Research-Creation in Music and the Arts: Towards a Collaborative Interdiscipline, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Research-Creation in Music and the Arts

Towards a Collaborative Interdiscipline, 1st Edition

By Sophie Stévance, Serge Lacasse


188 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Since the 1970s, the landscape of higher education and research has been considerably altered by the integration of the arts within the university environment. Even though a form of research is inherent to artistic creation, the creative process is not comparable to the established procedures involved in academic research. As such, how can the imperatives of intellectual (and sometimes restrictive) rigour characteristic of scholarly endeavours be reconciled with the more explorative and intuitive approach of artistic creation? The concept of 'research-creation' allows artists and scholars to collaborate on a common project, acknowledging each participant’s expertise in the production of an artistic work that either generates theoretical reflections or has emerged from academic research. This fully revised and updated translation of Sophie Stévance and Serge Lacasse’s original French book offers an overview of the historical, political, social, cultural and academic contexts within which research-creation has emerged in Quebec and Canada, before similar (yet often divergent) conceptions appeared elsewhere in the world. Focussing primarily on the case of music, the book goes on to explore the pedagogical potential of research-creation within a university-based environment and proposes a clear and encompassing definition, as well as a theoretical model, of research-creation supported by concrete examples. By underscoring the reciprocal nature of this approach and the potential benefits of collaborative relationships, the authors’ vision of research-creation extends far beyond the field of music and art alone: rather, it has the potential to integrate all approaches and disciplines that seek to combine practice and research.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures

Series editor's preface


Chapter 1: Art, Culture and Creation in the University: Social Issues



The Concept of "Project-grounded Research" in the Field of Research-Creation

Chapter 2: University Training in Research-Creation


The Music Conservatory and the University

The Students

Project-grounded Research: An Epistemological and Methodological Foundation for Research-Creation

Embarking upon Learning and Teaching

Conclusion: Towards Collaboration

Chapter 3: Definition and Scope of Research-Creation



Research and innovation (intersection 2)

Concluding Remarks

General Conclusion



About the Authors

Sophie Stévance is Canada Chair Research in research-creation in music ( She is Professor in musicology at the Faculty of Music, University Laval, Quebec City (Canada), Head of Laboratoire de recherche-création en musique et multimedia (LARCEM) and Groupe de recherche-création en musique ( She is the author of several books (such as Quand la musique prend corps, with M. Desroches and S. Lacasse, 2014; Les Enjeux de la recherche-création en musique, with Lacasse, 2013; Musique actuelle, 2011; Duchamp, compositeur, 2009; Composer au XXIe siècle, 2010; L’Itinéraire du timbre, 2006). She has received two awards from The Académie Charles-Cros, in 2006 and in 2010, as well as research grants (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Quebec Research Funds, Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Leaders). Her field of study is research-creation in music around different projects with creators, particularly about genetic analysis of creative process in music and modernization of Inuit throat-singing (with Tanya Tagaq).

Serge Lacasse is Professor of musicology, specializing in popular music, at the Faculty of Music, Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada. He heads both the Laval site of the Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique ( and the Laboratoire audionumérique de recherche et de création ( Favouring an interdisciplinary approach, his research and research-creation projects mostly deal with the study and practice of recorded popular music and the singing voice. In addition to multiple chapters, articles and conference papers, he co-authored (with Sophie Stévance) Les enjeux de la recherche-création en musique (PUL, 2013) and co-edited Quand la musique prend corps (PUM, 2014) with Monique Desroches and Sophie Stévance, as well as Rewriting the Rules of Record Production (Routledge, forthcoming) with Simon Zagorski-Thomas, Katia Isakoff and Sophie Stévance. He is also active as a record producer, musician and songwriter.

About the Series

SEMPRE Studies in The Psychology of Music

The theme for the series is the psychology of music, broadly defined. Topics include (i) musical development at different ages, (ii) exceptional musical development in the context of special educational needs, (iii) musical cognition and context, (iv) culture, mind and music, (v) micro to macro perspectives on the impact of music on the individual (from neurological studies through to social psychology), (vi) the development of advanced performance skills and (vii) affective perspectives on musical learning. The series presents the implications of research findings for a wide readership, including user-groups (music teachers, policy makers, parents) as well as the international academic and research communities. This expansive embrace, in terms of both subject matter and intended audience (drawing on basic and applied research from across the globe), is the distinguishing feature of the series, and it serves SEMPRE’s distinctive mission, which is to promote and ensure coherent and symbiotic links between education, music and psychology research.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General