Virginia Anderson specialises in the study of experimental, minimalist, and free improvisatory music. Her work is published in journals such as The Journal of Musicological Research, Performance Research, New Sounds, and the Galpin Society Journal. She has written chapters in academic anthologies published by Cambridge University Press, Ashgate, University of Michigan Press, and the University of Leuven Press (two titles in this last). She has taught music history, popular music, and ethnomusicology at universities in the UK and in Britain. She is the editor of the Journal of Experimental Music Studies, runs the Experimental Music Catalogue with its founder, Christopher Hobbs, and maintains its web blog and other pages. She is currently editing a book of interviews conducted by Barney Childs with American composers in 1972, to be published by the University of Illinois Press.

She also plays clarinet, and has recorded on Zanja, Advance, and Rastascan Recordings, specialising in new works for Eb clarinet and free improvisation. She is currently a member of the free improvisation group CHA, with Bruce Coates (saxes) and Christopher Hobbs (keyboards, electronics, percussion) and the South Leicestershire Improvisors’ Ensemble.


PhD in music research, Royal Holloway, University of London; BM, clarinet performance and MA, music history, University of Redlands, California

Other Publications

Book chapters

British Experimental Music after Nyman’. In Tomorrow is the Question: New Approaches to Experimental Music, ed. Benjamin Piekut. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2014 (978-0-472-11926-4).

‘The Beginning of Happiness: Approaching Scores in Graphic and Text Notation’. In Sound and Score: Essays on Sound, Score, and Notation, ed. Kathleen Coessens, William Brooks and Paolo de Assis. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2013 (978-9-0586-7976-5), pp. 130– 142.

‘Whatever remains, however improbable: British experimental music and experimental systems’. In Experimental Systems: Future Knowledge in Artistic Research, ed. Michael Schwab. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2013 (978-9-0586-7973-4), pp. 55–67.

‘1968 and the Experimental Revolution in Britain’. In Music and Protest in 1968, ed. Beate Kutschke and Barley Norton. Cambridge: CUP, 2013 (978-1-1070-0732-1), pp. 171– 187.

Systems and other minimalism in Britain’. In Ashgate Companion to Minimalist and Postminimalist Music, ed. Pwyll ap Siôn and Keith Potter. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 2013 (978-1-4094-3549-5), pp. 87–106.

Articles in journals

The EMC: Past, Present, Future.’ Journal of Experimental Music Studies <http:// http://www.experimentalmusic.co.uk/emc/Jems_files/andersonkeynote.pdf>, 1 December 2017. Expanded version of EMC2 Festival keynote, for special JEMS forum.

‘John White and the alternative British experimental aesthetic’. New Sound, 38/2 (2011), 40– 50.

‘(Re)Marking Time in the Audition of Experimental Music’. Performance Research, 15/3 (2010), 27–35.

‘Comfy Cushions and Golden Grandiosi: Instruments of British Experimentalism’. Galpin Society Journal, 62 (2009), 273–286.

‘“Well, it’s a vertebrate”: Performer choice in Cardew’s Treatise’. Journal of Musicological Research, 25/3-4 (2006), 291–317.

‘Chinese Characters and Experimental Structure in Cardew’s The Great Learning’. Journal of Experimental Music Studies <http://www.experimentalmusic.co.uk/emc/Jems.html>, 17 March 2004.

‘An Informal Interview with Ian Mitchell’. ClariNetwork (Holiday 1987; Winter 1988).

Conference papers

Christian Wolff in Interview.” Paper given for “Christian Wolff at Orpheus”, Orpheus Research Centre, Ghent, Belgium, 28–29 September 2015.


Michael Nyman, London, 23 March 1983.

Blog Posts

    Virginia Anderson

    Profile picture of Virginia Anderson


    Active 3 years, 8 months ago