In Scotland today, there is a wealth of research exploring rhythm in speech, poetry and music. Rhythms in Scotland was a programme of events in Edinburgh and Glasgow held to celebrate and share that research, making connections between people, disciplines, ideas and techniques.



Rhythms in Scotland was a collaborative project involving the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde and Edinburgh, together with University College Dublin. ECA’s award holder was Dr Katie Overy, Director of the flagship research centre, the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development (IMHSD).

Participants in the workshops included both academic and non-academic stakeholders, including contributors from the Edinburgh Youth Music Forum, Art Beat, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and ABC Creative Music. Over the series of events, music psychologists, music neuroscientists and musicologists shared knowledge, not only with community musicians, performers and music therapists, but also with linguists, cognitive scientists, speech therapists, teachers and sports scientists.

""The short presentations allowed for a very varied and interesting array of theory and practice to be shared and explored.""

Jess Abrams, Youth Music Forum

Benefits and outcomes

Rhythms in Scotland was an outstanding example of interdisciplinary communication, which can often be difficult to achieve. As part of the project, practitioners were given the opportunity to inform new research, while researchers were given the opportunity to inform new practice. Events included a one-day symposium, Approaches to Rhythm and Timing in Scotland Today (ARTiST), which included brief presentations, focus group discussions, an overview of potential funding opportunities in Scotland and the formation of the ARTiST network. This has established an infrastructure for future knowledge exchange and the transferring of research into practice beyond the life of the project.

Rhythms in Scotland culminated in a three-day international workshop, Perspectives on Rhythm and Timing, which was held in Glasgow in July 2012. Over 100 delegates attended and the event was shared with audiences via a live Twitter feed. The project partners have collaborated to co-edit a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. This is due for publication by the Royal Society in 2014.

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