The OU hosts a thriving music research culture encompassing historical, theoretical, ethnographic, social scientific and empirical approaches to musicology, as well as interdisciplinary fields including music computing and musical acoustics. Music research is developed through high-profile individual and collaborative projects, many of which have attracted substantial grants from the Research Councils and other funding bodies. Several of our individual researchers are internationally renowned in their own right, but our strength in collaborative work is just as important to us. A number of our researchers work with colleagues in different departments and faculties, and one of our most distinctive features is our strength in interdisciplinary research.
The Music Department accepts applications for the PhD programme each year from November until mid-January. Students are encouraged to submit early. Please note that applications for studentships have independent deadlines that may precede or follow the normal January cut-off; these will be given in the advertisements for each studentship.
In addition to the expertise of the academic members of the music department, the University boasts a range of services and facilities to support individual projects. There are also facilities specific to music research: a flexible 60m2 performance space fully equipped for audio and video recording, with an associated research laboratory including video editing (Avid), audio editing (ProTools), and observational analysis workstations.
The Acoustics Research Group’s facilities include two anechoic chambers, a laser laboratory, an ultra high speed camera, a scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometer, professional quality microphones, as well as a wide range of measuring apparatus, recording equipment and high-performance computing hardware.
The Music Computing Research Group hosts a Music Computing Laboratory stocked with a range of music-computing software, electronic musical instruments, motion trackers, pitch trackers, sensors and diverse technologies for gestural control and data capture. In close collaboration with the Pervasive Interaction Group, we construct and evaluate new musical interfaces using a variety of multi-touch, gestural and whole-body tracking systems. We also carry out experiments to cast light on how music works.