8. Music is always changing

Music is always changing – even well-established pieces of music go through striking transformations in the way they are performed, as the following podcast on the Air from J.S. Bach’s Third Orchestral Suite (from the Music Department’s third level undergraduate module, A342) suggests.


Because music is always changing, there are always new things to discover – and new subjects for music research. Earlier this year, the Music Department’s Byron Dueck interviewed a number of musicians and music industry stakeholders at the Convergence festival in London. The result was a series of short videos about how recent technological developments are shaping the creation, recording, distribution, and valuing of music. You can see the first of these videos here:

In 2014 the OU Music Department was rated one of the best in the country in the Research Excellence Framework. OU staff continue to work on ground-breaking research, including the George Frideric Handel Collected DocumentsCultures of Brass, Atlantic Sounds, and Listening Experience Database projects. Early in 2016, the Department begins a new research initiative by hosting a conference that revisits Ruth Finnegan’s landmark work, The Hidden Musicians: Music Making in an English Town. You can read about it here.

OU research produces work used by leading orchestras, festivals and the BBC; it also feeds directly into our teaching, from our undergraduate modules to our support of postgraduate projects. In just one of the blocks of the MA in Music, for instance, Helen Coffey contributes a unit on Handel’s letters, Fiona Richards explores late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century music on the subject of the Greek god Pan, Catherine Tackley discusses some of her recent work on music, ships, and sailortowns, and Ben Winters writes about Erich Korngold’s opera Die tote Stadt, all of them drawing on their own recent research.

About Byron Dueck

Byron Dueck is Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Head of Music at the Open University.
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