London College of Music

Research events

The London College of Music will be hosting and participating in a series of research seminars, that underpin the university's continued ambition to be at the forefront of research in the 21st century. We will have guest lecturers, academics and events that will bring a fresh and insightful approach to research and education.

This is a new and exciting series to 2017 and we hope that you will join us at some of the upcoming events shown below.

Upcoming events

There are currently no upcoming events. Keep checking back.

Previous events

21st Century Music Practice Research Network Launch

With: Lisa Busby (Goldsmiths College), Mark Doffman (Oxford University), Mark Irwin (BIMM), Leah Kardos (Kingston University), Milton Mermikides (Surrey University), Tom Perchard (Goldsmiths College), Helen Reddington (University of East London), Hillegonda Rietveld (London South Bank University), Chris Wiley (Surrey University) and Simon Zagorski-Thomas (University of West London).
When: Saturday 26 November

About the launch

A new London and SE research network on 21st Century Music Practice, involving 16 universities and other higher education institutions was launched at a public event on 26 November. The network will organise six one-day study days throughout 2017 to encourage and disseminate research on the practices of 21st century music.

The launch event included short presentations on each of these six topics followed by discussions.

Speakers and presentations

The six presentations will discuss:

  • Performing with Technology
  • Interaction and Collaboration
  • Musical Worlds and Environments
  • Teaching and Creativity
  • Students and Practice as Research
  • Seeing and Sound

Discussion of the six planned events was the backbone of the launch event but it was also an opportunity for networking with other scholars and making plans for further events in the future. Take a look at the six themes that have been identified so far.



Considering the Value of Popular Music Education

Zack MoirWith: Zack Moir
From: Edinburgh Napier University and the University of the Highlands and Islands
When: Wednsday 25 January 2017

Zack Moir is a Lecturer in Popular Music at Edinburgh Napier University and the University of the Highlands and Islands, UK.

His research interests are in popular music in higher education, popular music composition pedagogy, and the teaching and learning of improvisation.

He is an active composer and performer, and has published on the topics of popular music pedagogy, popular music making and leisure, and popular music songwriting/composition.

Zack is one of the editors of the Routledge Research Companion to Popular Music Education.



Relational Musicology

With: Professor Nicholas Cook, FBA,
From: 1684 Professor of Music, University of Cambridge, British Academy Wolfson Research Professor 2014-17
When: Wednesday 22 February at 3pm

Professor Cook will talked about 'relational musicology' - the study of music as 'a project of human relationship'. He gave a 30 minute talk at the start of the session, followed by a discussion of both his presentation and the attached chapter which first outlined his ideas on the subject.

Hearing the relational in music

Musicology has traditionally understood music as either a kind of literature, based of written documents, or as a practice of sound design. In this way it has neglected the entire field of social relationship in music. Nicolas Bourriaud's 'relational aesthetics' is based on the idea that some forms of art are best understood in terms of the social relationships they forge between its spectators. I see this idea as applicable to music in general, and understand such relationships as encompassing all musical events, whether face-to-face or distributed in time and space. Hence the increasingly encountered term 'relational musicology'.

The point is most easily made in terms of the socialites of musical performance, so I start there. Both the string quartet and jazz improvisation have long histories of utopian interpretation, but I attempt a more realistic assessment of music and social interaction through a series of case studies that range from collective performance and real-time compositional collaboration to studio production and cross-cultural interaction across three continents. The music producer and therapist might be seen as relational practitioners par excellence, but my argument is that, whatever else it may be or do, music is always a project of human relationship.


Music Research and Mobile App Development

With: Professor Rob Toulson
From: The University of Westminster
When: Wednesday 15 March at 3pm

Rob Toulson is Professor of Commercial Music at the University of Westminster. He was previously Director of the Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University. Rob’s academic background was originally in electronics, acoustics and digital signal processing, which he has combined over the past 15 years with his personal experience as a musician and music producer. He now designs and conducts research projects in the fields of music production and practice, combining both creative and technical aspects. in this seminar Rob will talk about three research projects, all associated with music and mobile applications.

This seminar was presented with particular reference to the academic process of developing research ideas and then utilising mobile app development frameworks to build working prototypes. The first app is iDrumTune, a tool to assist percussion tuning, which was born out of novel vibration and acoustics research on cylindrical drums. Two further ‘album app’ projects are discussed, these being Piano Ombre by music artist Francois and the Atlas Mountains and Red Planet by Daisy and The Dark.

All of the app projects have received formal research funding from organisations including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Nesta and The Royal Society, and the formal process of bid writing, project design and management will also be discussed.
Rob is regularly publishing work in books and journals and presenting at international conferences and industry events. he is a supervisor to a number of PhD students and is regularly examining UK research students and music technology courses. He is on the committee of the British Audio Engineering Society Section and a co-chair of the Innovation In Music Conference, whilst also working closely with the UK Music Producer's Guild this vast wealth of experience, will lead to an insightful evening, delving into music technology and his present research projects.


Using historical techniques to access new audiences for contemporary classical choral music

With: Professor Francis Pott
From: The University of West London
When: Wednesday 15 March at 3pm

The event was aimed at opening up a discussion about the accessibility of contemporary classical music and is part of a larger UWL initiative focused on 21st Century Music Practices. This is a research network set up by Simon Zagorski-Thomas involving many TCCE partners (over 70 academics from more than 20 HEIs).

Francis Pott is Professor of Composition at London College of Music (LCM), within UWL. Here, he interrogates the ways in which familiar and well established composition techniques – and counterpoint in particular – can be used in contemporary composition, and aims to use them to provide a ‘way in’ for non-specialist audiences.

Minimalism, by creating a new compositional language out of the repetition of popular music and Buddhist chanting, it has been hailed as an accessible face of contemporary classical music. At the same time, within the world of contemporary choral music, there has been a popular wave of pieces that retain a more traditional tonal approach to harmony, from composers such as Eric Whitacre and Paul Mealor.

Francis has taken a different path, using counterpoint to create a series of contemporary pieces that have been widely adopted by small as well as larger choirs. A short choral carol setting from 2009 has now gone to six commercial recordings, with the most recent (2016, by the groundbreaking UK ensemble, Voces8 ) attracting 145,000 ‘hits’ on Facebook when the group posted a video of their performance from London’s Gresham Centre.

Francis played some recorded examples of his own and other works as part of a wider discussion about the ways in which counterpoint retains its validity and fruitfulness within modern practice, while emphasising a line of continuity from much earlier models. He hoped to blur rather than clarify the ways in which we perceive one thing as ‘old’ and another as ‘new’.

The talk by Francis was followed by an ‘armchair’ interview in which he was questioned by Gareth Wilson, currently Lecturer and Director of Chapel Music at Girton College, Cambridge, and a successful composer in his own right.