Dr. Nicola Spelman

School of Arts and Media

Photo of Dr. Nicola Spelman

Contact Details

New Adelphi 5.02

Please email for an appointment.

Current positions

Senior Lecturer in Music


I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology. I have contributed to the development of music education at Salford for many years, designing and developing modules in a range of subject areas. My key interests are popular musicology, composition, music semiotics and representation. I have worked as an external consultant and examiner for numerous academic institutions.

Areas of research

Musicology, Popular Music Studies


I teach and supervise across both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including modules in Applied Composition and Technology; Compositional Practice; Creative Composition and Arranging; and Professional Practice.

Research Interests

My research interests surround issues of representation within popular music. My authored book Popular Music & the Myths of Madness (Ashgate, 2012) identifies links between the anti-psychiatry movement and representations of madness in popular music of the 1960s and 1970s, analysing the various ways in which ideas critical of institutional psychiatry are embodied both verbally and musically in specific songs by David Bowie, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, the Beatles, and Elton John. My recent critical work explores the areas of noise music, music and memory, and audience participation.

Qualifications and Memberships


  • PhD Popular Musicology from the University of Salford 2009
  • BA (Hons) Popular Music & Recording (1st Class) 1995


  • Full Member of the Music and Performance Research Group
  • Member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music
  • I have held a number of external examiner positions