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Music Institute for Doctoral Advanced Studies of the National University of Music Bucharest

Monday, 21 November 2011 , ora 12.20

Holders of the title 'Doctor of Music' from Bucharest and all over the country have the possibility to enroll in a research stage at the MIDAS Institute (Music Institute for Doctoral Advanced Studies), which is part of UNMB, as a result of a financing granted through the European Structural Funds (The European Social Fund, The Sectorial Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013, Priority Axis no.1 'Education and Training in Support for Growth and Development of Knowledge Based Society'. Key area of intervention: 1.5 'Doctoral and Postdoctoral programs in support of research' Project Title: 'Music Institute for Doctoral Advanced Studies-MIDAS' Contract Code: POSDRU/89/1.5/S/62923).

Institutionally, the project creates a structure that hasn't been seen before in Romania (which is rare even in the EU, with regard to the field of musical education), which enables musical specialists-doctors (or other related fields-professionals) to continue their research within a framework and under appropriate guidance, considering the level they have reached.

We found out more details from an interview with Dan Dediu, Ph.D, Rector of the National University of Music Bucharest and the manager of the project.

When did this project start and what are the stages that took place until now?

This project has been created in 2008 and 2009; 2009 was also the year when it was submitted and approved by the Management Authority POS-DRU. It was initiated on April 1st, 2010, for a period of three years, between 2010 -2013. The first year dealt with the actual achieving of the conceptual framework and the administrative instruments necessary for the accomplishment of the project. Within the MIDAS institute we wish to involve a number of 50 post PhD students in a project-based form of research. Prior to the accomplishment of the conceptual framework, analyses, brainstorming and diagnoses, a session of admission projects took place. There participated many holders of a doctorate in Music who submitted different projects, starting from the four thematic focuses of the Institute for Advanced Studies. These four thematic focuses are the following: 1. Contemporary musical thinking and practice. Social analysis, mainstream and globalization, 2. Cardinal points in the history of music. Life versus opera, 3. Musical techniques. The new and the old in the creation, production and perception of music (Phrasing and style in the traditional, classical interpretation, the Aesthetics of the new music making techniques), 4.Romanian music - recoveries. Forgotten facets of music, musicians and musical institutions in Romania. We have chosen 20 postdoctoral scholars, with particular exciting and interesting subjects.

Starting with April 2011, this class of 20 postdoctoral scholars has started working both on individual research, as well as on lectures created by means of a common effort, which every postdoctoral scholar must present twice a year. This way we shall have a clear outlook on the progress of each research, become familiar with the ideas of the author, their means of exposition, and as well with exciting comments and suggestions raised by their colleagues, mentors and, last but not least, by any musician interested in theoretical research. Even more, as both interpreters and theoreticians are part of this project, this institute becomes a core of musical ebullience, many times brought forth outside the institutional framework through performances which every postdoctoral scholar has created in the form of concerts, compositions or lectures.

Is it true that in April 2012 a new stage of the project will be initiated, from which other postdoctoral students can benefit? How will they be selected and which will be the thematic focuses?

The thematic focuses are the same, because our institute plans to increase research of the above mentioned focuses, which have not been randomly chosen, but were opted for following an analysis of all musical themes of the Romanian doctoral theses. After having conducted this analysis, we discovered that some themes are often approached, this leading to overlapping themes, when considering the folklore for example, while others are barely addressed, such as systematic musicology and the superior theory of music. Opting for these thematic areas, the institute performs an act of political culture and specific focus, directing the efforts of the postdoctoral researchers towards areas less researched from a theoretical point of view.

The examination procedures remain those from the previous year. Knowledge of an international language is necessary, accompanied by an interview and the presentation of a detailed project; grids are available for anyone interested in the programme to help them present the intent of their research in a particular format. All related details can be found on our website: www.midas-unmb.ro. Therefore, since the form is the same for everybody, the only issue is that of content and thought put into the layout, which every candidate will have to solve on their own. There are 30 scholarships left for the institute's second year and we hope the interest to be as high as it was this year.

How elaborate must every project be and what will their purpose be?

The works will be published in a special volume of the institute for advanced studies, as each beneficiary has committed by contract to complete a written theoretical research on the subject of the project which has been initially accepted, from which no deflection is allowed. On the other hand, we perform a monthly supervision of the course of the research, each postdoctoral scholar involved having to send monthly reports regarding the progress of the research. My belief is that so far things have happened in a positive manner, when considering both the amount of information, the know-how achieved, but also the coming together of the communication process and a valuable musical community, which reflects the thinking and reflection on the music of our times, throughout the country. When I say this I take into consideration the fact that researchers from Iași, Cluj and Constanța have become part of the project, and not just those in Bucharest. A wide range, interesting topics and, at the same time, a quality type of research within this institute, which we managed to develop with the help of the European Structural Funds offered through the Sectorial Operational Programme- Human Resources Development and which we hope to successfully conclude next year.

Interview conducted by Andreea Chiselev
Translated by Bianca Toader and Mihaela Dănăcică
MTTLC, Bucharest University