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Dr Ruth Dockwray

Those are among the questions presented to Popular Music Associate Professor, Dr Ruth Dockwray, from the University of Chester, when she appeared on a music industry podcast recently.

Audio Talks is a podcast hosted by music journalist and audio enthusiast, Oisin Lunny, and presented by HARMAN, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics. Each week Oisin interviews expert guests, legends of the music industry and audio scientists, to discuss the power of music and audio in all its facets. Recent guests have included the legendary DJ, Carl Cox.

Dr Dockwray, who is Associate Professor of Popular Music and Programme Leader for the BA in Popular Music Performance at the University, appeared alongside Dr David M.Greenberg, psychologist, musician and researcher at Bar-Ilan University and the University of Cambridge; and Dr Sean Olive, Senior Fellow at HARMAN.

The episode explored where our musical taste comes from – and Ruth explained how it is formed from what you are exposed to from an early age, as well as what you have access to. She shared her own research around sound bringing personality to inanimate objects – for example with the Disney Pixar character, WALL-E, and even with Alexa. Ruth also described how her love of the band Queen led her to a PhD studying rock anthems – and a fascination with how Queen induces a sense of community through its anthemic songs.

As part of each episode, guests are invited to suggest their song to add to the Audio Talks playlist – Ruth’s addition was A change is gonna come by Sam Cooke, which she described as being as relevant to society now, as it was when the song was first released.

Dr Ruth Dockwray said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to chat in-depth on the subject of music and personality with pioneering researchers in the field of music and psychology, and acoustics.”

The Audio Talks episode can be found at PodigeeApple Podcasts (in the App), Spotify and TuneIn and will shortly also be available on iHeartRadioDeezer & Amazon Music.

You can also hear it at:



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