Nick Braae

May 2017

Senior Academic Staff member in the School of Media Arts, spent the first years of his musical life learning classical piano before branching out into jazz, pop and rock keyboards while at secondary school. He completed undergraduate degrees in Contemporary Music performance and Political Science at the University of Otago, before undertaking Honours, Masters, and Doctoral degrees in Music at the University of Waikato.

In 2016, he submitted his PhD which was an extended study of the music of British rock band Queen. Findings on the group's changing style through the 1970s have been published in a number of international journals, and in 2016, Nick co-authored Queen, la discographie (an analytical overview of the group's career) with Marie Berginiat of Jean Monnet Université. He has given interviews and public lectures on Queen in New Zealand, Sweden and France.

 Nick has also published and presented conference papers around the world on New Zealand popular music and cultural identity, Don McGlashan's songwriting techniques and the production style of Bruce Springsteen. He is currently preparing papers on notions of musical time as articulated in popular songs, ‘middlebrow’ popular music in the 1970s, and ‘comedy music’ from New Zealand, as well as editing a collection of essays on contemporary understandings and analyses of popular music with contributors from Europe, the UK and the US. 

 Outside of his academic work, Nick remains active as a keyboardist, singer, arranger and musical director for various musical projects around Hamilton, and has done several radio shows with Jesse Mulligan as a ‘resident musicologist’, discussing the intricacies of cover songs and ‘sad songs’. He is a keen cricketer in the summer, squash player in the winter, and enjoys a good hike all year round.   


Nick Braae