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2021 IASJ Jazz Research Conference, 11 and 12 November
Session 1, 12 November, 3 pm

Jazz Research in Belgium and The Netherlands

What kind of research is executed during the master studies in conservatories?
What kind of research must one do in order to obtain a PhD degree at universities? How does the Dutch-Flemish consortium ‘docARTES’ work?
A panel gives insights in the various types of research.

Felix Schlarmann: Royal Conservatoire in The Hague: ‘Learning Pods: Harnessing peer-learning and collective processes in Conservatoires’;
Paul Craenen: head of the research group Music, Education and Society, Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, guest professor at Leiden University;
Casper Schipper: The Research Catalogue;
Marcel Cobussen, ACPA: the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts (Royal Conservator, Leiden University; docARTES (BE/NL).

Wouter Turkenburg and Wojtek Justina welcome the about 20 online contributors and participants. A special welcome to Marcel Cobussen and Casper Schipper who are ‘live’ in the conference room.

Wojtek Justyna studied jazz guitar at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, graduated in 2010, works as a performing musician in his Wojtek Justyna Trio, and teaches the business of music to young musicians.

Wouter Turkenburg remarks that a large number of names are used when it comes to music research: artistic research, practice-based research, research in or through the arts, scientific research, applied research, musicology, ethnomusicology. These names and labels have overlapping fields of interest and approaches. The goal of this session is to have a closer look at the overlaps and to find out how bridges can be built in order to reinforce the jazz research that is been done.

In the IASJ a start was made in the 1980 with jazz research by discussing jazz research topics in the Ongoing Dialogues during the annual IASJ Jazz Meetings and in the magazine ‘Jazz Changes’.
In the first decade of the 21st century, the Bologna Declaration form 1999 was implemented in higher music education in Europe. Academies, conservatories and universities kept their specific identities but now shared a common ground: research. Till today there is a large variety from institution to institution and and from country to country in terminologies, approaches, acknowledgements and names of the degrees and titles, as well as in workloads and in judgement systems of the research executed. This session is meant to give more insight and clarity in the wide diversity of music research in Belgium and The Netherlands.
Marcel Cobussen is professor in auditory culture and music philosophy at the ‘ACPA’, the Academy of Creative and Performing of the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. The ‘ACPA’ is part of the Faculty of the Humanities of Leiden University. Marcel Cobussen studied jazz piano at the Rotterdam Conservatory. Combining performance with studying philosophy and cultural studies led to ‘artistic research’.
Nowadays he focusses on improvised music as well as on improvisation in all kinds of music.
Marcel Cobussen gives an overview of the various types of research in The Netherlands and Belgium. At the Royal Conservatory research is done in the bachelor and master studies. Before playing a final performance exam, master students have to present their research to an international committee. Bridging the gap between the academic world and arts institutions is the ‘ACPA’, the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts. The ‘ACPA’ is entitled to provide PhD degrees once a sufficient amount of individual research has been done, often four or more years. Unlike musicology and other arts studies, the practice of music is ‘key’ in all research done at ‘ACPA’. The ‘research question’, the central question during the study, is always a practical question coming out of the performance practice of the student. ‘ACPA’ in Leiden is working together with the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Amsterdam Conservatory, the Antwerp Conservatory and the Orpheus Institute in Ghent. This collaboration is called ‘docARTES’. Three days a month seminars and meeting are organized for all PhD-students in which information is provided and progress of the research is shared with peers. A balance has to be found between keeping up with the performance practice and the writing of a text bases thesis.
Graduation takes place in two parts. The first part is the lecture-presentation which contains a performance section as well. The second part, usually one day later, is the defending of the thesis. The format of the thesis is not fixed. The format can be text, but also a website, a blog, or even a series of documentaries.

Most of the graduations take place at ‘ACPA’ in Leiden University but can also be done at the Leuven University, the University of Antwerp or the University of Amsterdam. Granting an PhD, the highest title given in The Netherlands and Belgium. This title can only be granted by ‘research’ universities and not by ‘arts’ universities.
Very little jazz musicians are doing the PhD program. This may be based on the misconception that during the study one has locked oneself up in a room and read as many books as possible. This is not the case. The personal performance practice has to be at the center of the study, of the research. With the personal performance practice as point of departure, social, political and cultural ‘knowledge’ can be researched as well. The research has to be relevant, has to an addition to what already has been done, and has to be placed in a context.

Casper Schipper is the administrative officer of the ‘Research Catalogue’. He supports master students at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague by helping them documenting their research papers in the ‘Research Catalogue’. Casper Schipper has a background in electronic music.
The ‘Research Catalogue (RC)’ is relatively young, experimental and is still developing. It contains knowledge that is in the practice itself. What makes the RC interesting, is the open multimedia format that does justice to the artistic practice. Texts, video’s, audio recordings, graphics, music notations, links to websites can be mixed in any possible constellation. The music practice researched is determining how the various formats are used and put together in a suitable way.

Felix Schlarmann, did his master study at the Amsterdam Conservatory and focused on the music of Mel Lewis in his research paper. He is performer and jazz drums teacher at the Royal Conservatory. He talks about the ‘research group’ that he takes part in together with Susan Williams, a baroque trumpet player and teacher. The main focus of their research is on ‘peer learning’ and on ‘collective processes’ in the conservatory in The Hague. Although this conservatory has many different departments under its roof, electronic music, classical music, baroque music, jazz, dance, composition, the school is regarded as a collective. There are parallels between the ‘collective processes’ in the conservatory and the collective project called ‘Splendor’ in Amsterdam of which Felix Schlarmann is also part of. In ‘Splendor’ composers, classical musicians, jazz musicians, electronic artists, cross-over artists, tap dancers and multi-media artistic collaborate and set up performances.
Peer-to-peer learning is taking place in duos formed by students of five different departments. The duos had to perform after working together for one day. Larger groups were formed as well. Groups discussion, questionnaires and interviews led to data on how peer-to-peer learning and group dynamics worked in these duos and ensembles. Outcomes are still in the process of being finalized. One of the results is that working without teachers in the room and without students from the same department in the duos and ensembles, gave way to working in a relaxed manner, and were triggering large sources of creativity. A video is in the make and the final results will be published in the ‘Research Catalogue’. Felix Schlarmann finishes by saying that executing the research was a lot of work but extremely inspiring to do as well as inspiring for himself as a musician.

Paul Craenen is a classical musician and composer. He is research professor at the Royal Conservatory and guest professor at the Leiden University. His tasks are to support and facilitate the research of all master students, develop the curriculum, and lead the research groups such as the one explained by Felix Schlarmann. Teachers at the conservatory have to write a proposal in order to be admitted to the research group. In the research groups teachers from various departments are combined. The goal of the research group is to go beyond your own disciple and present the results. These results are now just starting to come in.
Paul Craenen has studied and analyzed all research papers of the master students of the Royal Conservatory that were uploaded in the RC so far. Typical for jazz research is that there are hardly books mentioned. The center of the jazz researches are recordings. Jazz researchers uses auditory sources instead of manuscripts and scores as used in other types of research. Another aspect is that at the center of jazz research most of the time is a performance of a famous jazz musician playing in a certain style of jazz. Transcriptions are often used which means that jazz research relies on music notation as well. Another important element is that jazz researchers try to implement the results of the research in their own daily practice. Jazz research is characterized on one side by the specific jazz auditory practice and on the other side by the conventional notation practice. In the research papers the master students bridge these two practices.
Tendencies emerging in jazz research: interests in other disciplines, interests in one’s own cultural roots, and attempts in repositioning one’s own practice by placing it in a wider cultural perspective.

Question, Answers, Remarks
Jari Perkiömäki, saxophonist, Sibelius Academy, Finland explains that Sibelius Academy changed their status from academy to conservatory in the 1930’s but kept the name. In 1980 the conservatory changed to university. In 1983 the jazz department started and he was one of the first students. Later in the 1980’s the doctoral studies started when the title ‘doctor of music’ was licensed. The first doctoral studies in jazz started after 2000. In the 2002 Jari obtained the title as one of the first ones. Until now some 10 doctor titles were granted.
Compared to The Netherlands, the main difference is that research starts after the master degree. Some text is required in the master study, either a small thesis of 20 pages or an extended program leaflet of the master concert. The doctoral studies are finished by performing in five concerts or handing in five recordings and a written thesis. The combination of concerts and the thesis are regarded as the dissertation. In 2013 the Sibelius Academy merged with the Theater Academy and the Fine Arts Academy to become the University of the Arts.
The students of the Theater and Fine Arts Academy are more active in the ‘Research Catalogue’ that the music students. The reason is that the thesis of the theater and fine arts students are more philosophical, abstract and theoretical that the ones of the music students which are more related to practical issues.
Post-doctoral studies are possible as well but so far nobody in jazz in Finland has undertaking this kind of research. Continuing performing and teaching is preferred above doing a time-consuming post-doctoral study. Apparently, it is more in the DNA of the jazz musician to perform rather than having to step back from performing in order to do the research in the post-doctoral study.

Gary Keller, saxophonist, University of Florida, USA, informs that at his university offers two degrees, the PhD and the DMA degree which is focused on performing or composing. The essays written cover all sorts of different topics. In the last five years the emphasis has moved towards the performance part of the DMA and away from the essay part that has to be written according to certain standards. The interest in obtain an DMA is growing since it is required to have master diploma in order to teach at a university.

Kurt Ellenberger, piano, Grand Valley State University, adds to the remarks of Gary Keller that in the USA in most placed the prescribe course work is fixed whereas in Europe there is much more flexibility in the study programs.

Casper Schipper confirms these observations by underlining the open character of the Research Catalogue, which financed and supported by a large number of universities and conservatories. Anyone can share their research and can publish in the RC. Statistic shows that the works published the RC is consulted a lot, helped by the fact that the Google search engine finds the topics that are asked for. He hopes that more jazz research will be published because of the special kind of ‘knowledge’ that is imbedded in jazz research.

Marcel Cobussen adds to the remarks of Casper Schipper that the RC is not a fixed format. Often requests of the supporting institutions come in to alter the RC and to expand the facilitations. In the last few years, upon request of the institutions the audio quality as improved a lot.

Research in jazz music comes under a wide range of names and notions.
Institutions of higher music education, such as academies, conservatories and universities offer a wide range of studies, diplomas and titles as well when it comes to jazz research.
Study programs vary from strictly theoretical, text-oriented work to almost completely performance-oriented work.
Networks, collaborations, and archives concerned with jazz research are relatively new. There is a great potential of growth in jazz research: in topics, in research executed, in collaborations, in insights and practical benefits for jazz performance.

Wouter Turkenburg and Wojtek Justyna thank the speakers Marcel Cobussen and Casper Schipper and contributors and participants.

Who is who
Marcel Cobussen, ACPA; NL
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Paul Craenen, Royal Conservatoire, The Hague; Leiden University; NL
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Kurt Ellenberger, Grand Valley State University; USA
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Wojtek Justina, IASJ; NL
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Gary Keller, University of Florida; USA
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Jari Perkiömäki, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki; FI
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Casper Schipper, The Research Catalogue; NL
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Felix Schlarmann, Royal Conservatoire, The Hague; NL
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Wouter Turkenburg, IASJ, NL
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