Dr Clive McClelland

Dr Clive McClelland


Clive is Associate Professor of Music. He is responsible for the delivery of courses in 18C music, opera, choral singing, analysis and harmony & counterpoint, and his main research interest is in the field of topic theory. He is also a busy choral director. After graduating from Birmingham University in 1981, Clive was a schoolteacher for several years before taking up a position as a part-time lecturer at Leeds University in 1994 and has been full-time since 1999. He gained his PhD in 2001, and was promoted to Senior Teaching Fellow in 2002 and Principal Teaching Fellow in 2010. He has been Associate Professor since 2013. In 2018 he was elected Chairman of the Schubert Institute UK. He is very active as a choral director and performer, and is chorus master of Leeds Baroque. He has directed workshops in early vocal music for the North East Early Music Forum, at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and for the Cambridge Early Music Summer School. Interests outside music include military history, cricket, wine, walking and chess. Clive is married with two adult children and lives in Harrogate.

Current Modules

  • MUSS1020 Understanding Music
  • MUSS1110 Music Research Skills
  • MUSS1030 Music in History and Culture
  • MUSS2021 Interpreting Music
  • MUSS3071 Music inContext: The Supernatural in Opera
  • MUSI 3021 Analysing Music
  • MUSS1324/2324/MUSI3320 Ensemble Performance: Chorus; Orchestra; Early Music
  • MUSI5162M/5032M Masters Dissertation

Module Coordinator for

  • MUSS1020Understanding Music
  • MUSS3021 Analysing Music 
  • MUSS5162M/5132M Masters Dissertation
  • BA Programme Manager
  • Joint Honours Modern LanguagesTutor
  • Former Undergraduate Admissions Tutor


  • BA Programme Manager

Research interests

Clive's main research interest is in the field of topic theory, and he has written the entry on ombra in the New Grove dictionary. His first book, Ombra: Supernatural Music in the Eighteenth Century (Lexington Books) appeared in 2012, and a companion volume, Tempesta: Stormy Music in the Eighteenth Century came out in 2017. Both have been described as representing milestones in the ongoing search for understanding how composers used musical conventions to communicate with their audiences. He has also contributed the chapter on ombra and tempesta in The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory and has published chapters on the use of these topics in Schubert lieder, in Spohr's Faust and in horror movie music. Clive has also made an interesting discovery about the possible source of Elgar's Enigma theme, which has appeared in the Musical Times, and has generated local and national radio and press coverage.

<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>


  • PhD (Leeds 2001)
  • MMus (Leeds 1994)
  • PGCE (Birmingham 1982)
  • BMus (Birmingham 1981)

Professional memberships

  • Chairman, Schubert Institute UK
  • Trustee/Chorus Master, Leeds Baroque
  • Member, National Education Union
  • Menber, Society for Music Theory

Research groups and institutes

  • Music as Culture