A drummer banging on drums.

Contemporary Music Research Unit

Embracing contemporary music, fostering a broad and inclusive approach to research.


Inside the department

The activities of the CMRU embrace all types of contemporary music making with the aim of fostering a broad and inclusive approach to research methodologies, interpretative positions, analytical techniques, creative strategies and performance practices.

The CMRU seeks to facilitate and encourage dialogue between theorists, performers and composers/ songwriters/producers. The work of the CMRU is particularly concerned with scholarship, composition and performance that challenges or moves across conventional boundaries and categories.

Following its launch in October 2005, and under the directorship of Professor John Baily, the CMRU developed an innovative research agenda by prioritising activities that emphasised movements across the categories of western art music, world music and popular music. Having become directors of the Centre during the summer of 2008, we are now building upon the foundations established by John and extending this agenda to think about how various musical styles and musicians bridge, blur and make connections to other art forms and cultural practices.

For example we wish to encourage consideration of the practices and ideas that bring together music and architecture; music and moving images; music and drama; music and dance; music and visual art; music and noise, to name just a few. At the same time, we want the CMRU to provide an intellectual and creative space within which art music, popular music and world musics can be given attention on their own terms (regardless of the ways they may or might not connect with other musics, art forms and cultural practices).

To be put on the CMRU mailing list, click on the jiscmail link.

Areas the Centre participates in

  • Composition, Culture, and Politics
  • Microtonal Musics
  • Music, Architecture and Space
  • Notation, Improvisation and Physicality
  • Music and Image


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