Songwriting – Songwriting Studies Research Network

Songwriting – Songwriting Studies Research Network

The craft of songwriting is a multifaceted artform. Combining lyric writing and musical composition, it is an interdisciplinary field that invites closer investigation.  This is exactly what the Songwriting Studies Research Network seeks to do.

A two-year AHRC-funded project led by Dr Simon Barber of Birmingham City University and Dr Mike Jones of University of Liverpool, the Network is uniting scholars, industry workers and practitioners in a forum for the exchange of ideas about songwriting. Their aims are to:

  • Establish songwriting studies as an interdisciplinary field in its own right, by bringing together diverse groups of participants.
  • Foster relationships between academics, industry workers and practitioners through the provision of a space for the sharing of ideas and approaches.
  • Produce new insights related to songwriting by exploring key issues, questions and themes.
  • Share this knowledge through publications, projects and other initiatives.

Over the course of the project, the aims of the Network will be consolidated through a series of international one-day events involving seminars, workshops, panels, Q&As, live performances and networking activities.

The Network launched with a conference at the University of Birmingham, featuring a live performance from Ivor Novello-winning singer-songwriter KT Tunstall alongside a mix of papers, panels and conversation with a focus on contemporary songwriting practice and production. Keynote speaker, Phillip McIntyre (University of Newcastle, Australia), discussed songwriting as a form of cultural production based on themes from his book, ‘The Creative System in Action: Understanding Cultural Production and Practice’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Scholars, industry workers and practitioners joined a panel exploring the philosophies, approaches, techniques and tools that define contemporary songwriting practice and its relationship to technologies of production.

The launch event was live recorded for the Sodajerker podcast, which features interviews with some of the most successful songwriters from around the world.  The podcast explores all facets of songwriting – from storytelling to the writing process. Recent episodes include conversations with Rosanne Cash, Hosier, Trevor Horn and Dido.

Find out more: Songwriting Studies Research Network

Listen and download: Sodajerker Podcast

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National Writing Day is led by First Story and partners across the UK.