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university of tampere: faculty of communication sciences: research:
Faculty of Communication SciencesUniversity of Tampere The School of Communication, Media and Theatre
Music Studies

Music Studies



Research in Music Studies at the School of Communication, Media and Theatre focuses on the study of sound and music in different aural, visual, textual and corporeal realms. Research at the unit provides an auditory approach to cultural and media studies. This is grounded on the premise that sound can be studied as a crucial element in the understanding of social worlds.

By integrating the perspectives of ethnomusicology and sound, dance, cultural and media studies the research provides perspectives on performances, live and recorded sound, auditory practices, sonic environments, and the relationship between music and technology and between music and well-being. The multifaceted and critical study of sound and music is closely intertwined with multidisciplinary research of the School of Communication, Media and Theatre.

The main areas of research are:


Ethnographic research

Music Studies in Tampere has a strong history in utilizing and developing qualitative and data-sensitive methods especially in the field of ethnography. This research includes both the more traditional ethnographic fieldwork focusing on ethnic or areal cultures around the world, and the study of everyday music cultures in urban contexts. The foci of ethnographically oriented research include, for example, issues of (ethnic) identity, oral transmission of culture, digitalization and music, transnationalism, performativity, and textualisation of the auditory performance – both as sensory-specific and multimodal phenomenon.

Auditory culture

Another historically relevant strand of research at the Music Studies in Tampere University is soundscape research and the ethnographic study of sonic environments and acoustic communication. This strand of research listens to the ways people make sense of their sensory surroundings, how they use sound in their everyday lives, and how sounding out connects with themes of power, space, technology and memory. 

Music production and consumption in change 

Digital technology and audiovisual media have changed both the structures of the music industry and the forms of consumption. The research in Music Studies has focused especially on the study of the new role of small-scale record producers and the convergence of professional and amateur production.

Multimodality, performance and social action

This research orientation focuses on the study of performance and reception of music as multimodal experience: how perception of sound and music is integrated with different cultural resources: music, expression, context, cultural information, anthropological data, listener judgments, text, image and movement.

Cultural performance — be it music, speech, visuality or movement — is intrinsically of multimodal nature. Therefore it is crucial to examine the ways this kind of complex performance utilizes various sensory areas and produces fresh ideas for understanding the emergent social reality.


Professor of Music Studies: Tarja Rautainen-Keskustalo

University lecturer of Music Studies: Jarkko Niemi

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Last update: 27.10.2015 12.17 Muokkaa

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