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 Contemporary Music Research Unit was founded in 2011 with a view to fostering a wide range of research into composition, performance, aesthetics and theoretical approaches to new music, bringing together composers, performers, theorist, and other artists/practitioners. The CMRU aims to encourage clear and focussed methodologies towards articulating well-defined approaches to practice based research in composition, performance and theory of new music. The encouraged interdisciplinary nature of the research reveals new fields of enquiry sometimes informed by what initially appear to be opposing tendencies, through critical, reflective and inclusive strategies of investigation.

The CMRU promotes and organises conferences, lectures, concerts and workshops focussing on new approaches to composition, improvisation, notation, new instruments/instrumental techniques and the philosophy and politics of new music.

Recent areas of research include

Composition, Culture and Politics
Microtonal Music
New instruments/instrumental techniques

Recent conferences

•    A symposium on the work of Iannis Xenakis (in association with The South Bank Centre/The Wire).

•    A symposium on the work Brian Ferneyhough (in association with the IMR)

•    Notation in Contemporary Music: Composition, Performance, Improvisation

•    Compositional Aesthetics and the Political

Advisory Group

Prof Roger Redgate
Dr Dimitris Exarchos
Keith Potter
Jeremy Peyton Jones

Research Fellows

Dr Dimitris Exarchos
Ashley Paul
Maria Chavez

Our people