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The AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (CMPCP) embarked on a five-year research programme in October 2009. The focus of the Centre’s work was on live musical performance and creative music-making. It undertook five research projects with associated workshops, as well as a wide range of additional activities. It created an international Performance Studies Network to enable collaborative research between scholars and performers, in addition to awarding Visiting Fellowships and three doctoral studentships. The Centre produced numerous outputs, among them five books published by Oxford University Press in a series entitled Studies in Musical Performance as Creative Practice. CMPCP’s work as a whole was commended in an impact study conducted in 2015.

The large research team attached to CMPCP collectively addressed three key research questions:

  • How is musical performance creative, and what knowledge is creatively embodied in musical performance?
  • How does music in performance – and indeed the very act of performance – take shape?
  • How does understanding musical performance as a creative practice vary across different global contexts, idioms and performance conditions (such as solo and ensemble, in the rehearsal room, recording studio and concert hall)

CMPCP was the Phase 2 successor to the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM), also funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It was based at the University of Cambridge in partnership with King’s College London, the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway, University of London. One of the research projects was conducted in collaboration with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Royal College of Music.