• Room 0G.015 - Music

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of: - Politics in music and song (all genres/ national/ international/ contemporary / historical) - Folk Song and Tradition - Cabaret and Music Theatre


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Statement

I am a senior lecturer in Music in the School of Arts, English and Languages. My main area of research is the history of political music and song. I am the editor and main author of Protest Song in East and West Germany since the 1960s (2007). In my early career I published widely on the relationship between political song and censorship in the former GDR. I also have a strong interest in the folk song traditions of Scotland, Ireland and America. My latest research has focussed on the role of cultural memory and the reworking of tradition in the present. I was primary investigator in an AHRC and DFG-funded collaboration with the University of Freiburg on the history of reception of songs of the German 1848 revolution (2009-12). At present I am forming a wider research network dealing with the expression of European Identity in song.

I joined Queen’s in 1999 as a lecturer in German Studies. Since 2012 I have been convening the MA in Arts Management while also teaching courses in Music and Drama. My modules include ‘Politics in Popular Song’, 'Songwriting' and 'Work Placement’. I also contribute to 'Music in History, 'Introduction to Music' and 'Dissertation' 

I am a bouzouki-player and previously recorded and toured internationally as a member of the Scottish folk group Rua (1986-88). As a singer/songwriter I toured as support for the Proclaimers on their Sunshine on Leith tour (1988), and also performed at many festivals including Reading (1990). I have released four albums of original songs, Capture an Image (1991), Prussian Blue (1996), Star in the Morning (2005), and Ingo and the Bouncy Castle (2011 – with the Corncrakes)

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R1923MOL: New Research in German Political Song

Robb, D.


Project: Research

Research Output

Songs for a Revolution. The 1848 Protest Tradition in Germany

Robb, D. & John, E., 30 Jun 2020, Lake Placid: Camden House. 300 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Music and the Rebirth of Faust in the GDR

Robb, D., 01 Jun 2017, Music in Goethe's Faust; Goethe's Faust in Music . Byrne Bodley, L. (ed.). Woodbridge: Boydell Press, p. 262-275 14 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

The Protest Song of the late 1960s and early 1970s: Franz Josef Degenhardt and Ton Steine Scherben

Robb, D., Jan 2017, German Pop Music: A Companion. Schutte, U. (ed.). Berlin: De Gruyter, (Companions to Contemporary German Culture; vol. 6).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Censorship, Dissent and the Metaphorical Language of GDR Rock

Robb, D., Dec 2016, Popular Music in Eastern Europe: Breaking the Cold War Paradigm . Mazierska, E. (ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 109-128 20 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Open Access
52 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
273 Downloads (Pure)


Using German Protest Song in Political Education

David Robb (Participant)

Impact: Cultural Impact, Societial Impact


Translation and dramaturgy : translating Casina for performance

Author: Kirk, R., Dec 2011

Supervisor: Johnston, D. (Supervisor) & Robb, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy