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Music: Composition, Practices and Technology research

Explore our music composition, practices & technology research, an area of expertise in both Performance, Theatre & Music, and Digital & Creative Technologies


Music and sound play key roles in contemporary media and society, and our research in music composition, practices and technologies explores the role of musical creativity across different forms – including musical theatre, western classic music, electroacoustic music, audio software programming, and instrument design.

We're also exploring the function of music in interactive medias, such as video games and virtual/augmented reality. We specialise in the creation, or composition, of these different mediums, analysing them historically and socially, and delivering them to new audiences.

We also develop new tools for exploring the way music interacts with other areas in society. For example, a recent project in sonification involved turning non-musical data – such as stock market information — into music for both artistic and scientific purposes. Another project created scores to allow new performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Yeomen of the Guard.

Our research covers the following topics

  • Composition
  • Music editing
  • Computer music
  • Sound synthesis
  • Audio processing
  • Electroacoustic music
  • New interfaces for musical expression
  • Generative and adaptive music in games
  • Sonification

Methods and facilities

While traditional modes of analysis of compositions, performances, instruments, and software are used, much of our research is practice driven. As such, research often takes place through the performances and creation of music. We develop tools that enable creativity, which are often creative in themselves.

We have a collection of boutique synthesizers, including a rare Buchla modular system. Alongside this, the University has a suite of development kits for commercial game audio and virtual reality work. There are also rehearsal and recording studios.

Our members

Image of Dr George Burrows

Dr George Burrows

  • Job Title Reader in Performing Arts
  • Email Address George.Burrows@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Art Design and Performance
  • Faculty Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
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Dr Stephen Pearse

  • Email Address stephen.pearse@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Creative Technologies
  • Faculty Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
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Mr Colin Jagger

  • Job Title Director of Music
  • Email Address Colin.Jagger@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Art Design and Performance
  • Faculty Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
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Dr Pere Villez

  • Email Address Pere.Villez@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Creative Technologies
  • Faculty Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Tom Alexander Garner

Dr Tom Alexander Garner

  • Email Address tom.garner@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Creative Technologies
  • Faculty Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor

Discover our areas of expertise

Music composition, practices and technologies is one of our areas of expertise in Performance, Theatre and Music research, and our Digital and Creative Technologies research – explore the other areas below.


Interested in a PhD in Theatre, Music and Performance?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Theatre, Music & Performance postgraduate research degrees page.

 

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