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The Department of Music at Goldsmiths, with its lively and varied research base, large postgraduate community, active performing tradition, and proximity to the resources of the capital, provides an exhilarating environment for postgraduates. We are particularly proud of the research training that we provide for postgraduate students at all levels, and of the connections we are able to make between our research activities and our teaching.
The last Research Assessment Exercise (2008) noted that research in the department is ‘sustained by an excellent infrastructure of research groups, unique and extensive archives, connections beyond Europe, and the wider university support (which, in sustaining several colleges of this kind, is outstanding and dynamic)’, and that ‘many researchers enjoy national and international esteem’.
Our staff research interests encompass the entire range of creative, performing and academic disciplines: aesthetics and analysis; ethnomusicology and the sociology of music; historical musicology from the medieval period onwards; popular music in theory and practice; performance practice in a variety of contexts; composition and creative practice in a range of styles; and issues relating to contemporary music and technology. You’ll find a list of our staff and their research interests at http://www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/music/staff/.
Special features include:
—An outstanding, research-driven department, in which 70% of our work has been identified as being either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the Research Assessment Exercise 2008
—A multidisciplinary department, providing an innovative combination of creative and practical work with academic study
—Flexible, modularised taught postgraduate programmes that allow considerable individual choice both within and alongside specialist pathways
—An expanding department: currently 14 full-time academic staff including three Professors, and approximately 120 postgraduate and 225 undergraduate students
—One of the largest postgraduate research communities in the UK
—A wide variety staff research strengths
—Extensive facilities, including the Electronic Music Studios, dedicated spaces for studio work, music technology, and creative work involving music and the moving image
—Specialist seminar programmes: a regular research forum; ethnomusicology seminars; Russian music seminars; Music in Britain; Social History Seminars; links with the College’s Centre for Cultural Studies [page ***] and the Departments of Anthropology, Computing, Drama, and Psychology
—Research links with many other colleges and conservatoires in Britain, and with universities in Australia, France, Germany, Israel, Iran, Russia, and the USA, among others.
Our research centres
The department has a vibrant and dynamic research base, reflected through its range of research centres:
–The Centre for Russian Music
–The Serge Prokofiev Archive
–The Afghanistan Music Unit (AMU
–The Centre for Contemporary Music Cultures
–The Unit for Sound Practice Research
Events and opportunities
Various research seminar series are held within the department, to some extent led by the specialist research centres, most of which run their own focussed series of talks, seminars and performances. Graduate Forum, which all Master’s students are expected to attend, also provides a space where visiting specialists provide expert input into the department’s work, and staff and students can present and discuss work, and consider contemporary issues related to their research.
Twice a year there are one-day conferences giving you the opportunity to present your own work and to hear distinguished visiting speakers (including in recent years Eric Clarke, Nicholas Cook, Peter Kivy, Sir Roger Norrington, Sara Cohen and Richard Middleton). The department also regularly hosts national and international conferences, which have latterly included the Biennial International Conference on Twentieth-Century Music, and conferences of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and the Society for Music Analysis.
Recent visitors taking master-classes have included Peter Katin, Jane Manning, Piers Lane, Martino Tirimo, Crispian Steele-Perkins, Tatyana Sarkissova, Philip Mead and Boris Berman. The department holds a number of these events with outstanding performers in each academic year. Each year, we appoint at least one Ensemble-in-Residence to work with composers and performers in a variety of activities – concerts, workshops, recordings and master-classes. We support a prestigious ‘Meet the Composer’ series, consisting of visits from a variety of distinguished performers who in the past have included Judith Weir, George Benjamin, James Dillon, James MacMillan, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Dmitri Smirnov, Steve Martland, Howard Skempton, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, John Woolrich, Colin Matthews, Michael Finnissy, Javier Alvarex and Vladimir Tarnopolsky.
The Goldsmiths Sinfonia and Chorus, which combine each term for a large-scale concert, are our principal performing bodies. Guest conductors in recent years have been included Mark Shanahan, Gregory Rose, Kenneth Burton and Vladimir Verbitsky, with soloists often selected from MMus students. Other departmental performing groups include the Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Goldsmiths Music Collective and the Chamber Choir. These, in addition to the biannual Composers Forum concerts, provide a platform for student compositions. Lunchtime concerts, featuring a wide variety of styles and genres, are held once or twice a week in the Council Chamber’s beautifully restored concert room (which seats 200) in the Deptford Town Hall Building.
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Goldsmiths, University of London
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This programme builds on London's position as one of the most important musical centres in the world, with a diverse range of concert halls, theatres, cultural institutions and arts events that reflect its cosmopolitan and multicultural society. Read more
The MMus in Composition fosters your ability to compose and notate music, and to develop your own personal musical language. You explore a wide range of technical procedures for contemporary composition and engage intellectually and critically with related theories and concepts. Read more
This programme allows you to develop the business/entrepreneurial skills and attributes to commercialise on your creative and cultural practices and/or knowledge. Read more
This flexible Masters is an opportunity to investigate and combine strategies for developing creative work – an inclusive and forward-thinking composition degree that acknowledges many different definitions of the term. Read more
This Diploma is a Pre-Masters programme aimed at postgraduate students who need a year to develop or consolidate their language skills in academic English, to develop additional music skills (theoretical or practical). Read more
The MA in Music (Contemporary Music Studies) examines aspects of methodology, repertoire studies and cultural theory within a wide-ranging programme of investigation into the role of contemporary music in the society for which it is created. Read more
This MA allows you to build an individual, 'tailor-made' programme of study, which incorporates the intellectual concerns, skills and understandings that lead to a clearly focused research dissertation. You choose four modules, including at least one of two core modules, which provide you with specific research skills relevant to your interests. Read more
The Musicology pathway in the MA Music programme qualifies graduates to embark upon their own research. While honing specialist skills, this pathway teaches students bold approaches to music as a practice and an academic discipline. Read more
The MA in Music (Popular Music Research) engages with scholarly debates and public controversies around popular music, while examining and developing both traditional and innovative ways of researching popular music. Read more
This Masters develops your technical and interpretive abilities as a performer, informed by an understanding of style, genre, context and interpretation, as well as historical and theoretical issues relevant to your specialist repertoire. Read more
The MMus in Sonic Arts is an opportunity to explore a wide range of creative approaches to studio-based music, including fixed-media composition, improvisation systems, sound art installation and composition for video/film. Read more