AHRC Doctoral Studentship in Music and Social Media

AHRC Doctoral Studentship in Music and Social Media

We invite applications for a Doctoral Studentship, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, in Computational Musicology, located at Goldsmiths, University of London, under the supervision of Dr Christophe Rhodes. The deadline for applications to be received is Friday 22nd November 2013; interviews will take place in the week beginning 2nd December 2013.

The Studentship

The specific aims of the studentship are: to research and develop ways of understanding the creation, distribution and consumption of music on the modern Internet, in particular the current and potential use of Social Media by practitioners and scholars; and to develop tools which can assist musicians and academics in their understanding of the interaction between music and social networks.

The studentship will be located in a very rich research environment, first within the Transforming Musicology project, but also within the highly interdisciplinary Department of Computing at Goldsmiths, and the successful candidate will be encouraged to interact with other researchers in both of these contexts.

The studentship will require strong computational and technical skills and substantial sensitivity to music and musicology alongside patterns of social behaviour; as such, we would expect applicants to be trained in at least one of computer science (or a related technical discipline), sociology or music, and to be able to demonstrate their understanding of the other disciplines. Applicants formally qualified in more than one of these areas will be particularly welcome. The successful applicant may be required to undertake relevant undergraduate and postgraduate interdisciplinary courses as part of the programme of study.

This three-year studentship, funded by the AHRC as part of the “Transforming Musicology” project, is for fees plus a tax-free stipend starting at £15,726 per annum. Further details of the AHRC scheme including terms and conditions can be found here: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/Funding-Opportunities/Postgraduate-funding/Pages/Current-award-holders.aspx.

Applicants must satisfy UK residence requirements as defined here: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/Funding-Opportunities/Documents/Guide%20to%20Student%20Eligibility.pdf

Candidates must have a first class or 2.i undergraduate degree or equivalent, either with a significant component of music or sociology, in which case evidence of well-developed practical expertise in computing, including programming, will be required; or in computer science or a related technical subject, in which case evidence of music practice or understanding of sociology will be required. Candidates with relevant postgraduate qualifications will be particularly welcome. Other relevant qualifications and/or areas of expertise include (but are not limited to): human-computer interaction, data science, signal processing, software engineering, information retrieval, visualisation.

The Transforming Musicology Project

The studentship is part of the “Transforming Musicology” project, centred at Goldsmiths, University of London, and including as research partners Queen Mary University of London, the University of Oxford and Lancaster University. This project, led by Professor Tim Crawford in the Computing Department of Goldsmiths, University of London, brings together 15 researchers to effect a Digital Transformation of the discipline of musicology.

The world of music has been already transformed by the digital revolution. The same technology that has given unprecedented access to music for a vast and ever-growing international audience can open musicology up to the world - anyone and everyone can contribute by a variety of means enabled by that technology. Transforming Musicology will show how the computational tools of music information retrieval (MIR) can be enhanced and adapted to the needs of musicologists, and how state-of-the-art developments in the Semantic Web can be exploited both to make their work more relevant and more sustainable, so that their methods can be easily re-used on new data.

This project will stimulate creativity through multidisciplinary collaborative working. In the past, musicologists have tended to be lone scholars; regular collaboration in a multidisciplinary research environment will in future be essential for them to find what is “interesting” in potentially huge collections of music. We shall be using MIR tools in three main strands of research. Two of these are typical subjects for musicology and will be conducted by world-leading experts: 16th-century music and Wagnerian leitmotives. These will use state-of-the-art score- and audio-analysis techniques to extend the range of musicological investigation beyond the normal limitation to printed scores. We'll also be doing psychological work at Goldsmiths to study why leitmotives are so recognisable (or not). Our third main research strand is entirely novel, being nothing less than a prototype for a new “musicology of social media”. Music is now created, recorded, distributed, re-used and shared entirely online throughout the world and we will explore a whole new way of studying it and the online spread of musical ideas.

Musicology should not be an ivory-tower discipline; most people are interested in where music comes from, how it is conceived and made, how it affects us and society. Music goes on in people's minds, and the study of music is essentially about interactions between people. Because of this, music raises a complex mixture of philosophical, psychological and intellectual challenges; so it is a particularly fruitful domain for working through technical challenges which will be more widely applicable to the Digital Humanities and beyond.


Informal enquiries can be made by email to Dr Christophe Rhodes (c.rhodes@gold.ac.uk). Please note that Dr Rhodes is unable to advise, prior to interview, whether an applicant is likely to be selected. To apply please follow the on-line process.

Please note that for this studentship, instead of the 'Research Proposal' we request a 'Statement of Research Interests'. Your Statement of Research Interest should answer two questions: (i) Why are you interested in this research topic? (ii) What is your experience in the areas of computing, music and social media? Your statement should be brief: no more than 500 words or one side of A4 paper. In addition we would also like you to send a sample of your written work, such as your final year dissertation. More details of the application process can be found at http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/mphil-phd-computer-science. The deadline for applications to be received is Friday 22nd November 2013; interviews will take place in the week beginning 2nd December 2013.