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Themes of Research

The SSN has outlined four axes along which dialogues can take place:



Song can be transmitted in many ways and many forms, written and oral, as ‘work’ and in performance. Its musical and semantic qualities can be used to communicate a variety of content including information, experience, narrative, and emotion. Throughout the history of multiple cultures, song has played a role in societal and historical developments. It has also contributed to shaping collective and individual identities. Song, therefore, plays a role in the formation and dissemination of memories, traumas and imaginations.

Opera singer


Song is embodied in practices of singing. The singing body forms the basis for the experiential dimensions of song. Singing practices facilitate cultural, religious, and spiritual understandings of song. Song can, therefore, be a means through which emotions are produced, modulated and acted out. The singing body stands in connection with the listening body; both are equally a part of the embodied singing practice.

Children Singing in a Choir


Song exists in and through its performance. These performances can be individual or collective, formal or informal, functional or recreational. They can exist in private and public spaces and can be organised or spontaneous. With these ideas in mind, song can be researched as performance and researched through performance.

protest song.jpg


Song is situated in social, historical, political and cultural frameworks. It is shaped by its surroundings and in turn shapes them. It can function as part of activism, dissent, community-building and social movements that span a range of social, cultural and political divides.

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