The IPM leads research on a wide range of topics, music genres, historical periods and geographical locations. While they do not capture all of this research, four broad and overlapping themes provide a focus for shared interests:

Heritage & Place

This research encompasses places of varying scale, from performance venues and museum to cities and the nation state. The projects involved explore the diverse practices through which music is related to place, including the practice of migration, travel and tourism; remembering, curating and archiving; music-making and live performance. We also consider how music and place become attached to identity and notions of heritage and nostalgia.

Industry & Technology

We are concerned with music as an industrial process and various factors influencing it, particularly technology and digitisation, policy and the legal system. The industries involved are varied and the research encompasses projects on DIY cultures, the promotion and regulation of live music, and the recording industry. 

Gender, Age & Identity

This research explores the intersections of sex, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and ageing, and their influence on music production and reception. The research encompasses projects on the voice and the aesthetic of age, camp and masculinity, women in the music industry, music and childhood, Liverpool-based black musicians, and British South Asian music and identity. .

Analysis & Aesthetics

This research ranges between the technical methodologies of music theory and analysis, and the value and meaning of music within current and historical philosophical debates. We are interested in the nature and structure of the musical object; languages and styles of composition; the modelling and representation of music, especially in relation to cognitive, physical, and affective experience (or mind, body, and emotion).

Cutting across all four themes are shared interests in creative practice, practice-based research, and audiovisual and digital media.