The Music Faculty at Oxford is a lively and internationally acknowledged centre for research across a wide range of theoretical, critical, historical, analytical and creative approaches, which can be grouped under four broad headings: Composition and Performance; Ethnomusicology; Musicology; and Psychology of Music.
The Faculty’s research embraces a wide variety of modes of research (individual scholarship, practice-based research, research teams, knowledge exchange partnerships), including a significant number of collaborative and externally funded research partnerships. Principal among these are Music, Digitization, Mediation (MusDig), an ERC-funded major research programme (2010-15) led by Professor Georgina Born which examines the transformation of music and musical practices by digitisation and digital media and is based on ethnographic research in six countries; Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM), which has significant funding from the Mellon Foundation; the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM); the Enquiry into Musical Practice as Research (EMPaR) and its associated Doctoral Curriculum in Musical Arts (DoCuMa); the Oxford-Princeton Partnership in Music Theory and Analysis; a project on Ballad Operas and the London Stage Song Industry, 1728–1760; and the research group Dramaturgie Musicale Contemporaine en Europe (lead institution: Université de Paris 8), which is supported by a major award from the French National Research Agency.
The Faculty also hosts the annual conference of the Russian and East European Music (REEM) study group, which is part of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES). Some of REEM’s purposes are to foster collaborative research and exchange of ideas on Russian and East European music within a growing scholarly community in the UK and abroad; to foster research links between scholars working in music and Slavic departments in the UK; to provide a forum for academics and postgraduates to exchange ideas and meet one another at regular conferences; to support and encourage postgraduate research into Russian and East European Music.
In addition to its permanent members, the Faculty also benefits from the research of a number of Junior Research Fellows working on topics including British Modernism, Reformation studies, C20th Eastern European Music and Eurasianism, C20th Hungarian music, music in the Jewish diaspora, and the history of theory; as well as its large and lively graduate community of around 60 masters and doctoral students, for whom a four-roomed Graduate Centre has been developed.
The Faculty has access to outstanding research facilities: it has on-site a nationally esteemed music library providing electronic and extensive audio-visual materials and facilities, as well as a rich collection of books, journals and scores; the major research collections of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, a copyright deposit library, which also holds 500,000 items of printed music and 4000 music manuscripts in classical, popular and non-western music; the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments - an internationally respected museum of European instruments, which is physically adjacent and integral to the research life of the Music Faculty; and close collaborations with Oxford’s major choral foundations. These established chapel choirs, the majority directed by post-holders, contribute significantly to the Faculty’s research activities in performance practice, organ studies and the textual study of historical repertory, producing widely acclaimed performances and CD recordings of both standard and unfamiliar works. In recent years the Faculty has also developed a very well equipped recording and electroacoustic composition studio, and specialised facilities for performance analysis, including two Disklavier pianos.
The Faculty is an active centre for conferences, specialised seminars and colloquia and reading groups – including the weekly research colloquia, organized by the Faculty’s graduate students, and the Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music organized at All Souls college by Margaret Bent. Oxford is host to the Bach Network UK, founded in Oxford in 2004 (Reinhard Strohm is Chair of Trustees) to serve Bach studies and performance worldwide, offering opportunities for dialogue via a website, online journal Understanding Bach, and annual symposia.
Reinhard Strohm, emeritus professor, and Marc Lewon, postgraduate research student, in the Faculty of Music, have won a major research grant (c. £ 210,000) from the Austrian Government Research Fund (FWF) for a project on late-medieval musical life in the Austrian region. The project will be carried out under the supervision of Professor Birgit Lodes (University of Vienna, Institute of Musicology) during the period 1st October 2011- 31st May 2014. It will be published in the form of an interactive website with musical recordings, texts and images. Marc Lewon will contribute recordings made with his own Ensemble Leones, specialising on secular vocal and instrumental music of the period. Lodes, Strohm and Lewon have recruited an international team of expert collaborators and advisers, including Profs Margaret Bent and Nigel Palmer from Oxford University. For enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year DPhil research student Terence Curran was asked to edit the English language version of a book about the Chopin Museum in Warsaw for which the title and details are: The Chopin Museum, Warsaw: The new permanent exhibition - from competition to opening. Warsaw: Fryderyk Chopin Institute 2011. ISBN 978-83-61142-68-3. The Museum opened last year as part of the Chopin 200th anniversary celebrations in Poland and the book documents the process of the creation of the Museum from the competition for its design to its opening by the President of Poland in March 2010. The book came out in June and Curran was invited to Warsaw to speak at the launch event at the Chopin Museum on 9 June 2011. Further information and pictures on the museum website which also has more general information about the Museum and there are also some videos about the Museum on YouTube