Founded in 1988 as the world’s first specialist centre for the study of popular music, the Institute of Popular Music (IPM) provides a hub for interdisciplinary research on popular music, broadly defined. We examine popular music from different perspectives and explore the many varied contexts and processes involved in its production and consumption. An extensive, significant and wide ranging archive of materials gifted to the IPM over the years provides an exceptional and rich research resource.
Since the IPM was first established it has always been closely connected with Liverpool and the wider Merseyside region, which have provided a focus or setting for our research, public engagement and impact activity. Staff affiliated to the IPM contributed to Liverpool's successful bid to become a UNESCO City of Music and we are extensively engaged with a wide range of Liverpool-based organisations such as National Museums Liverpool, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Radio Merseyside, the Open Eye Gallery and Liverpool Sound City.
Much of our research is conducted in collaboration with local, national and international groups and organisations, including universities in the UK and beyond and a wide range of non-academic organisations. Among those collaborating on current research projects are Historic England and BUPA nursing homes, and we also benefit from strong and long-standing institutional partnerships:
The International Association for the Study of Popular Music: The IPM is the official office and archive of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), an organisation established to promote scholarship in the area of popular music. Former IPM staff played a key role in the foundation of IASPM and IPM researchers have regularly served on IASPM executive and branch committees.
National Museums Liverpool: The IPM was founded through a partnership between the University of Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool, and has since collaborated with the museums on a range of projects.
Ageing, Communication, Technology: The IPM is a partner for Ageing, Communication, Technology (ACT), a major interdisciplinary and multi-methodological research project that brings together researchers and institutional and community partners to address the transformation of the experiences of ageing with the proliferation of new forms of mediated communications in networked societies.
While our researchers come from various University of Liverpool departments, the IPM is homed in the Department of Music where all staff are to varying degrees involved in popular music studies, making it a unique setting for popular music research. The department sits within the School of Arts and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Photography by IPM and/or Flickr (creative commons)