DR David Irving

DR David Irving




  • Dr David R. M. Irving is a musicologist, cultural historian, and baroque violinist. He studied violin and musicology at the Queensland Conservatorium and the University of Queensland, and undertook his doctoral research at Clare College, University of Cambridge, under the supervision of renowned scholar of Spanish Renaissance music, Tess Knighton. Before joining the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, he held posts at Christ's College, Cambridge; Downing College, Cambridge; King's College London; the University of Nottingham; and the Australian National University. At the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, David teaches courses in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and historical performance practice. A passionate performer on baroque violin, he has worked with numerous leading early music groups in Australia and overseas, including the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Chacona (Australia), Concerto Caledonia (UK), The Early Opera Company (UK), the Gabrieli Consort & Players (UK), The Hanover Band (UK), La Compañía Musical (Spain), La Fontegara (Mexico), La Serenissima (UK), Le Concert Lorrain (France), the Saraband Consort (UK), St James's Baroque Players (UK), Accademia Arcadia (Australia), Latitude 37 (Australia), Ludovico's Band (Australia), Melbourne Baroque Orchestra (Australia), and XVIII-21 Le Baroque Nomade (France). While at Clare College, Cambridge, he played frequently with the Choir of Clare College, under the direction of Timothy Brown. David is a Consultant Editor for the journal Early Music (Oxford University Press), and sits on the Editorial Boards of the journals Eighteenth-Century Music (Cambridge University Press) and Musicology Australia (Taylor & Francis). From 2011 to 2013 he was a Member of Council for the Royal Musical Association (UK), and sat on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Royal Musical Association (Taylor & Francis). In 2009, he wa   


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • David R. M. Irving is a Visiting Fellow on the collaborative project "Musical Transitions to European Colonialism in the Eastern Indian Ocean", funded by the European Research Council and based at King's College London (2011-15). In 2014, he held an International Research Visitorship at King’s College London on the Balzan Prize Research Programme in Musicology "Towards a Global History of Music", directed by Prof. Reinhard Strohm (University of Oxford), to work on the project "Analogues of Antiquity: World Cultures, Ancient Greek Music, and Comparative Anthropologies, 1500-1800".

    Most recently, the Australian Research Council has awarded funding for David's Discovery Project "Malay Music and Dance from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island" (2015-17). In collaboration with MCM Lecturer Jenny McCallum, this is a pioneering ethnomusicological study of Malay music and dance in Australia's Indian Ocean Territories, examining local performance traditions as key factors in preserving and strengthening unique cultural identities.   


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Cambridge 2007
  • MPhil, The University of Queensland 2004
  • BMus(Hons), Griffith University 2002
  • LMusA, Australian Music Examinations Board 2000
  • AMusA, Australian Music Examinations Board 1996

Awards and honors

  • McCredie Musicological Award, Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2015
  • Jerome Roche Prize, Royal Musical Association, 2010


Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • David supervises MPhil and PhD research on a wide range of topics, and is delighted to receive proposals for research in the fields of European music 15001900, historical performance practice, music and colonialism, musics of Southeast Asia, and organology.