Michael Hannan established the Contemporary Music program at Southern Cross University (SCU), and has taught composition, songwriting, popular music history, world music, and music business in this discipline. Currently he is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at SCU.
Hannan studied musicology at the University of Sydney and was awarded a PhD in 1979. In 1983 he received a Fulbright Postdoctoral Award that enabled him to work in the Program in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Hannan is the sole author of two other books: Peter Sculthorpe: His Music and Ideas 1929-1979 (UQ Press, 1982) and The Australian Guide to Careers in Music (MCA/UNSW Press, 2003). His main areas of research are professional music education and careers, screen music and sound (particularly in Australian feature films) and Australian new classical music. He has been the recipient of many grants including an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant and an ARC Discovery grant.
Hannan has written over seventy works for concert hall, stage and screen, including electronic works and works involving improvisation. He has issued two CDs in the latter field: Terrains (Tall Poppies, 2001) and Improvisations and Comprovisations (Wirripang, 2013).
Hannan was Chair of the Music Council of Australia (2002-2004) and Chair of the International Society for Music Education’s Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician (2004-2006 and 2008-2010).