Research at the Academy is focused on the interrogation of musical creativity

This takes many forms, but a common thread running through our work is the interaction of performers, composers, and scholars.

The Academy has a strongly collaborative culture. By sustaining a dialogue between all members of our community, we aim to re-evaluate and build on our musical heritage and performance traditions.

Much of the Academy’s research activity is practice-based, focusing on the practical aspects of music in the areas of performance and composition. This is a broad field, encompassing the analysis and application of performance materials and research on instruments, as well as the critical and reflective study of practice itself.

The Academy is a community of collaborators. We encourage creative interaction between students and staff, between performers, composers, instrument makers, scholars and practitioners in other art forms, and between the Academy and the wider world. We develop and support projects that strike new ground in musical practices, engage with new audiences, re-evaluate and build on musical traditions, and have an impact in the wider world.

The outcomes of our research take many different forms, including compositions, performance materials, public performances, new instrumental technologies, recordings, broadcasts, websites, and other types of public advocacy for innovative practice, as well as books and scholarly articles.

Our research culture also draws on our globally significant collection of musical artefacts, including fine stringed instruments ranging from Cremonese masterpieces to examples by today’s leading makers, historic keyboard instruments, musical iconography, composers’ manuscripts, and a wide range of performance materials annotated by iconic 19th- and 20th-century performers.


The Research Office provides central administrative and managerial support for the Academy’s research environment.

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The Academy’s Research Strategy, developed in 2023, has seven strategic aims that underpin the administration, management, and governance of the institutional research environment:

  1. Improve the visibility and communication of research
  2. Increase capacity for research and the quality of research output
  3. Align research with institutional priorities of Belonging
  4. Maximize external research income
  5. Support and enable research impact
  6. Encourage collaboration in research
  7. Develop and formalise research governance

Download the Research Strategy.


Researchers have an obligation to ensure that their research is conducted with honesty, integrity, minimal risk and respect for other people and cultures. It is the responsibility of individual researchers to uphold good research practice, and to safeguard the rights of the participants in their research projects.

The Academy's Ethics Policy applies to all research involving human participants and/or personal data conducted by Academy researchers, or by researchers using Academy participants as part of a formal research collaboration with the Academy. All research that falls within this definition must be reviewed, and research ethics approval gained before data gathering commences. Individual researchers (if working alone), or the lead researcher of a research group, should read the Academy Ethics Policy thoroughly before applying for ethics approval by completing a Research Ethics Approval Form and submitting it to the Academic Quality Officer, Sinead Burniston.



The Academy Library contains over 200,000 items, including remarkable collections of performance materials: 16th-century lute books in the Robert Spencer Collection, autograph manuscripts by Purcell, Sullivan, Vaughan Williams, Kenny Wheeler and other leading composers, and marked scores from the collections of Henry Wood, Nadia Boulanger, John Barbirolli, Yehudi Menuhin, Otto Klemperer and Charles Mackerras.


The Academy Museum and Collections houses superb collections of historic and modern instruments, as well as an illuminating archive of important musical materials.