CMPCP attempted to consolidate research activity and to generate new capacity and capability, counteracting the fragmentation that for many years constrained disciplinary change. It addressed research questions with which neither CHARM nor the discipline in general had engaged in a sustained manner, but which require attention if important issues to do with musical creativity are to be grasped:
- How is knowledge transformed into practice in musical performance, and vice versa?
- In what ways is such practice creative?
- How does understanding musical performance as a creative practice vary across disparate cultures, idioms (e.g. pop/classical) and performance conditions (e.g. solo versus ensemble, or in the practice room, recording studio or concert hall)?
- What roles do different participants – including composers, performers, teachers, listeners and producers – play in creating music through, and as, performance?
- How does understanding musical performance as a creative practice change our understanding of other aspects of music, and what are its implications for a traditional musicology structured around compositions?
The Centre’s principal aims were therefore:
- to undertake studies of live performance and rehearsal in a range of contexts and conditions
- to pursue research on performance from a global perspective
- to explore creative practice through collaboration with composers, teachers, performers and producers
- to establish a hub for national and international research in this area, one that embraces musical amateurs and professionals as well as the creative industries
- to generate knowledge, skills, and resources for research on musical performance which will last beyond 2014, when CMPCP’s AHRC funding ended
- to promote debate within and beyond musicology about the status of musical performance.