Beauty or brains?: Negotiating the tensions between artistic practice and research in music
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Sixty-five years ago, the influential philosopher Dewey asserted that "the odd notion that an artist does not think and a scientific enquirer does nothing else is the result of converting a difference of tempo and emphasis into a difference in kind" (Dewey, 1934, p. 15). Like much of Dewey's work, his views are strikingly relevant to contemporary discussions. Over the past two decades, artistic practice as research (hereafter APaR) has been the topic of fierce debate amongst practitioners and researchers in various areas of the creative and performing arts, from the visual arts to theatre and music. Defined by some as research in and through the arts, this emerging approach utilises the perspective of the skilled practitioner, and seeks to uncover the inner workings the artistic process via a reflective methodology. In attempting to give an overview of current thought on the matter, this paper will present a broad scope in dealing with issues concerning APaR in their entirety, but will do so through the lens of the specific problems confronting music. After addressing the rhetorical and philosophical issues, this paper will consider the practical implications of recognising artistic practice as research in contemporary academic environments.
Art and Artistic Research
Copyright remains with the authors 2010. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Please refer to the publisher's website or contact the authors for more information.