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Raymond MacDonald

Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow

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Raymond MacDonald is Professor of Music Psychology and Improvisation at Glasgow Caledonian University. As a saxophonist and composer his work is informed by a view of improvisation as a social, collaborative and uniquely creative process that provides opportunities to develop new ways of working musically. Collaborating with musicians such as David Byrne, Jim O’Rourke and Marilyn Crispell, he has released over 50 CDs and toured and broadcast worldwide. He has produced music for film, television, theatre and art installations. Much of his work explores the boundaries and ambiguities between what is conventionally seen as improvisation and composition. He plays in many collaborative free improvisatory contexts, however, his roots in jazz and pop music can be heard in his playing and writing. After completing his PhD at the University of Glasgow, investigating therapeutic applications of music, he worked as Artistic Director for a music company, Sounds of Progress, specialising in working with people who have special needs. His ongoing research focuses on issues relating to improvisation, musical communication, music therapy, music education and musical identities. He has published over 70 papers and co-edited two texts with Dorothy Miell and David Hargreaves, Musical Identities (2002) and Musical Communication (2005) and is currently working on two new books, Music Health and Wellbeing and Musical Imaginations. He is currently Editor of the journal Psychology of Music and Associate Editor for The International Journal of Music Education, Musicae Scientae, Jazz Research Journal and Research Studies in Music Education.


· researcher
· educator
· performer


· presentations
· residencies
· clinics
· concerts