Music and Performing Arts research

Area of research excellence: Music and Performing Arts

Music and Performing Arts research is centred on the Bath School of Music and Performing Arts and makes connections with researchers in other disciplines, both within the University and externally. Our research is driven by three themes which address current societal challenges:

  1. Materiality and Corporeality: We investigate intersections between the material world, bodies and the arts, drawing on interdisciplinary frameworks, including somatics and new materialisms, grounded in embodied practice-based research.
  2. Practitioner Methodologies: We investigate the ways practitioners in music and performing arts make work, focusing on the aesthetic, technical, ethical and cultural strategies they use to communicate their ideas.
  3. Social Engagement: We interrogate oppressive social structures through the lens of critical praxis to develop arts-based interventions.

The three themes encompass our six research groups, providing a context and framework for our research:

  • Arts and Social Change (ASC) explores creative arts practices as a methodology and instrumental tool for effective ethical engagement with marginalised individuals, groups, identities, bodies and voices
  • Creative Corporealities (CC) concerns itself with embodiment as a source of creative practice, with its own causalities and politics
    Intercultural Communication through Practice (ICP) explores how cultural heritage is shared across borders and how knowledge is transmitted through arts practice
  • Open Scores Lab (OSL) explores scoring in its widest sense, developing new approaches to framing experience through instructions
  • Sonic Materialities Lab (SML) brings together theorists and practitioners to develop and creatively activate new understandings of the materiality of sound in contemporary music and sonic art
  • Sound Arts and Visual Music (SAVM) explores the new relationships between sound, music and image that are being forged in contemporary practice.

The groups organise ongoing events, symposia and conferences. They bring together senior and early career researchers, including PhDs (as well as taught postgraduate and undergraduate students), and visiting researchers and practitioners. They aim to create a forum for sharing research, supporting the vitality and sustainability of our research community and its external contexts. The groups are all interdisciplinary, working beyond academic school structures to bring together perspectives from different fields in order to challenge ideas within individual disciplines.

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