ART AND RIGOUR: CREATING METHODOLOGIES FOR ARTISTIC RESEARCH IN MUSIC
Keywords:artistic research, methodology, qualitative methods, artistic practice
This paper focuses on the construction of a methodology for artistic researchers, in particular practising musicians. Artistic research is a steadily growing field, gaining increasing relevance in academic discourse and flourishing in universities and music academies. Due to its relatively recent history there is still a lack of standardized widespread research methods, and the advice to be creative and borrow from other disciplines, though reasonable, can be confusing for young researchers. The adaptation process can be problematic, with the need to mediate between the rigour of academic research and the openness and creativity of the artistic side. How can methods from different disciplines be adapted to the needs of artistic research, without hindering creative practice? In this paper I will present, in meta-research terms, the personal adaptation of three qualitative methods: autobiographical design, borrowed from human computer interaction; thematic analysis, borrowed from psychology; and autoethnography, borrowed from social sciences. These were used to design an accountable research process to investigate differences and similarities in the musical affordances of the 13-keyed period clarinet and the modern clarinet. The three methods intertwine to form a complete methodology that could be applied by other researchers investigating similar topics. Adapting methods proved to be a fruitful process, bearing in mind that the goal is not objectivity, unreachable in the arts, but accountability and organization.
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