Songwriting camps in the 21st Century

Dr Simon Barber

Senior Research Fellow from the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR) Dr Simon Barber is part of a major new project that has won substantial funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Working in collaboration with Dr Jan Herbst from the University of Huddersfield and Professor Michael Ahlers from Leuphana University in Germany, Dr Barber will spend three years studying songwriting camps in the 21st Century.

The project will commence on 1 March 2023 and the research will look at the purposes, processes and outcomes of songwriting camps convened in the UK and Germany in order to produce hit songs. As part of the study, the team will attend and study popular songwriting camps, and will also convene an international ‘songwriting lab’ to study these practices closely.

Dr Barber was previously funded by the AHRC to create the Songwriting Studies Research Network, an initiative designed to establish the emerging field of songwriting studies.

Simon said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding from the AHRC/DFG. Songwriting camps have become a really important way in which industry organises the creative process and initiates the production of new songs. So, we are keen to better understand the motivations of participants, the ways in which professionals collaborate, and whether these gatherings are ultimately worthwhile.

“Seeing this project receive funding is a major boost for us as researchers, our partners and songwriting studies in general.”

The project will begin on 1 March next year.

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