Notation Cultures in Contemporary Music

This project investigates the role of different kinds of notation in the performance of music. Rather than viewing notation as standing outside musical reality, this project approaches writing and reading music (in staff notation, tablature, code, braille, or through gesture) as reflecting and constructing musical cultures. Through comparative ethnographic methods, it describes how these notations construct cultural identities, creative interactions between musicians, and ideas about the nature of music itself.

  • Project leader: Dr Floris Schuiling
  • Duration: 2017-2020
  • Funding: Veni grant from the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO)
Playful VR and AR experiences for social inclusion

This project addresses if and how VR/AR can help people dealing with permanent or temporary situations of social isolation by providing them an opportunity to escape from the limited space in which they are confined and to reintegrate in the society beyond isolation. The seed money invested in this project is used to build a strong consortium of international partners necessary to address the related challenging research questions and to support the writing of a high quality research proposal.

  • Participants: Dr Michiel Kamp, Dr Teresa de la Hera Conde-Pumpido, Dr Wolfgang Hürst, Prof. Bram Orobio De Castro, Dr Margot Peeters
  • Duration: 2016-2017
  • Funding: Focus Area Game Research Seed Money Competition
Music And Late Medieval European Court Cultures

This project will explore the role of music in late-medieval court cultures of the ‘long fourteenth century’ (1280-1450) on a European scale. The project will focus on music in relation to three central cultural dimensions:

  1. the other arts such as poetry, visual arts, and architecture;
  2. material culture from manuscripts to jewelry and dress;
  3. the performance of social ritual, from the liturgy to informal interactions among courtiers.
  • Project leader: Prof. Karl Kügle
  • Duration: 2016-2020
  • Funding: ERC Advanced Grant
Sound Memories: The Musical Past in Late-Medieval and Early-Modern Europe (SoundMe)

An international consortium of music scholars will investigate the genesis and early development of the concept of ‘music of the past’ in 13th-century Paris, made possible by newly invented technologies of writing musical time.

They will also trace the deployment of such music in the service of various political and religious agendas across Europe in a series of case studies ranging chronologically from the 14th to the 16th century.

They are supported in their efforts by the singers of the Ascoli Ensemble (The Hague) who will be instrumental in disseminating the research to the general public.

  • Project leader: Prof. Karl Kügle
  • Partners: University of Cambridge, University of Heidelberg, Charles University Prague, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw
  • Duration: 2016-2019
  • Funding: HERA
Foregrounding in lyrics through the combination with music

Lyricists and literary scholars often claim that lyrics should be simple (and not poetic) in order to be understood. Several pedagogues and therapists on the other hand believe that music helps to understand and remember texts. How does this work? A possible answer to this question has been tested in this project in four experiments.

Late Medieval Court Culture in the Northern Low Countries: Visualising, Interpreting, and Contextualising Music Fragments

This research project focuses on a specific moment in the cultural environment of the courts in the northern Low Countries, the second half of the long fourteenth century (c. 1350-1420), taking into consideration secular and sacred music, visual art, as well as poetic and narrative texts. In doing so, a group of parchment fragments kept at the university libraries of Amsterdam, Leiden, and Utrecht which bears witness to significant musical activity in the northern Low Countries in the later Middle Ages will take central stage. 

Popularisation and Media Strategies (1700-1900)

This project analyses the process of selection and adaptation in Dutch popular literature during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Research for this project is centred on songs and catchpenny prints, which can be considered as the main mass media of the past. This project wants to answer the question of how the process of selection and adaptation in songs and catchpenny prints interacted with the motives and strategies of producers, distributors and consumers. 

  • Participants: Prof. Louis Grijp, Dr Roeland Harms, Dr Jeroen Salman, Talitha Verheij MA
  • Duration: 2010-2015
  • Funding: NWO (Cultural Dynamics)
The Impact of Sound Recording on Persian Musical Culture, 1900-1960

The process of recording music introduced profound changes into music culture in general that musicology is only beginning to address systematically in recent years; in the case of Persia, recording, among other elements, influenced instruments, musical forms, performing styles and the social life of musicians.

It is clear at present, at least to a certain extent, where and when recordings were made, and we know that the venues of music-making changed dramatically in those years. What is required now is to clarify how the formative influence exerted by the recording process spread from the recording studio to the music (repertoire, instruments, style), the musicians (their social position, ranking, gender), and to society (venues, tastes) through the increased use of mechanically reproducible music. 

When Jazz Meets Cinema

In a collection of essays we study the long-standing relationship between jazz and cinema, from the silent era to the contemporary sound cinema, on an international level. While the early film music was mostly symphonic and inspired by the late-romantic nineteenth-century idiom, jazz and Afro-American music - in various form and with diverse and changing racial/social connotations - appeared onscreen even before the landmark film The Jazz Singer (1927), which officially launched the sound era.

  • Participants: Prof. Emile Wennekes and Dr Emilio Audissino
  • Duration: 2017-2019.
  • Publisher Brepols, Turnhout (B)
Research Study Group Music and Media

This ongoing project under the auspices of the International Musicological Society connects researchers from all over the world to exchange new developments on the multidisciplinary research of music and media. Meetings have been held in Amsterdam, Berlin, Lisbon, Turin, Ottawa, Dijon, Vienna, Stavanger, Tokyo, Salamanca.