Practice-based research in music

International perspectives, South African challenges

Mareli Stolp

This article examines practice-based research and its application in doctoral studies in music. The research reported on here is of particular importance in the context of tertiary studies in music in South African academe. While several South African universities currently offer a DMus degree where practice and research are approached as separate examinable endeavours, the practice-based research approach does not as yet have a significant position in South African music institutions. Practice-based research (PBR) is an emerging type of research that aims to integrate research and practice in a single endeavour. Although practice-based research degrees are well established in creative disciplines such as drama and theatre and visual arts and design, its application in music has only more recently come to the fore. International debates around PBR display elements of both philosophy (especially in terms of epistemology, ontology and methodology) and education politics and strategies. This binary structure suggests the form of this article: philosophical considerations pertinent to PBR in music will first be examined, followed by a delineation of the position of PBR in education politics, both internationally and specifically in South Africa. In general, the focus will be on PBR and doctoral studies in music.

Journal South African Music Studies
Year 2012
Volume 32
Pages 77-90

Stolp, Mareli (2012) Practice-based research in music: International perspectives, South African challenges. In: South African Music Studies, Vol. 32, pp. 77-90. Available at


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