Author Bio

This site is dedicated to the book Focus: Scottish Traditional Music published by Taylor and Francis as part of their Focus on World Music series. It was written by Dr Simon McKerrell, here's a little more information about the author:

Dr Simon McKerrell is interested in the social impact of music and the creative industries. He is a Reader in Music and Society at Newcastle University and internationally renowned bagpiper. His current research focuses upon music in the creative economy in rural areas, and taking an interdisciplinary and mixed methods approach to the relationship between culture and policy. He is the author of Focus: Scottish Traditional Music (Routledge), and the Co-Editor of both Music as Multimodal Discourse: Media, Power and Protest (Bloomsbury) and Understanding Scotland Musically: Folk, Tradition, Modernity (Routledge). He has served as Head of Music, as Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and is currently Head of Postgraduate Studies in Music.

He has previously held positions at the Universities of Sheffield, Glasgow and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and The National Piping Centre in Glasgow. He was Co-I on the EU funded international research project Critical Heritages (CoHERE): performing and representing Identities in Europe (2.5€ million), in 2014-15 he was PI for the AHRC project Understanding Scotland Musically (£68,000) and was concurrently a Co-Investigator for a Scottish Government Social Research project entitled Community Experiences of Sectarianism (£73,000). During 2020-21 he is pursuing an AHRC leadership fellow on a project entitled Music in the Rural Creative Economy.

In 2016, along with Dr Simon Keegan-Phipps he was the founding Co-Editor of The International Journal of Traditional Arts ( He is currently the Chair of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology In addition to this, Simon is an expert performer of Highland and Uilleann bagpiping, having recorded 11 commercial albums and taught throughout the world. He is also a slightly less useful tenor banjo player (but keen).

His publications are available here.

He maintains a blog here.

His University profile pages are available here.

If you'd like to get in touch to discuss any aspect of the book, please contact Simon via his University profile pages.