This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2015a) for the previous blog.
The significance of this research can be categorised into three areas: a blended philosophical approach additional to the current academic literature; the expansion of research methodologies usually applied in this area; and the development of a new music-making praxis, inclusive of the practitioner self.
The combination of my ontological perspective, epistemological approach and multi-methods research study, will add a unique perspective to the literature on music and sound, cultural sociology, phenomenology, arts’ literacy, self and narrative. This empirical research study will be conducted through my experiential phenomenological lens (Grace and Ajjawi 2010, 198), using qualitative methodologies of: practice-led research, reflective practice, critical thinking, reflexive practice, ethnography and evocative auto-ethnography over the two projects. No current studies seek to blend these three into the one paradigm.
As mentioned, Bennett (2000) and Frith (1996) discuss music and sound, cultural sociology, and narrative for example, but from a different ontological perspective, disregarding arts’ literacy and self. Others sharing my ontological perspective such as Griffiths (2010) and Ryan (2014) tend to discuss areas of my intended phenomenology – arts’ literacy, self and narrative – but disregard music and sound, as well as the specificities of cultural sociology. Others such as Bartleet (2009) and Davidson (2015) both cover practice-based research regarding their music-making, but offer more of an insight into the auto-ethnographic research aspect of the study, rather than a specific focus on their music-making (Dogantan-Dack 2015).
There is no literature that I have found which takes a comprehensive look at music-making practice across multiple stages of practice, from an experiential phenomenological lens, as a practice-led auto-ethnographic research study. It is this differentiation that will provide my intended research study significance in its perspective.
This multi-tiered examination will represent a significant departure from current discussion of music-making practice, developing praxis of contemporary music-making practice. As outlined in the previous section, functional music production texts generally propose very narrow views of practice. My research will serve other industry practitioners by investigating the relationships of these elements of practice. I will also expand this discussion by considering music making practitioners’ motives, offering a further unique insight to the most frequently discussed motive – technical practice. Other motive orientations such as aesthetics or creativity – with the exception of Moylan (2007) – are seldom discussed. Most significantly, I will be including an examination of the self in context, to provide a greater understanding of, and develop a broader view of music praxis. . This study will innovate through refocusing success in terms of bringing the social self into the industry literature and bringing the industry into the identity literature. I had considered the completion of interviews at the beginning of Doctoral Research Study Project 2 to provide a source of empirical data about contemporary music practitioners, in terms of their view of self, their motivations and the relationship of their choices of technology, music style, workflow and creative location. The data collected throughout the two projects will illuminate a more holistic and inclusive approach to practitioner-based research, and stimulate discussion amongst fellow researchers, field and discipline practitioners and creative industry educators.
As an examination of music-making practice and self, the research methodologies not only focus on evocative auto-ethnography but also draw on critical reflection and reflexive practice principles. As Rescher notes:
“not only is knowledge indispensably useful for our practice but the reverse is the case as well. Knowledge development is itself a practice and various practical processes and perspectives are correspondingly useful—or even necessary—to the way in which we go about constituting and validating our knowledge” (2003, xvii).
It is one of my objectives to showcase the opportunities and challenges of such a qualitative study, particularly within a creative arts’ discipline. In this way my research study will contribute to transforming existing epistemologies of practice. I would expect to contribute in terms of the extensive empirical data that will be gathered throughout my research study, in terms of music-making practice as an expression of the self, allowing a greater understanding of the self, as the creative practitioner. I would also expect to contribute an increased understanding of contemporary music-making practice in the creation of EP’s. This will include a guide for aspiring practitioners in best practice.
Lastly, I would expect my research study to contribute in terms of higher order behaviours in a taxonomy of reflective practice. As a multi-method practice-led approach, I will draw on and apply multiple approaches of reflective practice across the four-year part-time research study, in both Project 1 and 2. There will be extensive empirical data gathered as a matter of process, with commentary and reflection regarding the opportunities and challenges of such approaches including that of: Archer (2007, 2010), Ryan (2014), Griffith (2010), Brookfield (1995), and Finlay (2008), within contemporary music-making practice. Of particular note will be data elicited regarding a creative practitioner performing the dual role of both practitioner and researcher, and the implications this has on the music-making practice workflow.
The findings in this research study will also provide utility across disciplines. In a world with a developing DIY intent, of developing practice across all disciplines, I trust my research study will broaden discussion in the field of social and cultural studies by providing both data and narrative for dual primary role-based (subject and researcher) formal research studies.
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2k (Page 2015b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
Archer, Margaret S. 2010. Conversations about reflexivity, Ontological Explorations. New York: Routledge.
Archer, Margaret S. 2007. Making our way through the world: human reflexivity and social mobility. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bartleet, Brydie-Leigh. 2009. “Behind the baton: Exploring autoethnographic writing in a musical context.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 38 (6): 713-733.
Bennett, Andy. 2000. Popular music and youth culture: music, identity and place. New York: Palgrave.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 1995. Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Davidson, Jane W. 2015. “Practice-based music research: lessons from a researcher’s personal history.” In Artistic Practice as research in music: theory, criticism, practice, edited by Mine Dogantan-Dack, 93-106. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Dogantan-Dack, Mine (Ed). 2015. Artistic Practice as research in music: theory, criticism, practice, edited by Graham Welch, Adam Ockelford and Ian Cross, SEMPRE Studies in The Psychology of Music. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Finlay, Linda. 2008. Reflecting on reflective practice. Practice-based Professional Learning Centre paper 52 29 (August 12th, 2015). www.open.ac.uk/pbpl.
Frith, Simon. 1996. “Music and identity.” Questions of cultural identity: 108-27.
Grace, S and R Ajjawi. 2010. Phenomenological research: Understanding human phenomena. Researcing practice: A discussion on qualitative methodologies. Rotterdam: Sense.
Griffiths, Morweena. 2010. Research and the self. In The Routledge companion to research in the arts, edited by M Biggs and H Karlsson, 167-185. London: Routledge.
Moylan, William. 2007. The art of recording: the creative resources of music production and audio. 2nd ed. Boston: Focal Press.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2k. Accessed 20th November, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2i Accessed 20th October, 2015
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
QUT image courtesy of: Queensland University of Technology Accessed 4th September 2015
Rescher, Nicholas. 2003. Epistemology: an introduction to the theory of knowledge, edited by George R Lucas Jr, SUNY series in Philosophy. New York: SUNY Press.
Ryan, Mary Elizabeth. 2014. Reflective practice in the arts. In Literacy in the Arts, edited by G Barton, 77-90. London: Springer.
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– updated ©David L Page 20/11/2015
– updated ©David L Page 10/06/2016
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