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Research at the Malmö Academy of Music is carried out by researchers and doctoral students within the disciplines of Music Education and Artistic Research in Music.

The discipline of Music Education has a future-oriented approach, focusing on creativity, the international community, intercultural music education and advocacy – promoting quality music learning opportunities for all. Furthermore, the emphasis on empirical work includes an ambition towards practice-based research.

The discipline of Artistic Research in Music attempts to study the complexity of real-world artistic production and practice. The strength of this program resides in the experimental attitude towards how art creation and research impact one another. Further, we study how technical tools can acquire epistemic status and impact the semantic underlay of the creative output. Such dialectics between epistemicity and technicity is at the inner core of an experimental system; it is its driving force. 

Doctoral education

Malmö Academy of Music offers doctoral education in Music Education and Artistic Research in Music.

A doctoral program covers four years of full-time studies and leads to a doctoral degree. You take courses and carry out an independent research project that you present in a licentiate thesis or doctoral dissertation.

Fine, applied and performing arts (artistic) qualification:

  • Konstnärlig licentiatexamen (Degree of Licentiate), 120 credits including a scholarly academic paper of at least 60 credits. 
  • Konstnärlig doktorsexamen (Degree of Doctor), 240 credits, including a doctoral thesis of at least 120 credits.

Doctoral positions in our programs are advertised when faculty funding or external funding so allows.

The Artistic Research Program in Music is a laboratory for artistic exploration and experimentation that enables the doctoral student to:

  • develop methods for artistic development and renewal
  • conduct research that positively impacts creative outputs
  • produce creative outputs that positively impacts research
  • consider research as tools for technical, aesthetic and communicative artistic expression
  • develop an astute awareness of their own artistic activity

Artistic Research in Music investigates and develops the creative process and the generation of artistic knowledge in the field of music. The research field comprises various forms of artistic musical practices, including composition, interpretation, improvisation, music production and other contexts for musical creation.

We work towards the notion that artistic research impacts the doctoral student’s musical practice and professional activity. In total, this research has been carried out by performers, improvisers, composers, music producers and other professional music practitioners.

Innovative projects 

Through innovative projects, artistic research aims to deeply investigate, creatively challenge and critically illuminate diverse forms of musical practice. Importantly we aim to investigate the complexity of real-world artistic behaviors, ranging from traditional to experimental practices, that integrates the perspective of artistically active musical practitioners. This is in direct opposition to the development of understanding based solely on simplified models of reality. The trick is, of course, how to wean out those significant bits of information that carries the power of replicable confirmation in disparate contexts.

This program is based on the realistic profile of the artist as a mature practitioner; in which activities abroad, such as performances at international festivals, presentations at conferences, or research initiatives at other institutes of higher education contribute to and shape the degree trajectory as a whole.

The goals for the artistic research program in music are to:

  • develop research that leads to or results from artistic practice
  • to place artistic practice or production as the central object of inquiry
  • contribute knowledge, gleaned from research focused on the complexities of real-world artistic production
  • produce compelling art


The program for a Doctoral Degree in Music contains courses as well as individual work and is carried out during four years of full-time studies (240 higher education credits). This includes course work and literature studies/seminars of 60 higher education credits and a thesis/artistic project of 180 higher education credits.

Required Courses

The required courses for the PhD in Artistic Research are:

  • Artistic Research, an introduction (2 cr)
  • Methods, art production (5 cr)
  • Methods, scholarship (5 cr)
  • Systematic Methods & Psychoacoustics (5 cr)
  • Epistemology and Artistic Research (5 cr)
  • Contemporary music literature (5 cr)
  • Ethics (3 cr)



For those who have to pay, which are the tuition fees?
The PhD is fully funded, there are no fees.

Which are the eligibility requirements and how does the selection process work?
The selected candidates are chosen first and foremost on their work and future plans; secondarily are that the candidate should have a Masters in Music, but there may be allowable alternatives.

How are the results presented at the end of the research process?
The results shall fit into a (mixture) dissertation.

Which are the language requirements?
All courses are taught in English.

Are there any mandatory courses for doctoral students?
Yes, there are currently 6 required courses.

Are doctoral students part of a research group or research center? And, in that case, is there financial help for participation in congresses and similar activities?
Yes, students will be part of an active research environment, involving students, faculty and external researchers. There is financial help for students to participate in conferences and other sorts of professional activities.

How many supervisors do students have? Are they all part of the institution or is it allowed to have external supervision?
Each student will have a main supervisor and a second supervisor. In selected cases, it is allowed to have external supervision as well.

The research programme in music education at the Malmö Academy of Music aims to provide comprehensive training which prepares for assignments in wider society, where knowledge of music education as a discipline is of value. This can apply equally well within higher education, upper secondary schooling or compulsory schooling, as well as outside formal education institutions.

The research programme in music education provides qualified knowledge about music education sciences and general education sciences, broad training in theory and research methodology and the ability to conduct independent research work. The thesis work is to provide the student with the ability to critically analyse relevant problems within the field of music education and to plan, implement and document this research work in writing. The research studies programme has a broad specialisation, although there is a certain orientation towards intercultural perspectives on musical learning and research focusing on schools and creativity(ies). For information about completed doctoral thesis projects, see the website: (link to the webpage showing theses).

Content of Research Programme

The programmes contain both courses and individual thesis work. The Doctoral Degree includes courses and literature studies of 90 higher education credits and a thesis of 150 higher education credits, and for the Licentiate of Arts Degree courses and literature studies of 45 higher education credits and a dissertation of 75 higher education credits.

The Doctoral Degree Programme is planned to be completed in four years of full-time study, 240 credits, and the Licentiate of Arts Degree Programme in two years of full-time study, 120 credits.

Research collaborations

Our researchers regularly participate in international conferences, projects and performances around the world. These activities has established the Malmö Academy of Music as a leading research institution in music education and artistic research in music.

Seminar activities are organized both separately for each doctoral program and in themes that bring together all doctoral students and senior researchers. Both doctoral programs are part of several different national and international networks.

Inter Arts Center

The Inter Arts Center (IAC) is a common platform at the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts with the aim of promoting the development of artistic research, supporting interdisciplinary collaborations and collaboration with the surrounding cultural life.

Ongoing projects

We participate in the following research projects:

The Power Relations in Higher Music Education (PrihME) project is a three-year AEC project that started in 2020 with funding from the EU program Erasmus +. Karin Johansson, Eva Sæther and Lars Härstedt Salmonson will initially participate.

The following key issues have been identified:

1. Abuse of power in higher music education,
2. Relevance of power issues in pedagogy and teaching,
3. The role of power relations in and impact on higher music education,
4. Promoting communication between all operators in higher music education.


1. Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, Ireland (applicant)
Popakademie Baden-Württemberg Mannheim, Germany
3. University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria
4. Association of European Conservatories (project manager)
5. Musicians San Sebastian, Spain
6. Saint Louis College of Music, Italy
7. Academy of Music Zagreb, Croatia
Kharkiv National University of Arts, Ukraine
9. Academy of Music Krakow, Poland
10. Malmö Academy of Music, Sweden


Learn more about PrihME

The overall purpose of this comparative project, led by professor Eva Georgii-Hemming at Örebro University, is to investigate how processes of academization affect performing musician programmes across Europe.

Eva Georgii-Hemming, Örebro University (Project leader)
Elin Angelo, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Stefan Gies, Dresden University of Music/Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies et Musikhochschulen (AEC)
Karin Johansson, Malmö Academy of Music, Lund University
Christian Rolle, University of Cologne,
Øivind Varkøy, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo

International reference group
Professor Henk Borgdorff, Leiden University, the Netherlands
Professor Helena Gaunt, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, United Kingdom
Vice-principal Martin Prchal, The Royal Conservatoire,  the Netherlands

Learn more about DAHPME

Research outputs

Our research outputs represent a diverse range of formats, including:

  • Printed word (doctoral theses, degree projects, books, book chapters, articles in scholarly journals)
  • Composed scores (hand-written, computer assisted, explorations in music notation including multidimensional and/or graphic symbols)
  • Public presentations (concerts – composed and improvised, lecture recitals, workshops, performance art)
  • Acoustic ecology (sound art, found art, sound walks, etc.)
  • Audio-visual (film, video, net-art, recorded documentation of live performance)
  • Extra-sensory (work existing in the ether – yogic, meditative, Qi in exceptional practice, embodiment)
  • Virtual environment (net-art, 3D interactive, game environments)

All of our output can also be found in Lund University Research Portal. If you wish to order a publication, please send an email to reception [at] mhm [dot] lu [dot] se.


Eva Sæther
Professor music education
E-post: eva [dot] saether [at] mhm [dot] lu [dot] se

Michael Edgerton
Professor artistic research in music
E-post: michael [dot] edgerton [at] mhm [dot] lu [dot] se

Order publication

To order any of our publications, please send an email to reception [at] mhm [dot] lu [dot] se.