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Professor Matthew Scott 

Emeritus Professor

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Professor Matthew Scott is a Professor of Composition in Music at the University of Southampton.

I teach Commercial Composition, which is a third-year undergraduate course. The structure of the course aims to equip the student to compose at will rather than waiting for inspiration to strike. My aim is to develop strategies to make it easier for the student to compose the music that he or she wishes to hear; conversely it is vital that the student does not compose the music that he or she might imagine that I want to hear.

The content of the folio, which comprises the second half of the course, can encompass almost anything: more extreme recent examples have included a clog dance cycle involving music for fiddle and full notated choreography, and a project of synaesthesia combining sound, vision and perfumes.

My own professional experience in the fields of television, film and theatre has left me with a very wide range of musical expertise and interest. Although one of the many pleasures of teaching this course is that I get to hear music of various genres, which would not normally cross the eyeline of someone my age! Hopefully we educate each other throughout.

Research interests

Although I wrote my PhD on the work of composer Kurt Weill, for the last thirty years I have pursued an active life as a professional composer, working in television, film and particularly theatre. I am currently Head of Music at the National Theatre in London, which is a producing job really, matching projects that come in with composers as required. Among the projects that I myself am working on are further live versions of the ‘Horrible Histories’ series, with which I have been associated since its inception, and various stage productions for both the West End, and commercial and subsidised theatre sectors. I work hard to maintain the widest possible range of musical interests, both in use and language, but the proliferation in media makes this harder every year!

Further details of my professional output can be found on my agent's website:


Affiliate research group

Composition and Music Technology

Research project(s)

Chi Mei Ricercari

Professor Michael Finnissy’s ‘Chi Mei Ricercari’ is a new work for cello and piano, written especially for three historic cellos from the world famous Chi Mei Culture Foundation collection of stringed instruments. It is heard in full for the first time on 10 December 2013 at Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, on 11 December at National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu and 12 December at National Taiwan University in Taipei.

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Creative Media and Artefacts

My teaching at Southampton includes modules in composition, commercial composition (including for film and television), and music and image.

Professor Matthew Scott
University of Southampton
SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 6/1093

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