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Popular Music Studies

The Popular Music Studies research group focuses on contemporary issues of significance to musicians, audiences, the industries involved directly and indirectly in the production of popular music, and public organisations.

Our research examines popular music from different social and cultural perspectives and uses a variety of theories and methods to understand how it is produced and consumed. We focus on a range of topics, music genres, historical periods and geographical locations, including Bulgarian popular music, British punk, contemporary song writing practices, Northern Soul, experimental writing about music, issues of streaming and big data, live music production, and popular music’s materiality. Our research aims to develop new ways of understanding popular music that is relevant to a wide audience and to engage with the current challenges in the field. We have ongoing partnerships with the Ivors Academy, UK Music, 1UP Digital, Static Caravan, the Birmingham Music Coalition, and many other key organisations, and we regularly contribute to public forums and industry events. The work of the Popular Music Studies Research Group covers areas such as:

  • Popular music scenes
  • Songwriting
  • Heritage and cultural memory
  • Media and technology
  • Music industries
  • Material culture

Cluster leads: Professor Nick Gebhardt and Dr Asya Draganova

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Research projects 

Here you'll find the full list of our research projects across the Popular Music Studies cluster.
Research staff - Advanced Materials Manufacturing

Members and partners

Learn more about the academic team working in the cluster.