Research in Music and Creative Music Technology

Two well-defined, complementary groups of Music and Music Technology researchers at Keele have earned the University an international reputation as a centre for excellence in these areas: practice-led research in composition and technology, and text-based research in musicology. As a central theme of our activities, all researchers share a focus on twentieth-century and contemporary music, with mutual interests including analysis, aesthetics, music and the moving image, narrative, social context, embodiment and gesture. In the recent REF2014 (Research Excellence Framework), 29% of our overall research was rated as world leading, an increase of 9% on the last national assessment exercise. We were also awarded the top category for one of our Impact Case Studies, and 80% of our research Environment was deemed to be of internationally excellent and world-leading quality. We achieved a 100% research intensity rating, our entire research active staff having being entered for the REF. As a result, we were ranked 23rd out of 84 in the Times Higher Education for research intensity.  

We welcome expressions of interest from any student interested in postgraduate study relating to one or more of our areas of research specialism.

Composition and technology

Creative music technology at Keele comprises a team of practitioners with worldwide reputations. While all of our composers are active in music technology, the balance of output between sound-based and acoustic composition varies between staff members. The music created at Keele is thus diverse, ranging from orchestral composition to acousmatic music, audiovisual works to digital interfaces for musical expression. The group continues to develop new forms of live processing, composition for multi-channel environments, and forms of motion capture, while also exploring the integration of inter-cultural materials and mimetic electroacoustic narratives. This forms part of a longer-term strategy to develop research towards time-based multimedia, extended and augmented-reality environments, immersive technologies, and digital compositions combining music and visuals.

For more details, see the individual profiles of Rajmil Fischman, Diego Garro, Miroslav Spasov, Sohrab Uduman and Michael Vaughan.

Musicology

The musicology research group at Keele enjoys a leading reputation for its combined expertise in music analysis, philosophy, cultural history, aesthetics, screen music (film & TV), ethnomusicology, music from Germany, Poland, and Peru, and composers including Brahms, Lutoslawski and Rihm. We share a focus on the twentieth century (in the context of its precursors and successors), and we have published monographs, edited collections, articles, score guides, web articles and book chapters exploring common themes such as modernity, tradition, identity, narrative and embodiment. We have been successful at winning major grants further to support our research (e.g. AHRC and Marie Curie fellowships) and also at taking our research findings to a wide range of academic and non-academic audiences, e.g. at major international conferences, but also with BBC Radio 3, at the Barbican and Royal Festival Hall, at the BBC Proms, at study days organised by orchestras (e.g. the Philharmonia, the BBC Symphony Orchestra) and in the press (e.g. The Guardian, The Huffington Post).

For more details, see the individual profiles of Nicole Grimes, Fiorella Montero-Diaz, Nicholas Reyland and Alastair Williams.