The Popular Music Research Unit currently has four research groups. There are also several PhD projects connected to the unit.
About the Popular Music Research Unit
The purpose for the Popular Music Research Unit (abbreviated PMRU) is to bring together expertise within popular musicology, musicianship, composer activity, studio work, innovative research on music technology, etc. and critical debate with the aim of focusing and expanding Department of Popular Music at UiA growing expertise and international reputation for basic research, artistic activity and innovative research on popular music.
Since PMRU has an international scope we use the term popular music. Our use of this term includes styles and genres such as folk music, blues, jazz, country & western, African-American popular music, pop music, rock, Latin-American music and Afro-Cuban styles, rhythm & blues, gospel, funk, soul, disco, rap, hip-hop, rockabilly, heavy metal, grunge, punk, house, electronica, techno, dub step, samba, bossa-nova, reggae, son montuno and rumba.
Our aim is to be profiled on the international research front, within performance-based research, popular musicology and popular music studies. For this reason the PMRU pays close attention to current issues of importance to musicians, music industries, voluntary and governmental organizations in this field and the public. The unit will host various research teams, consisting of experts in popular music research, musicianship, studio production and music technology, music industry, management, etc. Thus, an important goal is to build up interdisciplinary teams within the field of popular music to conduct research on complex issues, both scientific as artistic.
Within the University of Agder, the PMRU seeks to establish an environment of unity to create and stimulate academic staff, PhD candidates and students. The unit is positioned in relation to bachelor's, master's and doctoral studies in popular music performance including Master's degree in Music Management, the bachelor study in electronic music and the planned master programme in world music.
The PMRU also aims to increase international recognition and visibility of the research activities of academic staff, doctoral candidates, master students and alumni in the area. In particular, the PMRU will form a basis for the development of major research applications for funding from the Norwegian Research Council, EU, etc. In this context, an important goal is to develop and participate in large international research projects in popular music research. Our ambition is also to develop an application for establishing a centre of excellence in popular music studies at the University of Agder.
Accordingly, the unit seeks to facilitate a range of traditional and more innovative ways to study popular music, focusing on musicianship, musical texts, music technology, culture, music industry from the inside, reception, creativity and production in both contemporary and historical context. The PMRU will showcase the research output of UiA-based researchers, practitioners and students, and will also engage in emphasizing the importance of popular music research in a variety of non-academic contexts (music-related industries, media, museums and archives, etc.).
NORDPULS – NordPuls is a network consisting of higher education institutions providing professional music training in the area of pop, jazz and related music genres. The purpose of the NordPuls network is to strengthen higher music education in the area of pop, jazz etc.