John Croft’s article ‘Composition is not Research’ challenges a conception and ideal of compositional work in academia which has grown in prominence over several decades in the UK. As a performer-scholar, who also writes non-performance-related scholarship, I welcome this challenge, share some of Croft’s reservations about the ways in which these conceptions often manifest themselves, and also have concerns about the rushed integration of practitioners into academia and the implications for more traditional forms of scholarship. However, I find many of Croft’s formulations and assumptions too narrow, and instead argue that a good deal of the process of composition and performance does constitute research – grappling with difficult questions, exploring solutions, and producing creative work which embodies these solutions and from which others can draw much of value.
Pace, Ian (2015) Composition and Performance can be, and often have been, Research. In: Tempo, Vol. 70, No. 275, pp. 60-70. Available at https://openmusiclibrary.org/article/44611/.