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Dr Justin Williams

Dr Justin Williams

Dr Justin Williams
BA(Stanford), MMUS(Kings College London), PhD(Nott.)

Senior Lecturer

Area of research

Popular music, hip-hop, jazz, musical borrowing, film music, geography and mobility, and the analysis of record production.

Victoria Rooms,
Queens Road, Clifton BS8 1SA
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 33 13305


Most of my published work has engaged with the study of hip-hop music and culture, but have also written on jazz, crowdfunding and the figure of the singer-songwriter. I am currently writing on a book on UK hip-hop in the 21st century. 
Other research interests include:
  • Popular music studies (especially hip-hop)
  • Musical borrowing
  • Film music and other forms of audio-visual intermediality (e.g. YouTube)
  • Jazz (history, arranging, analysis and composition)
  • The singer-songwriter
  • Intersections between progressive rock and jazz 'fusion' in the 1970s
  • Digital patronage
  • Music and geography
  • Mobility and sound studies
  • The analysis of record production



Justin received a BA in History and a BA in Music from Stanford University in 2004, MMus in Music from King’s College London (2005) and a PhD from the University of Nottingham under the supervision of Adam Krims (2010). He has taught at Leeds College of Music, Lancaster University and Anglia Ruskin University, and has been published in Popular Music, Popular Music History, and The Journal of Musicology. His book Rhymin' and Stealin' (2013)on musical borrowing and intertextuality in hip-hop music, is published by University of Michigan Press for the ‘Tracking Pop’ series (eds. John Covach, Lori Burns, and Albin Zak). He has edited the Cambridge Companion to Hip-hop (2015) and co-edited (with Katherine Williams) the Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter (2016) and the Singer-Songwriter Handbook (2017). 

As a professional trumpet and piano player in California, he ran a successful jazz piano trio and played with the band Bucho! which won a number of Sacramento Area Music Awards and were signed to two record labels. He is currently member of a number of societies, including the AMS, SAM, IASPM (US and UK branches), and  the RMA. His next project is on hip-hop in the UK.  


  • Harmony and Harmonic Analysis
  • African-American Musics (blues, jazz, hip-hop)
  • Musicology, Musical Borrowing and Intertextuality in Music
  • Source Studies and Historical Musicology (postgraduate)


  • Musicology
  • popular music
  • hip-hop
  • film music
  • geography and mobility
  • the analysis of record production
  • musical borrowing.



Department of Music

Academics by department

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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