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Goldsmiths Popular Music Research Paper

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The MA in Music (Ethnomusicology) introduces a range of methodologies in relation to the study of music in its cultural contexts.

As well as engaging with musical practices in various geographic or cultural areas, the programme acknowledges the importance of urban ethnomusicology and the usefulness of applying ethnomusicological approaches to Western art and popular music.

You have the opportunity to engage with key ethnographic methodologies, such as interviewing, videoing and video editing, and musical performance as a research technique.

The innovative structure of the programme allows you to specialise in one of these areas if you wish, leading to a final project that itself may have a significant practical component, and you have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork projects as part of your studies.

A written dissertation option is also available, allowing you to engage in depth with an issue that interests you.

The programme appeals to a wide range of students hoping to develop their intellectual skills in music, particularly those with interests in music as a cultural phenomenon.

It's exceptionally useful, for example, for students preparing for further postgraduate research, or for those considering careers in teaching, journalism, arts administration or the culture industries, or working with government agencies or charities abroad.

Find out more about the MA in Music.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Barley Norton

Bringing together creative practice and critical debate, the Goldsmiths Popular Music Research Unit was formed in January 2011, with the aim of focusing and extending the Department of Music’s growing expertise in and reputation for innovative research into popular music.

The Unit will be addressing contemporary issues of significance to musicians, industries involved directly and indirectly with popular music, voluntary and state organisations and the public, and will encompass repertoire that is broad in historical range and geographical scope.

The Unit hosts the new MA in Music (Popular Music Research) and facilitates recognition of the research activities of staff, students and alumni of the successful BMus Popular Music. The Unit will also showcase the research of doctoral students, and we welcome applications from prospective MPhil/ PhD students.

The Unit seeks to facilitate a variety of traditional and more innovative ways of researching popular music; focusing on musical texts, reception, creativity and production in both contemporary and historical contexts. It will showcase research of University based scholars, performers and composers as well as creative practitioners. It will also engage with and seek to emphasize the significance of popular music research in a variety of non-academic contexts (music related industries, marketing, arts management, museums and archives, the sciences). 

Advisory Group:

Prof (Emeritus) John Baily

Dr Lisa Busby

Simon Deacon

James Ewers

Ian Gardiner

Stephen Graham

John Harries

Dr Berta Joncus

Dr Barley Norton

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