Robert is the Head of Program for Arts & Humanities in the College of Arts, Business, Law, Education and IT. He is also a senior lecturer and course chair in the Bachelor of Music. He specialises in music technology, electronic music composition and music perception and cognition.

He has previously lectured at Swinburne University, Melba Conservatorium of Music and the Victorian College of the Arts. In 2018 he was seconded to work as an associate academic at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, UK.

Robert is a drummer/percussionist and composer/producer with more than 30 years' professional experience across a wide range of music genres. As a performer he has toured more than 15 countries, and as a music producer he has released albums and remixed international artists under the pseudonym Rhythm Boy.

Robert's PhD proposes a lexicon of percussive sound to be used as a tagging system for digital sound libraries.

Areas of expertise

  • Composition
  • Music cognition
  • Music on the Web
  • Music technology
  • Physics of Sound
  • Psychoaccoustics

Contact details

(03) 9919 2359

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Bell, R., Bartel, A., Barrass, S., (2010) A Systematic Approach to Describing and Cataloguing Percussive Sounds Using Spectral, Temporal and Timbral CriteriaInternational Journal of Arts and Sciences. 3 (9), 240-251.

Conference presentations

Bell, R (2012) “Using Online Discussion Forums to Engage Students in Positive Education”, International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and Education, Barcelona, Spain.

Bell, R (2010) “A Systematic Approach to Describing and Cataloguing Percussive Sounds Using Spectral, Temporal and Timbral Criteria”, IJAS Global Conference, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Bell, R (2008) “PAD – the Percussive Audio Database”, HCSNet conference, Sydney, Australia

Selected musical works

“Another Look at Harmony, Part.4” by Philip Glass (remix) – released on 'Glass Cuts' remix compilation, Orange Mountain Music (USA), 2005

“Lychee Martini volume 1” by Lychee Martini (percussion) – independent release, 2008.

“Favor Tweet” by LoveSpirals (remix) – released online 2009, included in compilations and podcasts including 'Cadence Revolution' (2009, 2011 USA), Anji Bee 'Chillcast' (2009, USA), and 'The Savvy and the Chic vol. 8' (2011, USA)

“O Domine Jesu Christe” by Josquin Des Prez (arrangement) – released online 2011, published in 'Offset' Journal 2011. Released on netlabel tonAtom (Germany) 2014.

Teaching responsibilities

Robert lectures:


Robert is the Course Coordinator for the Bachelor of Music.

He is the Music Specialisation coordinator for:

He is the Unit coordinator for:

Postgraduate research students & fellows


1 Masters student (associate supervisor).

Current supervision

1 Honours student (principal supervisor).

Professional memberships

  • National Council of Tertiary Music Schools (NACTMUS)
  • Australasian Performing Rights Association
  • Music Victoria
  • Percussive Arts Society (USA).

Industry experience

Performer: drummer/percussionist for over 25 years, performed with numerous ensembles locally and nationally – orchestras, jazz bands, rock bands and electronic acts. Has toured South East Asia extensively, performing at high-fashion events and nightclub appearances in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei.

Composer/producer: composer and sound designer for numerous independent, experimental theatrical productions. Remixer/producer for international artists including Philip Glass, Burkhard Dallwitz, Groove Armada, DJ Friendly, DJ Vadim, Wetmusik, LoveSpirals, and De Leve. Have produced music and audio programs for Bush Records (UK), Zomba Records, Marlin Records, Telstra and ABC Radio National.

Album of electronic works being released on German netlabel tonAtom in 2014.

Self-employed music and audio technical support business 2000-2005.