Music research at UNSW School of the Arts & Media investigates music analytically, culturally, philosophically, psychologically, pedagogically and through practice-based research. We boast international leaders in the performing arts, and equally outstanding researchers in Australian studies, performance studies, empirical musicology and ethnomusicology. 

Our research covers areas as diverse as modern Australian composers, expressivity in baroque performance; experimental improvisation; music in migrant communities; music studio teaching; and traditional music in rural India. 

Creative practice research

Among our creative performing arts researchers are leaders in jazz and improvised music who have recorded hundreds of albums and who perform regularly at national and international festivals. We also boast performers and curators of classical and contemporary classical music as well as large-scale multimedia and interdisciplinary art music projects at major Australian and international festivals. Our academics also include internationally recognised composers in the fields of electroacoustic music, jazz and film music. 

Students and staff use our studio facilities for recording and mixing new music performances, film soundtracks and spatial audio for virtual reality. Our creative projects and research frequently draw on the excellent production team, facilities and curatorial support of the UNSW Creative Practice Lab. 

The school’s Empirical Musicology Laboratory includes academics who are leaders in applying interdisciplinary methods, drawing from experimental and cognitive psychology, information retrieval engineering, statistics, and qualitative methods to understand the phenomenon of music and human interactions with it.