red Note Ensemble, Vancouver Miniaturists Ensemble, Gildas Quartet, Edinburgh Quartet, Ron Davis and many others. In addition, he has composed the scores for film and computer games that have been featured at film festivals around the world, including Palm Springs, LA, Berlin and London. Most recently his feature length score for ‘Bonnington: Mountaineer’ was premired during the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in the Canadian Rockies.

In 2007 he received a first class honours BA Jazz Music degree from Middlesex University, where he studied under Nikki Iles and Malcolm Edmonstone. He received a Bucher-Fraser Scholarship for post-graduate study and was awarded an MMus in composition with distinction by the University of Edinburgh in 2010. He received a fully funded Arts and Humanities Reasearch Council PhD studentship, which was passed without correction in 2014.

Harry has presented at many national conferences and has been published by Empirical Musicology Review and the Scottish Journal of Performance. He has been advisor and Head of Composition at Musemantik Inc. and has acted as the chairman of the Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble. He is on the board of the Surrey Music Hub and on the advisory board for ASCUS, a non-profit organization dedicated to Art/Science collaborations. In 2016 Harry was appointed as Composer in Residence for St. Vincent's Chapel, where his music is featured regularly.

Research statement

Harry’s research ties together composition, technology and science. Exploring the underlying similarities of cross-disciplinary practice-led research. For example, using number theory, Neuroscience and Geology as catalysts for creative investigation.

Research outputs:

  • Whalley, J. H., Mavros, P. and Furniss, P. (2015). Clasp Together: Composing for Mind and Machine. Empirical Musicology Review.
  • Whalley, J.H., (2014). Portfolio of compositions (PhD). University of Edinburgh.
  • Whalley, J. H., (2014). Book review: Music and the making of modern science, by Peter Pesic. Scottish Journal of Performance, [online, print] 2(1), pp.123-127.

Research supervision

Harry is interested in supervising research students particularly in the areas of music composition, music technology, improvisation and art/science collaboration. He is currently supervising the following PhD Candidates:

Laura Lee: Post-Rock Composition and Performance Practice - The Relationship Between Authenticity, Liveness, Creativity & Technology.

Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy

  • Fellow of the London College of Music (FLCM)
  • Composer in Residence, St Vincent’s Chapel – Edinburgh
  • Director and Co-founder of the Audio Research Cluster, UCA
  • Member of the International Society for Music Education 
  • Member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians
  • Advisory Board, ASCUS Art and Science
  • Advisory Board, Surrey Music Hub.






  • Banff Residency Fellowship
  • West Cork Chamber Music Festival Young Composer Award 



  • Full AHRC PhD Studentship
  • Bucher-Fraser Scholarship
  • Francis Chargin Award
  • Innovative Learning Award.