Dr Ellis Jones

Profile

I joined the School of Music in October 2021 as Lecturer in Music and Management. I have always studied popular music, although not always in music departments, and I tend to find myself drawn to concepts and theories from media studies, cultural studies, and sociology. I did my PhD here at Leeds, in the School of Media and Communication, from 2014 to 2018. In between leaving Leeds and returning, I worked at the University of Oslo, the Univeristy of Western Ontario, and the University of York.

I also have some experience as a songwriter and performer, primarily with the band Trust Fund. We toured the UK and Europe multiple times, and released several albums that were reasonably well-recieved by publications including Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian. My songs have around four million plays on Spotify, in total. This means I have some direct experience of some aspects of the music industry, and that informs my teaching and my research. I still play in bands and I still try and write and record my own music.

Research interests

The majority of my research to date has focussed on independent music and social media. In January 2021 I published a book called DIY Music and the Politics of Social Media (Bloomsbury; in a series edited by Simon Frith and Matt Brennan). It’s a study that uses ethnographic work to analyse the impact of social media platforms on the ethics of independent and alternative music scenes, and to explore how alternative online platforms like SoundCloud and Bandcamp relate to discourses of alterity and independence.

When I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oslo I worked on an interdisciplinary project exploring the impact of automated copyright detection systems on ‘remix’ music, working with scholars from musicology, law, media studies, and sociology. So I have some interest in the social role of IP (intellectual property), and the intersection of music, law, and technology. My outputs from that project were published in Convergence and New Media & Society (co-authored with Ragnhild Brøvig Hanssen).

I’m currently writing on the relationship between music and podcasts. This is a collaboration with Jeremy Morris, Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and we are co-editing a special issue of the Radio Journal which will be published early next year. One key aim with this work is to think about the kinds of cultural discourses that are brought into play when people seek to defend music from the encroachment of other audio formats.

My current main research interest is music publishing. Specially, I’m writing about Novello & Co – a firm whose role in building the nineteenth-century music industries seems to me to be deeply pertinent to the position of streaming platforms today. I also have a developing interest in the role of independent music PR firms, and I want to consider how they shape our understanding of fame and renown within the contemporary popular music industries.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • PhD (University of Leeds, 2018)
  • MA (Cardiff University, 2013)
  • BA Hons (Oxford Brookes, 2011)

Professional memberships

  • International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM)
  • Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR)

Student education

I primarily contribute to the Music and Management MA programme – including teaching on core modules, and supervising final projects. I also supervise a range of undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations, and I make other contributions to both undergraduate and postgraduate music programmes across a range of modules.