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Paul Archibald

Dr Paul Archibald



My research interests lie in jazz and popular music studies, and I maintain a balance between academia and my work in the music industry. I hold a PhD in Musicology from Edinburgh University, where I explored the formation and early performance practice of the drum kit. I continue to publish in this area and remain active in the emerging field of drum kit studies.

My research draws on a variety of traditions such as organology to sociomusicology, using methods from archival research to autoethnography. 

I am an active drummer around the city of Bristol, and tour UK and overseas with various musical projects. I maintain an active role in the UK festival circuit, performing at Glastonbury in recent years as well as other grassroot festivals. I am currently signed to Rare Noise Records (FNMDJ), with a release scheduled for 2024. My recordings with the Tea Pad Orchestra are often featured on national radio, most recently with the BBC 2 (Bob Harris) and BBC 4 (Loose Ends). 

My current teaching and research practice focuses on insights gained from the popular music industry.


My current research involves drum kit studies. While my PhD focused on a viewpoint using organology — including the composition and evolution of the instrument — I am currently writing a chapter for an upcoming publication around the pedagogy of jazz drumming, and the various approaches to learning. 

Previous research, currently unpublished, uncovered the earliest example of a functioning foot pedal for a drum, currently hosted in the archives at Keswick museum. 

Past publications include:

Archibald, P. (2021) "Historically Informed Performance on the Drum Kit". In The Cambridge Companion to the Drum Kit, J. M. Pignato, D. A. Steadnicki, & M. Brennan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Archibald, P. (2021). "Finding the Drummer: a reflection during isolation," Journal of Popular Music Education 5(2), pp.171–186.

Brennan, M. and Archibald, P. (2019). "The economic cost of recorded music: findings, datasets, sources, and methods" [Key Findings]. University of Glasgow.

Archibald, P. (2016). "Searching For the First Bass Drum Pedal: Rock Harmonicas to Viennese Pianos", Popular Music History 9(2).


I am passionate about incorporating insight into the popular music industry, gained from my work outside academia, into my teaching. 

I hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (PGCert) and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Teaching Commitments for 2022–23:

  • Level 4: Elements of Tonal Theory; Techniques in Jazz & Poplar Music
  • Level 6: Practical Portfolio 3; Dissertations
  • Level 7: Research Skills; Introducing Music Studies



I am a graduate from the University of St. Andrews University, obtaining a degree in mathematics (2009) before obtaining my degree in music from the University of Edinburgh (2013). I was awarded my PhD in musicilogy in 2018 from the University of Edinburgh. Prior to Cardiff University, I have taught at The University of Bristol (2018–19), and BIMM University (2018–22).