Course Case Study: New MusM Music Performance Studies • Artistic Research in Music Performance

String Musician and Student Background

“Knowledge is nothing else than a rumour until you feel it in your muscles.” - Papua New Guinea proverb

Within the various course units that form part of the new Master’s in Music Performance Studies, students will have the opportunity to discover and undertake one of the most recent and most exciting knowledge practices that emerged in academia, namely Artistic Research in Music Performance. 

First recognised in the area of Design and Visual Arts within British university contexts in the 1990s, academic research that is methodologically integrated with artistic practice is now well-established in music scholarship. In the new Master’s course units, students will learn about the ongoing debates in Artistic Research in Music Performance, and explore its unique mode of knowledge production, which is simultaneously cognitive and affective-embodied, objective and subjective, as well as methodical and improvisational. 

They will learn how to mobilise their intensely felt performerly experiences as part of scholarly research undertakings, and develop skills in transforming the minutiae of the pre-conceptual images and sense impressions they have in making music into articulated foundations for systematic enquiry. 

Students will be encouraged to ask the kinds of questions about music and performing that are deeply embodied, culturally-historically situated, as well as personal-idiosyncratic. They will engage in the captivating process of constructing novel meanings about the music they play from their own situated perspectives, acknowledging all the while the plurality of meanings that any musical text or performance necessarily invokes. 

In engaging with Artistic Research in Music Performance, the relevant course units will take the subjectivity, agency and identity behind processes of knowledge production in music seriously, and explore the ways the artistic values and sensibilities of the students can be brought into processes of rigorous academic research.

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