Dr Rupert Till

Reader in Music, University of Huddersfield, UK


Research interests:

Music and Religion, Sound Archaeology


Pop Cult: Religion and Popular Music (2010)

Sound archaeology: terminology, Palaeolithic cave art and the soundscape. World Archaeology 46(3).

Music and Ritual: Bridging Material and Living Cultures, Rupert Till, Raquel Jimenez (eds), Berlin: Echo Verlag (2014).

‘The Nine O’Clock Service: Mixing Club Culture and Postmodern Christianity’. Culture and Religion Journal, 7(1): 93-110, (2006).

‘Paganism and the Popular Music Morphic Field of Stonehenge’, Pop Pagans: Paganism and Popular Music, Andrew Bennett and Donna Weston (eds), pp. 51-78, London: Equinox (2013).

‘Metal and the Beast: The Adoption of Apocalyptic Imagery in Heavy Metal Music’, Anthems of Apocalypse: Popular Music and Apocalyptic Thought, Chris Partridge (ed), pp. 90-108, Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, (2012).

‘21st Century Trance Cult: Electronic Dance Music Culture as a Form of Possession Trance, and its Role in Replacing the Traditional Roles of Religions Within Western European Popular Youth Culture,’ Religion and Popular Music in Europe, Thomas Bossius, Andreas Hager and Keith Kahn Harris (eds), pp. 145-62, London: I. B. Tauris, (2011).


Conference papers:

‘European Sound Archaeology: A Multi-disciplinary Perspective’, invited keynote speech, Archaeoacoustics: The Archaeology of Sound conference, Malta, (2014).

‘Sound Archaeology, Acoustics and Cave Art’, International Study Group on Music Archaeology Conference, Das Archaologisches Institut, Berlin (2014).

‘Popular Music as Prophecy: Composing the Future’, International Association for the Study of Popular Music conference, Universidad de Oviedo, Gijon, Spain (July 2013).

‘Pop Cults: studying popular music subcultures and scenes as forms of new religious movement, a brief overview and a discussion of the possession trance cult of electronic dance music culture’, Invited Presentation, Insititute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts, St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, (April 2009).

‘Dancing to a Different Drum: The Effects of External Temporal Synchronisation of Individuals and Groups, and the Control of Gesture, Entrainment, Entrancement and Possession in Electronic Dance Music’, The Musical Body: Gesture, Representation and Ergonomics in Musical Performance, Institute of Musical Research, University of London and Royal College of Music, (2009).

‘The Sacred Popular: A 21st Century Music-Led Reformation’, Nothing New? Understanding Newness in Mediaeval and Contemporary Music, Plainsong and Mediaeval Music Society, Royal Musicological Association and the University of Huddersfield, University of Huddersfield, (2009).

‘Sign of the Times: Pop Stars as Idealised Consumers and Icons of Consumer Culture’, Implicit Religion and Contemporary Spirituality Conference, Denton Hall, (2008).

‘The Influences of Religion on British Club Culture and Electronic Dance Music’, Secularity and Religious Vitality, International Society for the Sociology of Religion Conference, Leipzig University, (2007).

‘The influences of religion on British club culture and electronic dance music’, Religion, Media and Culture: Exploring Religion and the Sacred in a Media Age, British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group / UK Research Network for Theology, Religion and Popular Culture Conference, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, (2007).

‘Hollowing Out of the Symbol: popular iconography and the artist currently known as Prince’, plenary presentation, International Association for the Study of Popular Music Conference, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, (2007).

‘Club Culture and Religion’, Invited Presentation, Popular Culture and Religion Conference, Birmingham University, (2005).


Other roles:

Director of the Popular Music Studies Research Group. Chair of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (UK & Ireland Branch)


Songs of the Caves film;

Appearances on PM Show BBC Radio 4, The Sky at Night BBC 2 TV, History Channel TV.

‘Entrancement and entrainment: techno-shamans from prehistory to Berghain’, (invited presentation), CTM Festival, Berlin (2015).

‘Blasts from the Past: Now That’s What I Call Prehistoric Music’. New Scientist, 224(2995): 44-7. (2014).

‘Rupert Till: Acoustic Archaeologist’. Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science 506(7487): 158. doi:10.1038/506158a.

Jean Claude Ameisen ‘A la recherche des traces des musiques de la préhistoire’ (radio programme featuring my research), France Inter, Radio France, 22 February 2014. http://www.franceinter.fr/emission-sur-les-epaules-de-darwin-a-la-recherche-des-traces-des-musiques-de-la-prehistoire.

Australian Broadcasting Company, (radio programme featuring my research), forthcoming 2014.

Consultancy, Radio SRF2 Kultur, Switzerland, national radio interview and article on my research, (January 2014).

Consultant for Stonehenge Augmented Reality iPhone/iPad app, Ribui Multimedia, 2011. iTunes Store App of the Week. Featured on Apple advertising campaign (2013).

Consultant for Hearing the Past, BBC Radio 4 documentary, featuring my research into the acoustics of Stonehenge.

Winner of Association of British Science Writers’ Award, Royal Society Radio Prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast (2011).

‘Sounds of the Stones: The Acoustics of Stonehenge’, invited presentation, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Leeds (2011).

‘The Sounds of Stonehenge’, invited presentation, British Library, London, (December 2010).

‘The Acoustic Properties of Stonehenge and Other Neolithic Sites’, Invited Presentation, Council for British Archaeology, Winter General Meeting: Archaeology and Music, National Centre for Early Music, York, (Feb 2009).





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