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Researching Popular Music: Methods, Debates, Publics

  • Goldsmiths, University of London (map)

Coordinators: Tom Perchard (Goldsmiths, University of London), Byron Dueck (Open University)

Around a dozen current CHASE PhD projects focus on music. Students are investigating music-making communities, musical-cultural identities and histories, modes of musical production and dissemination, theories of sound and sonic practice, and other musical topics. What ties almost all of these projects together is some idea of the popular: of music’s publics, and its modes of everyday musical participation. But the popular music studies canon cannot always provide methodological models for what is a set of highly innovative PhD studies. To address this, Researching Popular Music will bring together CHASE students to present and discuss their work, both with each other, and with invited speakers working at the forefront of music and sound studies. The event takes place over two days at Goldsmiths, University of London, with lunches and an event dinner provided. Goldsmiths is located in south-east London, and is easily reached by train or road from central London and south-east England.

Presentation and discussion sessions

Sound studies at the intersection of theory, method and technology. Session leader: Salomé Voeglin (University of the Arts London).

Ethnographic methods for popular music: scenes, politics, participation. Session leader: Luis-Manuel Garcia (Birmingham).

Multimodal analysis of popular music (sound, image, event). Session leader: David Machin (Örebro).

These three sessions will begin with a 15-minute introductory talk, in which the session leader will outline emerging issues and work in that topic area. Three invited CHASE students will then present some of their ongoing research on the topic at hand, and the session leader will provide a response and then lead a group discussion.


Working towards publishing. Workshop leader: Keith Negus (Goldsmiths, and editor of the CUP journal Popular Music).

Creative research writing. Workshop leader: Daniela Cascella (Bergen).

Workshop 1 will begin with a panel discussion featuring all event speakers, and lead on to an exploration of CHASE students’ work and strategies for its publication. In Workshop 2, all participants will explore techniques for creative and productive research writing through a series of practical exercises.

Registration information

Twenty student places are available. There is no charge for registration. Refreshments, lunches and dinner are provided. Travel expenses will be covered for up to 10 students based in London (to zone 6). Travel expenses and hotel accommodation up to £150 will be covered for up to 10 students based outside London.