Nicholas Reyland

Head of Undergraduate Programmes


As Head of Undergraduate Programmes, Professor Nicholas Reyland helps lead the development and delivery of the College’s Undergraduate Curricula and Programmes. He contributes teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, supervises research students, and pursues his own musicological research.

Nick is a musicologist with wide-ranging research interests including Polish music (principally the music of Witold Lutosławski), narrative theory, film and television scoring, affect, trauma, and, more broadly, the theory, analysis and criticism of music since 1900. 

His books and edited collections include Music and Narrative since 1900, Zbigniew Preisner’s ‘Three Colors’ Trilogy: A Film Score Guide, Lutosławski’s Worlds, Music, Analysis and the Body and a special issue of Music Analysis dedicated to film music. His essays have appeared in major journals including Music Analysis, Music & Letters, Music, Sound and the Moving Image and Twentieth-Century Music, and collections such as the Palgrave Handbook of Sound Design and Music in Screen Media, The Routledge Companion to Screen Music and Sound, and Aesthetics of Music: Musicological Perspectives.

Joint-winner of the 2007 Westrup Prize, in 2015 Nick was awarded an AHRC Fellowship to lead an international research project on Lutosławski culminating in the Lutoslawski’s Worlds collection and a forthcoming monograph on Lutosławski and trauma. His other major research project at present is a study of music in quality TV drama. 

Nick has given keynote lectures and invited research seminars at prestigious institutions including Cornell University, the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, the RNCM, and the Institute for Musical Research, and papers at conferences throughout the UK and the world. He has written for The Guardianbeen interviewed on BBC Radio 3Music Matters and Composer of the Week, appeared twice as a pre-concert speaker at the BBC Promswritten essays for the Philharmonia, Proms, BBC orchestras and Rambert dance company, and presented at Royal Festival Hall study days. He has served on the editorial boards of Music Theory Online, Muzyka, Twentieth-Century Music, and Music Analysis. and has organised major conferences including KeeleMAC and an ICMSN.He joined the RNCM from Keele University in May 2018.


    Authored Books

  • Nicholas Reyland and Witold Lutoslawski, Witold Lutosławski: Composer Portrait, ( Music Sales, 2014).
  • Nicholas Reyland, Zbigniew Preisner’s ‘Three Colors’ Trilogy, (Lanham, MA: Scarecrow Press, 2012).
  • Edited Books

  • Music Analysis: Special Issue on Film Music Analysis, ed. by Nicholas Reyland, (UK: Wiley, 2018).
  • Lutosławski’s Worlds, ed. by Nicholas Reyland and Lisa Jakelski, (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2018).
  • Music, Analysis, and the Body: Experiments, Explorations, and Embodiments (Analysis in Context: Leuven Studies in Musicology), ed. by Nicholas Reyland and Rebecca Thumpston, (Leuven – Paris – Bristol CT: Peeters, 2018).
  • Music and Narrative since 1900, ed. by Nicholas Reyland and Reyland Klein, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013).
  • Chapters in Books

  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘Personal Loss, Cultural Grief, and Lutosławski’s Music of Mourning’, in Lutosławski’s Worlds, ed. by Nicholas Reyland and Lisa Jakelski, (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2018), pp.39-70.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘Affect, Representation, Transformation: The Royle Family’s Musical Bodies’, in Music, Analysis, and the Body: Experiments, Explorstions, and Embodiments, ed. by Nicholas Reyland and Rebecca Thumpston, (Leuven – Paris – Bristol, CT: Peeters, 2018), pp.171-190.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘Screen Music as Narrative and/or Affect: Kieslowski’s Musical Bodies’, in Routledge Companion to Screen Music and Sound, ed. by Miguel Mera, Ron Sadoff and Ben Winters, ( Routledge, 2017), pp.96-107.
  • Nicholas Reyland and Annette Davison, ‘The Janus Project: Cristobal Tapia de Veer’s Utopia, Anempathetic Empathy and the Radicalization of Convention’, in Integrated Soundtracks: Palgrave Handbook of Sound Design and Music in Screen Media, ed. by Liz Greene and Danijela Kulezic-Wilson, ( Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), pp.305-320.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘Narrative’, in Ideas in the Aesthetics of Music: Musicological Perspectives, ed. by Stephen Downes, ( Routledge, 2014), pp.203-223.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘Ecouter Witold Lutosławski/Witold Lutosławski’s Luisteraar (Lutosławski’s Listener[s])’, in Witold Lutosławski, ed. by Zbigniew Skowron, ( Institut Polonais, Brussels, 2013), pp.53-63/59-74.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘Experiencing agapē: Preisner and Kieślowski’s Three Colours: Blue’, in Polish Music since 1945, ed. by Eva Mantzourani, ( Musica Iagellonica, 2013), pp.338-347.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘Negation and Negotiation: Plotting Narrative through Literary and Musical Modernism’, in Music and Narrative since 1900, ed. by Nicholas Reyland and Michael Klein, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013), pp.29-56.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘A Postman Mans Up: The Changing Musical Identities of Postman Pat’, in Popular Music and Television in Britain, ed. by Ian Inglis, ( Ashgate, 2010), pp.213-30.
  • Journal Articles

  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘Preisner’s Presence’, Polski Rocznik Muzykologiczny, 15 (2017), 245-68.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘Corporate Classicism and the Metaphysical Style: Affects, Effects, and Contexts of Two Recent Trends in Screen Scoring’, Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, 9 (2015), 115-130.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘The Spaces of Modernism: Lutoslawski’s Modernist Heterotopias’, Twentieth-Century Music, 12 (2015), 37-70.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘The Beginnings of a Beautiful Friendship? Music Narratology and Screen Music Studies’, Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, (2012), 55-72.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘Notes on the Construction of Lutosławski’s Conception of Musical Plot’, Witold Lutoslawski Studies, 2 (2008), 10-25.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ”Livre’ or Symphony? Lutosławski’s Livre pour orchestre and the Enigma of Musical Narrativity’, Music Analysis, 27 (2008), 253-294.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ‘Lutosławski, ‘Akcja’ and the Poetics of Musical Plot’, Music & Letters’, Music & Letters, 88 (2007), 604-631.
  • Nicholas Reyland, ”A Taste of Forbidden Fruit’: The Re-emergence of Melody in György Ligeti’s Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet’, British Postgraduate Musicology, 3 (1999), 10-18.
  • Review Articles

  • Guido Heldt, Music and Levels of Narration in Film: Steps Across the Border, Music Analysis, Nicholas Reyland, 2018
  • Adrian Thomas. Polish Music since Szymanowski, Tempo, Nicholas Reyland, 2018
  • Michael Schelle. The Score: Interviews with Film Composers, Journal of Film Music, Nicholas Reyland, 2018
  • Popular Music and the New Auteur: Visionary Filmmakers after MTV ed. by Arved Ashby, Muic & Letters, Nicholas Reyland, 2014
  • Above and Beyond or Betwixt and Between? Review article on Beyond the Soundtrack: Representing Music in Cinema, Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, Nicholas Reyland, 2009
  • A Protean Diversity: Lutosławski Studies, Polish Music, Nicholas Reyland, 2002
  • Conference Contributions

  • Lutosławski and Anger ,  Plenary paper at Witolda Lutosławskiego u progu XXI wieku. Dookreślenia – oceny – perspektywy (Fryderyk Chopin Institute, Warsaw),   2013
  • Narrative Negation in Music ,  Plenary paper in A Cerebration of Music Analysis (IMR, London),   2012
  • A Denarration about Discourse: Musical Narrativity after Tonality ,  Paper in plenary session ‘Literature at the Boundary of Musical Research’ at Boundaries: RMA Conference (IMR, London),   2010
  • The Spaces of Modernism: Lutosławski’s Heterotopias ,  Plenary paper at conference (The Music of Witold Lutosławski, Cornell University),   2010
  • Talks, Workshops and Masterclasses

  • Pre-concert talk at BBC Proms 2019/on BBC Radio 3 about Lutoslawski ,  BBC Proms, London 12 August
  • BBC Proms pre-concert talk on Lutoslawski and Panufnik ,  BBC Proms pre-concert talk at Royal College of Music/interval broadcast on Lutosławski for Radio 3,  
  • Preisner’s Presence ,  public keynote lecture on Zbigniew Preisner’s music for Krzysztof Kieślowski’s films at Klarafest, Brussels,  
  • Audiovisual Analysis ,  SMA Theory & Analysis Workshop (Cardiff),  
  • The Sense of an Ending: Late Music, Enduring Concerns ,  public lecture (followed by round table contribution) at Philharmonia Study Day on Lutosławski at the Royal Festival Hall,  
  • Metaphysics and McScoring ,  Position paper in ‘Directions in Music Since 1990’, opening plenary session of International Conference on Music since 1900 (Liverpool Hope),  
  • Music and Narrative ,  Royal Musical Association workshop (Manchester),