Music Matters. Materiality, Knowings and Practices in Performing Arts

The Structured Doctoral Programme Music Matters starts on October 1st 2020 and aims to develop a “contemporary diagnosis of musical matters” and their social implications with special focus on materiality, knowings or practices in performing arts. In order to outline and contextualize this inherently interdisciplinary field of research theoretically, empirically and/or historically, we refer to the concept of Late Modernity.

The Structured Doctoral Programme offers research-oriented, curricularly anchored and coordinated supervision of the dissertation, interdisciplinary exchange, e.g. within workshops, symposia, writing retreats and access to international networks. The following disciplines and perspectives will contribute to the discourse (in alphabetical order):



The structured doctoral programme “Music matters” is designed as a 4 year programme with specific courses complementing the work on the PhD thesis, as described in the illustration below.

This is a possible scenario and does not (yet) reflect the actual curriculum, the courses of the programme might vary. Recurring modules are the colloquia and the TACs (Thesis Advisory Committee meeting).

In the first year, doctoral candidates and supervision team(s) become familiar with each other. One focus is on the existing exposés submitted as part of the application process. They will be reworked and further developed. The additional courses form a common ground for the entire programme. Theoretical and methodological work with a focus on materiality, knowings and practices will serve as a basis for the candidates to map their own projects within their disciplinary field(s), but also to establish a shared vocabulary and a common language to discuss topics with the other candidates. At the end of the first year, the candidates should have a matching supervision team, a refined and elaborated idea of their topic including the relevant literature and the state of art, as well as a sound knowledge about theoretical and methodological positions related to the programme.

The second year is dedicated to the individual research of the candidates. However, they will be in a constant exchange with their supervision team and their colleagues. This is guaranteed by the TAC and the colloquia. In addition, the candidates will organize an international lecture series with internal and external guests on a topic arising from the programme. The team will plan the programme, advertise the series and invite the lecturers. This is an opportunity to acquire organizational soft skills and to exchange ideas with researchers in the field. Mobility, international exchange and networking will continue to be crucial aspects in the following years of the PhD. Candidates will be encouraged to attend conferences related to their topics, present their work outside the programme and meet specialists for additional input.

The third year will focus on writing and finalizing the PhD thesis. Therefore, the milestones are the completion, submission and defense of the PhD thesis. In order to support this important phase and ensure an intensive exchange with the supervision team, we will offer a writing retreat. In additon to the mobility and networking aspects, professional experience such as teaching may be gained during the third year. Ideally, graduation takes place at the end of the third year.

Depending on the individual timetable, the fourth year can also offer the possibility to shape future perspectives, such as writing an application for third-party funding or applying for post-doctoral positions and fellowships.