Center for Music Innovation Research Themes

Our Areas of Research Focus

  • Why are creative and social changes increasing around music and other cultural media?
  • How do we create together and separately based on these shifts?
  • How can we understand how others are re-crafting the business and community around us?  Are we taking active or passive roles?  Can we take more active roles?
  • How do these changes affect us as people?  How and where we work?  Our assumptions on creative tools?  Our assumptions about how we consume and are changed by music?  Our assumptions on how to study and teach it?
  • What are the ethical and critical implications of new musical distribution systems and technologies?
  • How can we re-understand local music and global systems?
  • How are shifts affecting music rippling through other sectors, changing how we experience—and expect to experience and create—culture and content?  How might music be a Bellwether to other sectors?
  • How is the power shifting around music?  What changes can we make NOW that will change music in 5, 10, even 25 years?
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Our Mission

Our Mission

To explore technology and innovation are impacting music and cultural systems now and in the future.

Our Main Objectives

  1. Research about drivers and impacts of tech-enabled music innovation and how they impact social/society/structural change,
  2. Engage diverse communities around these questions from different points of view, and
  3. Connect these questions with the the university — spurring and expanding our core work inside HASoM (research and education) and connecting richly with the outside worlds (community and collaboration).


Our Three Core Directions

  • Research – collaborative work between faculty, graduate students, and fellows; action research with teachers, schools, and industry
  • Education — expanding opportunities with the HASoM Music Industry Program, summer institutes, and continuing education
  • Community/Collaboration — podcasts, events, forums, conferences, and engagement with our Music Innovation Advisory Council
Why Music and Innovation?

We focus not just on the “what” and “how” of this ongoing system-wide disruption and rebuilding.

We focus deeply on the “why?”, “why now?”, and “with what impact – financial, ethical, aesthetic – on which parties, separately and together?”

  • Changing Core Revenues: The recorded music “business” peaked as a consumer-product business in 1999, and is rapidly being replaced by a data- and community-driven volume streaming set of parallel pipelines.  This accelerating shift has disrupted both power and artist economics, and launched many new business models and re-aggregators.
  • Changing Platforms:  Software-as-a-service (SaaS) dramatically reducing the fixed up-front cost to begin new disruptive ventures – pushing hard on quirks and rituals of the music business IP rights
  • Changing Power and Decisions:  Decisions are muddled between equity streams to labels and aggregators versus the long-term health of artists.
  • Non-Adjacent Innovation: Other sectors are expanding in areas that robustly engage with music.  This “Music PLUS” arena is another area of innovation for music.