Our research

The Reid School of Music offers an exciting research environment that combines the theory, history, composition and practice of music with the scientific study of sound. We engage with a broad range of genres and traditions, including classical and popular music, Western and non-Western music, professional and amateur music making and music for screen. Our research is highly interdisciplinary, with centres and groups spanning other Colleges and Departments within the University of Edinburgh, from Physics and Neuroscience to Informatics, the Humanities, Divinity and the Social Sciences. It is clustered around four main themes: Music, Sound and Technology; Musical Practice; Music and the Human Sciences; Music and Social Institutions.

Our approach to research

We believe that making music is central to what it means to be human and embrace public engagement as an integral part of the research process. This is demonstrated by our award-winning Music in the Community projects and public concert seasons that frequently involve cutting-edge research, techniques and technologies. As well as engaging with the local community, we have developed collaborative relationships with stakeholders in the music industry, for example, through our Live Music Exchange and project with The Queen's Hall. We also work with medical research and the health professions, with expertise in looking at the use of music to assist those with a range of needs, including stroke survivors and people with dyslexia, autism, cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

The significance of our research

We are a key partner in two EU-funded networks, EBRAMUS and Music Moves, and collaborate with a range of international institutions, such as the École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (France), the Aalto University of Technology (Finland) and the Stockhausen Stiftung für Musik (Germany). We have close links with local institutions, most notably the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and National Museums Scotland. Our staff and students have won or been nominated for several high-calibre awards, including the 2013 South Bank Show Sky Arts Award and the Prix Ars Electronica 2013. Our combination of practice-led and acoustic research has resulted in the development of new compositions, sound synthesis and musical instrument technologies.