Oliver is a music analyst; his research interests encompass the mature chamber music of Edward Elgar (on which he wrote his PhD), late tonal music (particularly Wagner and Strauss), and early British dodecaphony.

He is currently co-writing a book with Professor J P E Harper-Scott, entitled Return to Riemann: Tonal Function and Chromatic Music; it is due to be published in the RMA monograph series. Oliver is also a keen guitarist. He was awarded the guitar-departmental performance prize during his master’s studies at Trinity Laban, Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Oliver has just completed the manuscript for his first monograph, Twelve-Tone British Solo Guitar Music and Julian Bream.



Oliver teaches second- and third-year analysis, but he also runs tutorials on pop transcription and arrangement and World Jazz. He is keen to empower students to understand music, personally treasured or yet to be encountered, in diverse and rewarding ways.




‘Reginald Smith Brindle’s Concept of Tonal-Atonal Equilibrium in Theory and Practice’, Soundboard Scholar 7 (in press, December 2021).

‘Tonal Dodecaphony and Sentential Form: Extracts from Humphrey Searle’s Symphony No. 2, Op. 33’, Music Theory & Analysis 8/2 (in press, October 2021).

‘Structural Dissonance Reimagined: the Finale of Elgar’s Violin Sonata, Op. 82’, Music & Letters 102/2 (in press). (An advanced copy of the article is available here.)

‘“Octatonic” voice leading and diatonic function in the Allegro molto from Elgar’s String Quartet in E minor, op. 83’, Music Theory Online 26/1 (2020)  https://mtosmt.org/issues/mto.20.26.1/mto.20.26.1.chandler.html

‘Diatonic Illusions and Chromatic Waterwheels: Edward Elgar’s Concept of Tonality’, Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, 15/1 (2020): 3-29

‘A Diminished-Seventh Bassbrechung: Tonal Ambiguity and the Prolongation of Function in Edward Elgar’s String Quartet, 1st movement’, GAMUT: Online Journal of the Music-Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic 9/1 (2020): 1-29


Book Chapters

‘Tonality and (the) “Beyond”: Elgar’s Gerontius and Piacevole’ in Art, Music, and Mysticism in the Long Nineteenth Century, eds. Michelle Foot and Corrinne Chong (Routledge, under contract for August 2022: 7,500 words).