Department of Music – Professor Nicola Dibben

Nikki Dibben researches and teaches in the science and psychology of music, and in popular music studies.

Her love of music was sparked by performing in musicals at primary school. A passion that led her to study at City University and the University of Sheffield, where she was introduced to empirical methods to test ideas and make new discoveries.

From an initial focus on how listeners make sense (or not!) of tonal and early atonal music using laboratory-style experiments, Nikki’s research broadened to look at emotion, meaning and subjectivity in music listening. Her co-authored book Music and Mind in Everyday Life (2009) provides a critical discussion of psychological approaches to music.

Nikki’s collaboration with Bjork on the singer’s groundbreaking interactive album Biophilia was a major event in 21st century culture. It is now part of the collection in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and an educational program run by the Nordic Council.