Toby Huelin

Profile

I am a PhD Researcher in the School of Music at the University of Leeds, specialising in music for audio-visual media. My thesis investigates library music (i.e. “stock music”) and its use in television production. Although library music has played a fundamental role in the use of sound in screen media since the early twentieth century, most references to library music within the field of musicology are by way of exclusion. The intention of this project is to illuminate the process of composition, placement and reception of library music as an integral part of the television industry. My research is fully-funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH).

I am the author of a number of forthcoming research publications, including peer-reviewed journal articles on the role of music programming on BBC Four (Critical Studies in Television, 2022) and musical representations of Donald Trump in library music catalogues (European Journal of American Culture, 2022), and book chapters on musical representation in Australian streaming media (Streaming and Screen Cultures in Asia-Pacific, Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) and library music in true crime television (True Crime in American Media, tbc). I have presented my research at international conferences including Music and the Moving Image (New York University) and Hidden Figures of Screen Music and Sound (University of London), and have been invited to give guest lectures/interviews about my research at the University of Ottawa and the University of Leeds.

Alongside my research, I am active within the TV industry as a media composer. My music has been broadcast on Emmy Award-winning television (United Shades of America, CNN) and in a global ad campaign for internet brand Honey. My work is regularly heard on national primetime television (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5) and is used across the spectrum of factual entertainment TV. Recent shows include Masterchef, The One Show, Panorama, Don’t Tell The Bride and many more. My music has been recorded in world-class venues such as Abbey Road and Maida Vale Studios.

I am the founder of the British Audio-Visual Research Network’s Virtual Colloquia, an AHRC-funded series of academic lectures and industry interviews which began in January 2021. Visit the website here for further information about upcoming events.

Research interests

My main areas of interest are as follows, in terms of both academic study and professional practice:

  • Music for audio-visual media (especially television/streaming)
  • Musical theatre
  • Composition
  • Music education 

Qualifications

  • PGCE Music - University of Buckingham
  • MMus Composition, Distinction - Guildhall School of Music and Drama
  • BA (Hons) Music, First Class - University of Oxford