Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Cage project unlocks research cash for Iddon

August 2nd, 2015

THE HEAD of the School of Music has secured a significant research grant from a prestigious funding body to pursue study of one of the most important figures in twentieth century music.

Prof Martin Iddon, who has led the Department since 2013, will embark on a major scheme with collaborator Dr Philip Thomas of Huddersfield University to investigate one of John Cage’s key works, Concert for Piano and Orchestra.

The overall value of the award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council is just over £500k, and, over three years, the project will result in a book, performance and recording, conference, and various web resources.

The composition by Cage (pictured above) is a milestone in the history of twentieth century music, notable for its elaborate graphic notation. Yet it is a little understood and underperformed work.

This project will examine the music and its historical performances in detail and, through the creation of an interactive website, will allow users – performers, listeners, students and others – to play with the notations and sounds to create infinitely varied versions of the work.

For the school, this AHRC success is just the latest of the series of grants secured by members of the department in the last two years from the same funding body.

It follows Prof David Cooper and Dr Ian Sapiro’s film music award, support for Dr Steve Muir’s music of the Holocaust project, Dr Alinka Greasley’s funding for her study of music listening and hearing impairment and backing for Dr James Mooney’s exploration of electronic composer Hugh Davies.

Furthermore, Prof Derek Scott attracted significant money European Research Council’s work on German operetta and its impact Broadway and London theatres.

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