Edinburgh Research Explorer

Raymond MacDonald

Personal Chair of Music Psychology and I

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Musical Identities
Music, Health and Wellbeing
Music Psychology

Professional Qualifications

Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
Chartered Health Psychologist
Advanced post graduate certificate in Jazz Studies
BSc (Hons) Psychology

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseMusic Psychology, Improvisation, Musical Identities, Music Health and Wellbeing


After completing his PhD in Psychology at the University of Glasgow, investigating therapeutic applications of music, Raymond worked as Artistic Director for a music company, Sounds of Progress, specialising in working with people who have special needs. He joined the School of Music in 2012 having worked at Glasgow Caledonian University previously.  He has published over 70 papers and co-edited four texts Musical Identities (2002) and Musical Communication (2005) Music Health and Wellbeing (2012) and Musical Imaginations (2012). His ongoing research focuses on issues relating to improvisation, psychology of music, music health and wellbeing, musical identities and music education.  His work includes studying the processes and outcomes of music participation and music listening

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 Evan Parker, 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 and is a founder member of Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. He has a particular interest in cross disciplinary collaboration and has extensive experience of working with artists and filmmakers. A recent Creative Scotland Vital Spark Award has allowed him to develop an innovative collaborative project with visual artist Martin Boyce and filmmaker David MacKenzie that experiments with new forms of performative work that adapts to gallery, concert hall and cinema spaces.

Research activities & awards

  1. RSE Arts and Humanities awards (External organisation)

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of network

  2. International Conference of CIPEM / INET-md

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  3. Exploring artistic, pedagogic, and therapeutic practices: Interdisciplinary knowledges for responsible research and innovation?

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

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