Master Research Symposium: Where music meets science

3 April 2024

The time has come! The Master Research Symposium is just around the corner. From April 8th to April 12th, 2024, students from the master programs will present their unique research results, exploring the boundaries of music and science.
The world is changing and the demands being made on musicians and music students are growing all the time. They are not only expected to deliver excellent artistic products, they must also be capable of reflecting and innovating. In addition to education and production, therefore, the third pillar of the Royal Conservatoire’s activities is research.

The visualisation of a musical piece

One of the students who will present her research at the symposium is harpist Sanne Bakker. She investigated the possibilities of audiovisual visualisation of classical music through light.

"My research consisted of a parts. I started with a theoretical background on interdisciplinary collaboration and audiovisual art. I first wanted to find out what has already been done in that field, but I also investigated the use of colours and symmetry.
Using that theoretical knowledge, I put together a performance with an audiovisual creator (Sebastiaan Smink), in which we visualised Hindemith's harpsonate.
During my presentation at the symposium, I will take the audience through my process, not only by telling about it, but I will also play harp and show a film of the performance."

Connecting theory to practice

For the Master Research, then, you don't have to just sit with your nose in the books at all. For Sanne, making the performance and her collaboration with Sebastiaan Smink was precisely an important part of her research, precisely by linking that practical part to the research, she learned a lot:
"Both before and after the practical part of my research, I engaged with literature on the subject. By researching even more after my own experiences, things fell into place and I also understood why I had experienced things the way I did.

By choosing a piece that I also played in my lessons, I thus also bridged the gap between my artistic practice and research practice.
I find that visualising the music helped me a lot with a certain way of interpretation, which now helps me a lot when playing new pieces'

An inspiring learning environment

During their master's, students meet in groups about once a month for the Master Circle.
"The Master Circle was a huge support during my research," says Sanne. "By sparring with fellow students and receiving feedback, I was able to formulate my ideas more sharply. It's great fun to be able to see during the Master Research Symposium what everyone has been working on all these months. The topics really go in all directions and are super interesting."

All presentations at the Master Research Symposium are free of charge.
Come and listen and be inspired by our master students!

More information and the entire programme can be found here

foto: Anaïs Saebu