Tom Irvine is a global historian of music from 1500 CE to the present. His current research focuses on global music history, historical sound studies and the use of machine learning techniques in jazz. He is the author of Listening to China: Sound and the Sino-Western Encounter 1770-1839 (University of Chicago Press, 2020) and the co-editor, with Neil Gregor, of Dreams of Germany: Musical Imaginaries from the Concert Hall to the Dance Floor (Berghahn, 2019).
- Global History of Music
- Music and the Anthropocene
- Science and Technology Studies
- AI and Music
Thomas Irvine currently leads the Turing Fellowship project "Jazz as Social Machine" at the Alan Turing Institute. In addition he is co-writing (with Christopher J. Smith) a global history of art and vernacular music from 1500 CE to the present that centres concepts of extraction, labour, energy and data. He and Smith are the co-executive producers of the podcast Sounding History.
Current PhD Students
Music and society in the 20th and 21st centuries
Music and sustainability
Music and the British Empire
Mozart and Haydn
Thomas (Tom) Irvine was born in Munich to American parents and grew up in Stony Brook, NY, USA. After studying viola at conservatoire (at the University of Michigan School of Music and Dance, the Shepherd School of Rice University and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music) he moved to Germany and where he worked as a musician, arts manager and school teacher. In 1999 he returned to the US to study performance practice and musicology at Cornell University, taking a PhD in 2005. From 2002-2006 he was a DAAD scholar, lecturer and postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Würzburg Institute of Musicology. He joined the University of Southampton in 2006.
He is a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute (the UK’s national institution for AI and data science) and a Non-Executive Director of the Southampton Web Science Institute.