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Music Research (UoA33)

Music Research (UoA33)

The International Centre for Music Studies (ICMuS) represents Music (UoA33) at Newcastle. This is within the School of Arts and Cultures.

Distinguished history and unique specialisms

ICMuS can trace its distinguished history to the 1890s. It's an anchor institution in the music and culture of north-east England. We have particular strengths in:

  • historical and critical musicology
  • vernacular and folk traditions
  • global musics
  • early music
  • creative practice

ICMuS returns 21 colleagues to REF2021. Their work encompasses a range of specialisms and traditions unique among UK HEIs.

Overarching themes

Overarching themes of our research include:

  • gender and sexuality
  • philosophy
  • place
  • sound studies
  • public policy

We have an international reputation for our:

  • unique disciplinary mix
  • radical approaches to musicology

Interdisciplinary work and outstanding facilities

Our work is inherently interdisciplinary. We lead, or contribute to, eight interdisciplinary institutes and research groups. We have outstanding facilities. We have:

  • newly refurbished teaching spaces (including a £730,000 organ)
  • Music Studios
  • Culture Lab

Funded music research achievements

ICMuS has more than tripled its success in delivering funded music research projects since 2014. That's across all our specialisms. Major projects include:

Local, national, and international partnerships

Our regional partners include the:

  • Sage Gateshead
  • Opera North
  • Seven Stories
  • Northumberland National Park.

With Allenheads Contemporary Arts we have delivered collaborative projects such as Northumbrian Exchanges.

National partners include the British Library, Bodleian Library, and British Academy. We delivered Tudor Partbooks with the latter.

We have developed new links with NGOs and governments. These deliver impacts and influence public policy in the UK.

They also have an impact internationally. Our work is having an influence in the USA and Southern Africa. Taking on Violence Against Women is a good example of this.

Our inclusive values

The unit commits to the values set out in the ICMuS declaration of music research principles. We were awarded the Athena Swan Bronze award in 2018. We are seeking to equalise gender balance among senior academic staff.

We want to increase the ethnic diversity among our PGR community. We seek to do this, for instance, via ‘Inclusive Newcastle’ PGR studentships in music.

Dynamic working environment

The unit is a dynamic working environment, with:

  • 52 current PGR students
  • three early career researchers
  • 25 permanent staff

We support career development with:

  • research mentoring
  • generous research allowances
  • strategic institutional research funds

Collaborative research culture

Our music research culture emphasises co-production with collaborators, students, and the public.

The Live Music Census has drawn on public participation in shaping public policy. Tudor Partbooks has engaged audiences into the reconstruction of Renaissance music. One of our publications was co-authored by a community leader in South Africa.

The reach of our research

Our research reaches international audiences through our:

  • scholarly publications
  • public policy research
  • performances and compositions
  • recordings and broadcasts

Two-thirds of ICMuS staff returned in REF 2021 have contributed to the public realm. This includes radio and television broadcasts in the UK and internationally. Our creative practitioners fulfil international commissions and reach international audiences. 

The impact of our research is felt at home and internationally. That's from ecology of live music performance to cultural policy statements from UNESCO.

Meeting the challenges of COVID-19

We have met the challenges of 2020-21 head-on. We've:

  • adapted our teaching and research
  • expanding the audience for new music
  • developing learning programmes for our collaborators
  • researched the consequences of COVID-19 on the careers and wellbeing of performers internationally

Research case studies 

Find out more

To find out more about our research, follow these links: