Associate Professor Jon Fitzgerald BA(Qld), BMus(Qld), PhD(SCU) 

Jonathon Fitzgerald (b. 1954) is a guitarist, composer and music academic. He completed a
Bachelor of Arts at the University of Queensland in 1974, and a Bachelor of Music (First
Class Honours) in 1979. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Fitzgerald divided his time
between performance, composition, arranging, and teaching (at Downlands College,
Concordia College, Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, and the University of
Queensland). In 1983 Fitzgerald took up a full-time position as Lecturer in Music at the
Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education in Lismore. 

During this first career phase, Fitzgerald wrote, performed and recorded numerous
compositions for guitar - either solo or in combination with other instruments or voice -
as well as pieces for string trio, jazz quartet, concert band, and choir. His String Trio
was awarded the University of Queensland's Percy Brier Memorial Prize, and he
performed and recorded his Concertino for Guitar and Orchestra with the Queensland
Symphony Orchestra. 

In the early 1990s Fitzgerald spent time in the USA conducting research towards a PhD on
the development of popular song writing. He became Senior Lecturer in popular music
theory and history at Southern Cross University in 1994, and his PhD was awarded in 1997.
Fitzgerald was appointed Associate Professor in 2001 and took on the leadership of the
Contemporary Music Program in 2003. During his career as a music academic Fitzgerald has
published numerous journal articles and book chapters on aspects of popular musicology,
and his music theory textbook Popular Music Theory and Musicianship has been widely used
within the tertiary education sector. Fitzgerald retired from SCU in 2010, but continues
his academic activity as an Adjunct Associate Professor. 

Fitzgerald’s creative activity as a composer and performer was re-invigorated in 1999
with the formation of contemporary acoustic-electric guitar trio “d’volv” (with fellow
SCU lecturers Jim Kelly and Peter Martin). The group performed original roots-based
contemporary instrumental compositions with musical influences from Spain, Ireland, Latin
America, blues and jazz. d’volv released two critically-acclaimed CDs (D’volv 2000,
Africussia 2003) and toured in Australia, South-East Asia and South Korea. Fitzgerald
began composing ‘production’ music in 2004 and he continues to write and record music for
this area. 

Journal articles


Subtle idiosyncracy: sound and music in the Australian animated short film 'The Lost Thing' (2010) (with Rebecca Coyle and Philip Hayward), Screen Sound (2013)

Sean Tan and Andrew Ruhemann’s collaborative screen adaptation of Tan’s graphic short story ‘The Lost...



Upside-down world: Jerry Goldsmith's landmark score for Planet of the Apes (1968) (with Philip Hayward), Music and the Moving Image (2013)

Planet of the Apes (1968) portrays an "upside-down" world populated by dominant apes and inferior,...



Human machine music: an analysis of creative practices among Australian ‘live electronica’ musicians (with Barry Hill), Perfect Beat (2012)

This article presents a participant–observer documentation and analysis of creative practices among a group of...



Planes of illusion: music soundtrack, rendition and attribution in Sanctum (with Philip Hayward and David Brennan), Perfect Beat (2012)

Mainstream commercial cinema’s increasing access to highly advanced computer-generated imagery (CGI) has allowed it to...



Creating those good vibrations: an analysis of Brian Wilson's US top 40 hits 1963–66, Popular Music and Society (2009)

Brian Wilson is widely acknowledged as one the most talented and influential artists in the...



Popular music theory and musicianship, (2003)

Examines basic music theory concepts from a popular music perspective and it is a self-contained...


Book chapters

Rematerialisation: musical engagements with the British TV series Dr Who (with Philip Hayward), Music in science fiction television: tuned to the future (2013)

Rematerialization: musical engagements with the British TV series Doctor Who (with Philip Hayward), Music in science fiction television: tuned to the future (2013)

Disney does Broadway: musical storytelling in The Little Mermaid and The Lion King (with Rebecca Coyle), Drawn to sound: animation film music and sonicity (2010)

Resilient appliances: music sound image and narrative in The Brave Little Toaster (with Philip Hayward), Drawn to sound: animation film music and sonicity (2010)



A web and room-based videoconference music teaching initiative (with Alan Anderson), AusWeb07: the thirteenth Australasian World Wide Web Conference (2007)

A pilot contemporary music program was designed to test the efficacy of an innovative, blended...


Tertiary popular music studies in the 21st century: some perspectives from eastern Australia and eastern Canada, Music in Australian tertiary institutions: issues for the 21st century: NACTMUS National Conference (2007)

Crossfire: an Australian jazz-rock fusion journey, The history and future of jazz in the Asia-Pacific region: refereed proceedings of the inaugural Asia-Pacific Jazz Conference (2004)