Dr Scott Mclaughlin

Dr Scott Mclaughlin


I was born in Ireland (Co. Clare) in 1975. I played in an indie-rock bands until my mid-twenties, I then studied music at the University of Ulster at Jordanstown where I gained a BMus degree in 2001. I completed a PhD (Strange Attractors: A Commentary on Applications of Indeterminacy in my Recent) at the University of Huddersfield with Pierre Alexandre Tremblay and Bryn Harrison in 2009.

I attended the Ostrava New Music Days summer school (2005, 2007), and the Irish Composers Summer School (1999–2001). I have previously lectured at the University of Huddersfield, and Brunel University.

In 2019–21 I was awarded an AHRC Leadership Fellowship for a compositional project on the indeterminacy of the clarinet.

Current Research Students

  • Ed Cooper (2020–) ‘From the in-between: portfolio of original compositions and commentary’ (practice research)
  • Jenni Hogan (2019–) ‘music and performer movement (practice research)
  • Murray Royston-Ward (2019–) ‘vital materials in contemporary improvised music’ (practice research) 
  • Hannah Firmin (2018–) ‘translation as composition’ (practice research)
  • Jacob Randell (2017–) ‘composition strategies for decoupled organ pipes’  (practice research)
  • Martin Loridan (2017–) ‘Souffle: air and breath as a composition material’ (practice research)
  • Stuart Mellor (2016–) ‘Site-specific composition using acoustic feature segmentation: An exploration into the timbre of space‘ (practice research)
  • Caitlin Mockridge-Rice (2015–) ‘Creative practice and its modes of dissemination in the soundings of Hugh Davies’

Completed Research Students


  • Deputy Director of Centre for Practice Research in the Arts, & Centre for Audio Visual Experimental
  • Director of Impact and Innovation

Research interests

I am a practice researcher in composition, focussing on materiality and indeterminacy. My current research uses different methods to excite resonance in sounding bodies to exploit physical non-linearities and generate musical patterns/structures.

<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 (practice-based), University of Huddersfield 2009
  • MA Composition, University of Huddersfield 2005
  • BMus University of Ulster (Jordanstown) 2001

Professional memberships

  • Association of Irish Composers
  • RMA (Royal Musical Association)

Student education

Most of my teaching is on composition modules, and some music technology. I have a particular interest in helping composers develop into new areas and question the musical ideas they have inherited; while understanding that the ideas they've grown up with will always be the basis of their understanding.

I also have a special interest in interdisciplinarity (I made a MOOC), and different ways that disciplinary boundaries affect collaborative research.

Research groups and institutes

  • Making Music

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>