CHIME Research Project

Cultural Heritage: a challenge for Europe

Researcher: Tony Whyton, Nicholas Gebhardt, (BCU), colleagues from across various institutions.


CHIME (Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in European Festivals) is a European research consortium funded by JPI Heritage Plus. Led by Jazz Professor Tony Whyton, and Professor of Popular Music, Nicholas Gebhardt, the project seeks to explore how the changing relationships between music, festivals and cultural heritage sites change existing understandings and uses of heritage.

By observing Jazz and Music festivals, the project will explore the uses of different types of heritage. The main focus of the project will be on festivals and why they’re so undervalued in Europe’s culture when they play such a big role.  The consortium will bring together the combined skills from the partners of: the University of Amsterdam, the University of Gothenburg, the University of East Anglia and the University of Salford.

Aims of Research

  • To find out how jazz music facilitates a connection to heritage and enables a change in people’s relationship to place
  • To explore in what ways jazz and improvised music festivals provide new models for engagement with cultural heritage
  • To discover how music shapes and informs understandings of cultural memory through uses of heritage
  • To gain knowledge of what synergies and frictions are created when festivals and heritage sites interact (e.g. frictions between tourism and local interests)
  • To find out in what ways jazz and improvised music festivals can act as lens to interrogate concepts of cultural identity
  • To learn how music festivals blur the boundaries between tangible, intangible and digital heritage

Methods/Application of Research

Each country will work on their own work package to answer their research questions:

  • Improvising Heritage: jazz, festivals and heritage sites - UK
  • Marketising Heritage: jazz in urban spaces - Sweden
  • Sounding Heritage: jazz festival landscapes in the Netherlands - The Netherlands


The CHIME project will allow people to gain a better understanding of the ever-changing relationship between music and cultural heritage and identity. To find out more visit the website.