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Institute of Musical Research

Institute of Musical Research

Hosted, funded and directed by the Music Department at Royal Holloway between 2015 and 2020, the Institute for Musical Research took a leading role in facilitating collaborations across the sector and nurturing new paradigms for musical and interdisciplinary research.

Under its successive directors (Prof Geoff Baker, Prof Paul Harper-Scott and Prof Stephen Downes) during this period the Institute supported 39 conferences, in collaboration with 24 HEIs in the UK and 5 overseas. A series of Performance Studies Seminars were run in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Two Distinguished Lecture Series were held in central London presenting new approaches to relational musicology (Professor Nichols Cook) and musical citizenship (Professor Martin Stokes). A series of Composer-in-Conversation events included amongst its guests Louis Andriessen, Harrison Birtwistle, Detlev Granert, Brian Ferneyhough, Beat Furrer, George. E Lewis, and Essa-Peka Salonen.

Supporting researchers in the crucial stage after the PhD was a strategic priority. Between 2015 and 2020 the IMR granted 27 early career fellowships, offering each ECR an institutional affiliation, and funds and support for organising a conference. These fellowships have been mentored by senior academics at 12 UK universities. Events under this scheme included ‘Iconography as a source for Music History’ (2019, jointly supported by the RMA), ‘What should musicians’ health sound like? (2019; jointly hosted by Senate House and the RNCM), ‘Musicology or Ethnomusicology? Discussing Disciplinary Boundaries in Non-Western Art Music’ (2019), ‘Music and Disability Studies (2017) and ‘Music and Socialism: Past, Present and Future’ (2017).

From 2017 the Institute also awarded grants to support a series of conferences organised by established scholars.  Events funded under this scheme included ‘Making Musical Works in Early Modern Europe 1500-1700 (2019); ‘International Women and/in Musical Leadership’ (2019); ‘Mapping the Musical City (2018); ‘The Ethics and Aesthetics of Studying Music in Situations of Conflict and Violence’ (2018) and ‘Music in the Psychoanalytic Ear’ (2018).

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