Where music meets research

Developing a sustainable platform and agenda for pop music research
Performance during Music Talks (Photo: Tessa Smit)

Pop music has gained an increasingly prominent position in the Dutch (creative) economy, science and society in recent decades. Not only did the export value of pop music increase strongly in recent decades, since 2014 pop music - as a creative industry - is part of the Top Sector policy of the Dutch government. The scientific attention for popular music has also been growing significantly. Finally, pop music fulfils important social functions, for example in bringing people together in a fragmented society.

However, the pop sector and academia are hardly in dialogue with each other. This keeps research potential underused. An initial inventory seems to indicate three problems: (1) findability, (2) theme and (3) output. Firstly, there is disciplinary fragmentation of research into popular music. As a result, pop sector organisations cannot find the right scientists to answer their questions. Secondly, there appears to be a partial mismatch between university research on pop music that is dominated by the humanities and the more technical and economic questions from pop music organizations. Thirdly, the nature of the desired research product (result) differs, since academic research often has a long duration, while pop professionals often want concrete (policy) solutions in the short term.

In short: there is a clear need for an exploration of research pop music, which ensures matchmaking between the professional and academic field through (1) a sustainable network, (2) a 'research platform pop music', including a database of existing research into pop music at the Dutch colleges and universities and a ‘desk; where supply and demand can meet, and (3) a widely supported research agenda.


  • prof.dr. (Pauwke) PPL Berkers

    Pauwke Berkers is full professor Sociology of Popular Music, specifically in relation to Inclusion, Well-Being, and Resilience in the Department of Arts and…
    prof.dr. (Pauwke) PPL Berkers
  • dr. (Erik) HJCJ Hitters

    **Erik Hitters is Associate Professor of Media and Creative Industries in the Department of Media & Communication of Erasmus University Rotterdam.** He has…
    dr. (Erik) HJCJ Hitters

This project is funded by NWO

This research project is funded NWO, and partners with De popcoalitie and POPNL.

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