On this page you will see several of our PhD projects and get to know our PhD candidates.
Management of music rights relies on the interaction of three major parts: The CMO, the music user, and the music creator. All three parts need to work together and share a common understanding of music rights in order for it to be beneficial. Change in technology, players, and legislation will affect and possibly disrupt how music rights are managed, and how copyright is dealt with. I will assess this change by looking at the Norwegian music industry as an example.
The main objective of this project is to assess collective management of music rights in a constantly changing and evolving music industry. With a focus on the Norwegian music industry, I will delve into current and future challenges related to rights management and the operation of CMOs, one being the implementation on VAT payments on royalties. Another important part of my project will be to look at rights management from the perspective of music creators (songwriters, composers and artists) as well as music users. CMOs exist by and for these people and it is important to look at all sides when assessing rights management in the current day and age.
Through this project I hope to find out how well music rights management works in a modern music industry. I hope to uncover how current challenges will affect the field, and whether there are major inconsistencies between the perspectives of CMOs and their potential users, which could ultimately disrupt effective and fair rights management. andreasme_profil
A lot of the popular music we listen to today is not recorded in a vast expensive studio but made on a laptop, or even the iPhone. Starting in the 90´s and spreading like wildfire along with technological development post 2000´s, a new digital environment for music-making driven by Digital Audio Workstations (DAW´s) has had vast implications for the social and technological process of music-making. Instead of writing the songs with a band and travelling to a recording facility to record them, spending a fixed amount of time and a relatively high amount of money, one can spend a seemingly unlimited amount of time in solitude at the cost of a laptop. Instead of multiple specialized roles, where the creativity is
distributed between music productions roles such as studio engineers, producers, mixers, artists, and songwriters, there is a reality where one can seek to master all of these roles either yourself or in smaller groups in symbiosis with a computer and affordable music technology. This change of distribution, socially and technically, naturally alters the creative process of music-making and therefore a large part of the music that is being produced and consumed today. Although the smash hits are as before often results of large teams of songwriters and producers, music makers today may very well fall for the temptation of trying to do everything themselves as the technology allows it and the society, with its increasing individualism, casting a veil of eluding perfectionism only achievable for a selected few, promotes and nurtures it.
My PhD is centred around the challenge of mastering the technological and social complexity afforded by the DAW environment. This challenge is investigated through the perspective of higher popular electronic music education as well as artistic processes situated within popular electronic music. My working PhD title is: Keep It Simple – The pitfalls of choice in the modern DAW-driven music production environment.
Examples of my work:
Alongside my scholarly endeavour, I am an accomplished songwriter/topliner/vocalist/artist/producer with several international releases under the artist alias “AWR”. Here is an example.
PhD. Candidate through public cooperation with Ansgar University College.
My doctoral research explores qualitative assessment practice of the popular vocal performance examination in higher popular music education (HPME).
Assessment, in general, is a powerful tool for learning and learning processes, and in higher music education, assessment literacy should be actively developed by the students. Assessment of learning, for learning, and as learning is overarching concepts used in education. This qualitative study investigates challenges for students, teachers, and assessors by three HPME institutions in Norway, focusing particularly on the assessment of the live popular vocal performance examination. Concerns are
I am an Authorized Complete Vocal Teacher and teach popular vocal courses, music history, music education, and music entrepreneurship courses for undergraduate music students at Ansgar University College.
Eirik Sørbø is a PhD research fellow, researching and developing pedagogy for popular electronic music students. The steady development of new technologies leaves popular electronic music education in constant need of renewal, both in terms of structure, methods, and content. Sørbø connects overarching educational questions like why and who we educate, with hands-on methods and practices. Other areas of interest are how our creative practices are mediated by technology, how popular electronic music students conceive collaboration, what music theory is to a popular electronic music student, and methods to teach this music theory and fundamentals to popular electronic music students. This will be an article-based PhD consisting of four articles, two of which have been published in the following anthology (chapter 8 and 10):
Sørbø is also a freelance musician and producer, working within multiple popular music styles.
My dissertation “Det Frie Ledetoneprinsipp – en utvidet funksjonalisme og en restrukturering av dissonans I jazzimprovisasjon” is an exploration of an improvisational method based on functional harmony in a process towards shaping extended functionalism. Here I employ Braxton’s (1974) and Jost’s (1975) assumptions that the new set of rules for improvisation associated with the 60’s Free Jazz movement consolidated as a collective transformation of musical findings.
My research material is my own sound recordings recorded during the research period and I employ the understanding of jazz both as ‘sound’ (Schuller, Kernfeld, Gushee, etc.) and ‘culture’ (Berliner, Monson, Lewis, etc.) in my understanding of the improvisational process. Based on analysis of my research material I aim to constitute a phenomenological understanding of jazz improvisation and an analytical model for improvising within what I call “Det Frie Ledetoneprinsipp”. Keywords in the process towards my extended view on functional harmony are harmony as color, motivic chain associations, and elastic time perceptions.
When the body doesn’t play along
Can musicians achieve and maintain peak performance by learning relevant anatomy and movement theory?
You can observe many similarities between a professional musician and a professional athlete. Both have sacrificed countless hours to develop skills that involve complex physical movements. They push their abilities to the next level, acquiring extreme motor skills with precision and high speed. This takes continuous practise that demands discipline and motivation. Like elite athletes, professional musicians must maintain their skills at peak form, endure many hours of solitary, repetitive practice, constantly self-evaluate their performance, and subject their public performance to close scrutiny (Kenny, 2011, p. 51). Musical performance, at its best, is indicative of the upper limits of human physical and mental achievement (Williamon, 2004).
But most of the similarities stop there. While athletes focus on how to use their body and mind in the most efficient way, obtaining strict diets, sleep, and recovery time, most musicians’ practice without ever knowing what muscles are being activated to create the movement they use to produce sound, increase rapidity and obtaining general surplus in their performance. While athletes and their support system learn about muscle function, muscle fatigue, musculoskeletal disorders, and prevention advice, musicians most often are left to struggle with this by themselves (Bergeron et al., 2015; Stanhope, 2015), resulting in the fact that physical and mental health problems among musicians are frequent and above the general population, especially among female performers.
This autoethnographic, interdisciplinary study looks at a new approach to music performance called Timani to investigate how knowledge of relevant anatomy and movement theory can affect performance and the musician's mental and physical health. This study will also look at the bodily difference between the sexes in the hopes to shed new light on why there are so few female instrumentalists in popular music and why female musicians struggle more with their health than their male colleagues. The aim is to achieve new knowledge about sustainable, healthy, and including music performance that can benefit musicians that want to achieve and maintain peak performance.
Researcher portrait: https://video.uia.no/media/t/0_xnfa7e6j
I am also a member of Rendevouez Point which you can check out on Spotify.
PhD candidate (employed at the University of Stavanger)
The Performance Practice of Early Twentieth Century Melodies: Researching and Performing Satie's Three Last Song Cycles (working title).
This study will investigate the vocal performance practice of three of the French modernist composers forming the group Les Nouveaux Jeunes: Satie, Milhaud and Honegger. It will start with a comparative study of Satie’s last song cycles (Trois Mélodies, Quatre Petites Mélodies and Ludions). The findings will be then applied to the design of performance including melodies by all three composers in which new ways to present a non “public-friendly” repertoire will be explored. To achieve that while staying true to the original spirit of the compositions, the findings previously mentioned, the analysis of the contemporary socio-cultural context and current research on audience response will be combined.
Ingvild Koksvik is a singer, songwriter, and recording artist. Her career includes several albums with original music, commissioned works for festivals, and substantial touring as a live artist in Norway and Europe. She holds a master’s degree in musicology from the University of Oslo, where she also spent two years as a research assistant at the FRIHUM-project Music, Motion, and Emotion: Theoretical and Psychological Implications of Musical Embodiment.
Koksvik’s doctoral project deals with space as an aesthetic element in recorded popular music. The aim of the project is to investigate in which ways auditive space might be used as aesthetic and narrative elements in popular music recordings, and what notions of space signifies for recording artists.
During the recent decades, the analysis of space in recorded popular music has been of growing interest within the field of musicology. Several interpretative strategies and methods to analyze and understand recordings as a kind of space have been developed. The majority of the existing research deals with finalized recordings analyzed from an “outsider” listener’s perspective. This project aims to explore space as an aesthetic element in popular music recordings from a performative and creative perspective: The aim is to investigate the process of audio staging from the “insider’s” point of view, or more specifically, the recording singer-songwriter’s perspective.
The project is based on artistic research and popular musicology. It makes use of different methodologies, including empirical research in the recording studio, autoethnography, auditive music analysis, and qualitative interviews with recording artists and record producers.
Mijatovic is a PhD research fellow at UiA, focusing on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the music industry and AI in public relations.
A former head of publicity at Indie Recordings, a leading Scandinavian independent record label for rock and metal, Mijatovic worked with Norwegian Grammy-winning artists such as Aura Noir and Obliteration. She also served as a hire-in publicist for internationally established, US-Grammy-nominated and stadium-filling acts such as Avenged Sevenfold.
Jelena secures media coverage for the recording artists she represents. With a perfectionist eye for details and an outstanding work ethic, Mijatovic operates with an out-of-the-box, forward-thinking and a problem-solving mindset in all of her work.
The media outlets she has worked with include BBC, Noisey, Loudersound, NME, Dagbladet, and Aftenposten, to name a few. Mijatovic’s PR services involve daily and niche press across continents, including Scandinavia, the rest of Europe, the UK, and the US.
Mijatovic is also a member of the Center for Digital Transformation at UiA and a founder of Promolix, a start-up company for data-driven PR to be launched shortly.
Singer, Songwriter, Vocal Coach, and Ph.D. Candidate.
It is hard to have a music business or PMS without the song. When we hear a song – we hear someone singing - and as humans, we immediately try to identify the person producing the sound with the sound so although lyrics may appear to have an autonomous semantic meaning they share the same conditions as a spoken language because they are performed by a voice that according to Moore is “at the center of the song” (Moore, 2016, p. 91) which Simon Frith suggests implies “the mark of a person”, made meaningful by their rhetorical and vocal context. (Frith, 1993, p. 32)
My experience as a session singer, performing artist, producer, and songwriter is my point of entry into the research on lyric meaning that in short will explore the interpretive space between the perceived content of a performed song and the associative meaning created at the intrapersonal level as well as the relationship between our search for meaning and presence of meaning, form, sound, and representation.
The “Three Position Model” will be proposed as a structured approach to close readings of lyrics that acknowledge the significant role of the vocal performance in the construction of lyric meaning. Descriptive terms and metaphors describing voice will be discussed and new terms will be suggested that have universal applicability.
The main focus of my PhD project is to explore the “verbal space” in a performed song (Griffiths, 2003, p. 43) and how content, form, and prosodic features of lyrics together with the “grain of the voice”, (Barthes, 2009) (Malawey, 2020, p. 15) voice quality, (J. Kreiman, 2011, pp. 6-7) timbre (Eidsheim, 2019, p. 34) style and emotional expression (P. Laukka, Juslin, P.N., Bresin, R, 2005; P. N. J. P. Laukka, 2004) adds meaning to the overall understanding of lyrics.
You can read more here: discography.
Processing real life. Music technology as a resource in mental health
A very short introduction
The aim of this study is to explore how mobile music technology can be a resource for adolescent mental health. I use an interdisciplinary approach, where perspectives from popular musicology, music technology, and music therapy illustrate and question the role of music technology in therapeutic and health settings. By studying four adolescents interacting with an iPad, making music, I try to understand the human-technology interaction, and how this can benefit and promote mental health and wellbeing.
The main research question is: How can adolescents use portable music technology as a creative resource to make music, and what consequences do these creative processes have for their experience of mental health and wellbeing? I explore the potential of tablet music technology and adolescent’s experiences of participating in a music workshop in three papers, posing the following sub-questions:
Liucija Fosseli has a First Class Bachelor of Science in Events Management with Arts and Entertainment from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK and a Master of Arts from the University of Agder in Norway. After the master studies Liucija has been working with different projects and festivals in Kristiansand. Among others she worked as Guest Coordinator and Events Manager for the Kristiansands´ International Children’s Film Festival, as a Production Manager for Sørveiv Music and Conference as well as Co-founder and Manager of the International Songwriting Camp Hooklab. During the later, the interest in the Asian music market grew and she started as a PhD student in 2020 researching on the business of international songwriters working towards China´s market.
According to the IFPI, music business in China is rapidly developing and within the last couple of years went from 12th to 6th place in the IFPI global recording marked rankings. This development has not been unnoticed and the need of more research in this area has been mentioned by several scholars within the field of Popular Music. In my research, I put songwriters at the center of the music industry and look into business interaction between European and Chinese songwriters/companies with the interest in business models, industry structures and future developments and opportunities for European songwriters in China.
After his studies of popular music and electronic media, Matthias has worked in audiovisual projects, audio labs as well as educational and cultural programs. Being thrilled by combining these areas of work, he went to Australia, where he was part of the German Film Festival team in Melbourne. After that, he worked for Soundtaxi, a production music library as well as IOSONO, where he was concerned with the workflow and DSP of a reverberator for 3D audio. During that time, he was regularly involved in international training programs of the Goethe-Institut and foreign ministry of Germany and engaged in consulting pop music related processes.
Before coming to Kristiansand, Matthias worked for Berlin's music academy designing training programs for young artists and engineers in cooperation with a set of universities in Germany. Most recently he was heading the curation team of Most Wanted: Music conference and Hybrid Music Lab - both centred around the topic of music technology.
With a background in music production, performance, and teaching, Vegard researches online music-making communities and unconventional usage of technology for producing songs. His work explores the potential imports from these to the fields of electronic music education, record production, and creativity. The ongoing research project considers the constraints and affordances of chipmusic media, instruments that bridge the gap between music production and hacking culture in the act of music-making. Looking at the community’s learning practices and creative processes, the study aims to shed light on their potential value to musicians and educators.
Under his artist moniker “Kubbi”, Vegard has created and performed chipmusic since the mid-2000’s and wrote his MA “The Discourse and Culture of Chip Music: Studying the Methods and Values of the Chipscene” in 2018. As a sort of continuation of this, the PhD project puts chipmusic under the lens of education research, drawing upon data from a set of qualitative methods and a foundation of autoethnographic reflections and literature review. The resulting monograph will look to provide new perspectives on how we learn producing inside and outside our technologies as well as how our creativity and learning are informed or staggered by limitations.
My research project is set to outline the culture of music streaming which will produce a typology that deciphers the semiotic relationship and culture found within streaming services such as Spotify.
For more than a decade, the music industry has been focusing on discourses that relate to the dysfunctionality of music copyright law in streaming governance. Most of the discussions involved burning issues like low royalty payout, superstar-oriented business model, and accumulation of ‘black box’ monies. Though there are many significant theses that have successfully addressed these disputes, little of them have provided insights into the culture of music streaming. It seems like the understanding of streaming culture is always taken for granted – the culture of music streaming is inherently unchanged from its predecessor albeit the consumption method has evolved drastically. To challenge this tacit assumption, I will employ a series of qualitative research methods which include interviews, literature reviews, transcription analysis, close reading on Spotify playlists, organizational cultural analysis on Spotify, and netnography. Besides that, I will anchor my research on works produced by Keith Negus, David Hesmondhalgh, and Jason Tonybee as well as cultural hegemony presented by Antionio Gramsci.
In the past several years, immersive and interactive media such as virtual reality (VR), 360 videos, Dolby Atmos, and other 3D music and media technologies have become more frequently used in the production and dissemination of popular music.
For example, in 2019, pop icon Björk released Vulnicura VR, a set of 3D audiovisual music videos for her 2016 album Vulnicura, on the popular PC video game shop Steam. In the same year, both Amazon Prime Music HD and Tidal HiFi began offering music in the 3D sound format Dolby Atmos, while agreements between Dolby and major labels such as Universal have resulted in thousands of popular tracks from a variety of musical genres being remixed for the format. All the while, 360 videos launched on both Facebook and YouTube in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and many popular artists including MUSE, The Weeknd, Taryn Southern, Squarepusher, and others have used 360 videos and social media to propel their image on the front edge of media technology.
As these kinds of media become more popular and accessible to consumers, they force us to reexamine the ways we understand the production and reception of popular music. How are aesthetic features of pop compositions altered or maintained in these productions? And how do these different spatial mediums affect the compositional design, subject positioning, artists’ performativity, and staging? What is the relationship between the performer and viewer of an immersive popular music video? And how can these media shape our understanding of interpretations of immersion and interactivity in general?
With a background as a drummer, music producer, recording engineer, and composer, Zachary’s research attempts to address these questions through a primarily hermeneutic frame, modelling the relationship between the structural and interpretive aspects of audiovisual musical material with an interdisciplinary approach to music and media analysis. The working title of the thesis is Immersed in Pop! Musicological Inquiries into Immersion and Interactivity, and is scheduled to be submitted in summer 2021.
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Read more about our PhD programme in fine arts here.