Work in education: The London Society for Musicological Research

The London Society for Musicological Research was an independent learned society founded by me in 2002 which aimed to encourage the pursuit of research of all kinds into subjects of a musicological nature. It interpreted this aim in a broad and liberal manner so as to include all research that had a bearing on the understanding of the phenomenon of music. At the time, it was felt that there was insufficient encouragement for the independent musicological researcher outside the academic establishment. LSMR was intended to recognize externally-completed research and to provide a means for the dissemination of work that would otherwise lack a platform.

Election to Associateship and Fellowship of the Society was dependent on the submission of an appropriate research dissertation of a high standard; for Associates of 10,000 words in length and for Fellows of 20,000 words. The Society aimed to encourage candidates to consider research of a more experimental and searching nature than institutional constraints often allowed. It was not a requirement that candidates should have obtained any specific qualification before submitting work for the Society’s diplomas. There was also provision for admission to the diplomas of the Society on the basis of previously published work. The Society administered several prizes available to diploma candidates, named after Cuthbert Girdlestone, Arthur Fox-Strangways, Violet Gordon Woodhouse and John Alexander Fuller Maitland, the Annie O. Warburton and Rosa Newmarch Memorial Scholarships and the Eaglefield Hull Exhibition.

The Society also elected persons who had made a distinguished contribution to musicological research, or to the work of the Society, or who were judged in the opinion of the Council to be generally deserving of such distinction, to Honorary Fellowship and Associateship.

The Society supported research projects that included my “Romantic Discoveries” series of world première recordings of nineteenth-century piano music, research into the music of St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, and the organ-builder Richard Bridge.

In 2003, the Society became a constituent body of Claremont International University (Seychelles) under my direction. However, after the change of management of the University in 2004, it was agreed that the Society would return to the status of an independent body under my direction.

The Patrons of the Society were Dr David Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, and the composer and arranger Lt-Col. Dr Ray Steadman-Allen. As of 2005, Executive Council numbered six persons, the associated Advisory Council eight, and the body of Fellows and Associates twenty-three. Unfortunately, serious differences between members of the Executive Council of the Society emerged in 2005, and these resulted in the Society ceasing activity.

In January 2002, the Executive Council elected me to the Fellowship and I was issued with this certificate signed by the President, Nicholas Groves.

About johnkersey

Historian, musician and educationalist.
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