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Honorary Associate Professor Rob Burns – retired

Rob Burns profile photo

Research Expertise

  • Nationalism in popular and folk music
  • Popular music performance (jazz and rock)
  • Commercial composition
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Music industry
  • Musicology
  • Popular music iconography

Student Successes

  • David Harrison BMus (Hons), MA, a Teaching Fellow in Guitar in the Music Programme.
  • Sam Browne BMus is a member of Black River Drive, a band that achieved the number one position in the New Zealand music charts.
  • Michael Holland MA, studied for a DMA in studio production techniques, and is a busy record producer in NZ.
  • Trevor Coleman - composer DMA
  • Frank Gibson - International Drummer - Studying DMA
  • Andrew Atwill - International Bassist - Studying DMA
  • Penelope Esplin - MA
  • John Egenes - DMA

Other Musical and Community Activities

  • Memberships in The Performing Right Society, Mensa, the English Folk Dance and Song Society, the International Council for Traditional Music, the International Society for the Study of Popular Music. 
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
  • As a professional musician, Burns' career spanned four decades. It includes performing with David Gilmour, Pete Townsend, Jon Lord and Ian Paice, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes, Eric Burdon, The Stylistics, Edwin Starr, Ian Carr's Nucleus, Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, Vivian Stanshall, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson of Abba, Jerry Donahue, Albert Lee and James Burton. He also played on many TV shows such as Mr. Bean, Blackadder, Alas Smith and Jones, Three of a Kind, French and Saunders, The Lenny Henry Show, Not the Nine O'Clock News, 2.4 Children, A Perfect Spy, and Red Dwarf.
  • Burns performs and records with his own jazz/fusion band, Subject2change, and records with the iconic Dunedin band, The Verlaines and with country music songwriter John Egenes.

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Publications

Downes, G. (music director, singer), Adams, P. (conductor), Petersen, T. (concertmaster, violin), & Burns, R. (five-string bass) (2019, 13 April). Tally Ho! 3: The Essential Dunedin Sound, with the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, Dunedin Town Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Burns, R. G. H. (2018). Experiencing progressive rock: A listener's companion. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 216p.

Burns, R. (2018, August). What is progressive rock? Radio New Zealand, Jesse Mulligan. Retrieved from https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2018660053/what-is-progressive-rock

Burns, R. (2018). Deep thinking: Addicted to chic. NZ Musician, 20(5), 6.

Burns, R. (2018). Deep thinking: Sting plays bass. NZ Musician. Retrieved from https://nzmusician.co.nz/lessons/deep-thinking-sting-plays-bass/

Burns, R. G. H. (2018). Experiencing progressive rock: A listener's companion. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 216p.

Authored Book - Research

Burns, R. G. H. (2012). Transforming folk: Innovation and tradition in English folk-rock music. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 284p.

Authored Book - Research

Burns, R. G. H. (1997). Validation document for foundation course in popular music performance. ?: ?.

Authored Book - Research

Burns, R. G. H. (1999). Validation document for the Bachelor of Music (Popular music performance). London, UK: Inner London Education Authority.

Authored Book - Other

Burns, R. G. H. (2013). Liebe ist für Alle Da: A visual analysis of Rammstein's 2009 album artwork. In J. T. Littlejohn & M. T. Putnam (Eds.), Rammstein on fire: New perspectives on the music and performances. (pp. 216-228). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.

Chapter in Book - Research

Burns, R. G. H. (2013). The power to shock: Perceptions of visual and textual horror in Rammstein’s performance aesthetics. In O. Wilson & S. Attfield (Eds.), Shifting sounds: Musical flow. (pp. 16-23). Dunedin, New Zealand: IASPM Australia/New Zealand.

Chapter in Book - Research

Bendrups, D., & Burns, R. G. H. (2011). Subject2Change: Musical reassemblage in the jazz diaspora. In D. Bendrups & G. Downes (Eds.), Dunedin soundings: Place and performance. (pp. 67-79). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Burns, R. (2004). British folk songs in popular music settings. In I. Russell & D. Atkinson (Eds.), Folk song: Tradition, revival, and re-creation. (pp. 115-129). Aberdeen: Elphinstone Institute.

Chapter in Book - Research

Burns, R. (2015). Re-establishing Britishness / Englishness: Representation through music in a non-Parliamentary nation. MEDIANZ, 15(1), 119-133. doi: 10.11157/medianz-vol15iss1id115

Journal - Research Article

Burns, R. G. H. (2015). British folk songs of the Great War: Then and now. Journal of Military History, 79(4), 1059-1077.

Journal - Research Article

Burns, R. G. H. (2010). Depicting the “merrie”: Historical imagery in English folk-rock. Music in Art, XXXV(1-2), 105-118.

Journal - Research Article

Burns, R. G. H. (2008). German symbolism in rock music: National signification in the imagery and songs of Rammstein. Popular Music, 27(3), 457-472. doi: 10.1017/S0261143008102239

Journal - Research Article

Burns, R. G. H. (2007). Continuity, variation, and authenticity in the English folk-rock movement. Folk Music Journal, 9(2), 192-218.

Journal - Research Article

Burns, R. G. H. (2007). [Review of the recording Under the Leaves]. World of Music, 49(1), 222-223.

Journal - Research Other

Burns, R. (2005). Review of the book Electric folk: The changing face of English traditional music. Folk Music Journal, 9(1), 111-113.

Journal - Research Other

Burns, R. (2018). Deep thinking: Addicted to chic. NZ Musician, 20(5), 6.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2018). Deep thinking: Fretting over picking technique. NZ Musician, 20(4), 22.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2018). Deep thinking: Sting plays bass. NZ Musician. Retrieved from https://nzmusician.co.nz/lessons/deep-thinking-sting-plays-bass/

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2017). Deep thinking: Chuck Berry. NZ Musician. Retrieved from https://nzmusician.co.nz/lessons/deep-thinking-chuck-berry/

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2017). Deep thinking: Jaco Pastorius. NZ Musician. Retrieved from https://nzmusician.co.nz/lessons/deep-thinking-jaco-pastorius/

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2017). Deep thinking: Polymetric baselines. NZ Musician, 20(3), 32.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2017). Deep thinking: Some 12/8 Xmas trickiness! NZ Musician, 20(1), 13.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2017). Deep thinking: The Age of Aquarius. NZ Musician, 20(2), 5.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2016). Ay caramba! Some Latin grooves. NZ Musician, 19(8), 44.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2016). Deep thinking: And we could be heroes... NZ Musician, 19(5), 12.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2016). Deep thinking: Chris Squire, Godfather of prog bass. NZ Musician, 19(4), 6.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2016). Deep thinking: Some greasy funk. NZ Musician, 19(6), 34.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2016). Keyboard bass + bass guitar = huge bass! NZ Musician, 19(9), 16.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2015). Deep thinking: What's Going On with James Jamerson. NZ Musician, 18(9), 24.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2015). Deep thinking: YYZ: The prog rock of Rush continued... NZ Musician, 19(2), 22.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2015). Deep thinking: Bass positioning & fretting techniques. NZ Musician, 18(8), 43.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2015). Deep thinking: Jack Bruce (1943-2014). NZ Musician, 18(7), 10.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2015). Deep thinking: Two 'why am I a bass player' singles. NZ Musician, 19(3), 14.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2015). Deep thinking: XYZ: The prog rock of Rush. NZ Musician, 19(1), 27.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2014). Deep thinking: Bass in your face. NZ Musician, 18(5). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/3871

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2014). Deep thinking: Debussy encore. NZ Musician, 18(3). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/3702

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2014). Deep thinking: Funk meets jazz: James Jamerson (1936-1983). NZ Musician, 18(6). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/3952

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2014). Deep thinking: Funky fun with Flea. NZ Musician, 18(1). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/3566

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2014). Deep thinking: Touching bass with Debussy. NZ Musician, 18(2). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/3626

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2013). Deep thinking: Chord/melody technique. NZ Musician, 17(7). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/3295

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2013). Deep thinking: Deep thinking. NZ Musician, 17(3). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/2860

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2013). Deep thinking: Frank Prestia: A tower of power. NZ Musician, 17(6). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/3186

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2013). Deep thinking: Going cross-handed. NZ Musician, 17(4). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/3056

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2013). Deep thinking: Harmonics. NZ Musician, 17(3). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/3017

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2013). Deep thinking: Mr Faun's Afternoon. NZ Musician, 17(5). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/3147

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2012). Deep thinking: Deep thinking. NZ Musician, 16(9). Retrieved from http://www.nzmusician.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/article/pi_articleid/2789

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. (2002). How popular musicians learn. Music Teacher, (July), 18.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. G. H. (2002). Last Call. Musician, September, 37.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Burns, R. G. H. (2015). Bernard Herrmann’s relationship with jazz: The final years of his life and career (1968 to 1975). Proceedings of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) Australia/New Zealand Annual Conference: Into the Mix: People, Places, Processes. (pp. 11-16). Dunedin, New Zealand: IASPM Australia/New Zealand. [Full Paper]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Burns, R. G. H. (2014). Devolving folk: Re-establishing Britishness/Englishness. In J. O'Regan & T. Wren (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Australia/New Zealand (IASPM-ANZ) Conference: Popular Music, Communities, Places, Ecologies. (pp. 56-66). Brisbane, Australia: IASPM-ANZ. [Full Paper]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

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