Boundaries, Expectations and Empirical Research: A Commentary on Judith Becker's "Crossing Boundaries"

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Empirical Musicology Review

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In her paper “Crossing Boundaries”, Judith Becker raises and discusses important points about where various boundaries between different ways of studying music might lie, how we negotiate those boundaries, and some of the frustrations that ensue in trying to get boundary-crossing work published. This response considers the increasingly heterogeneous nature of musicology itself; some possible overlaps, discontinuities and confusions between the terms ‘psychological’, ‘empirical’ and ‘scientific’; and the different institutional expectations and reviewing styles that often apply to work in the humanities and the sciences. There is no doubt that these differences can cause problems, conflicts, and misunderstandings; but my response ends by recognising the vigorous health of current interdisciplinary research in music, and the opportunities for carrying out and disseminating ‘boundary-crossing’ research that now present themselves, of which this journal – Empirical Musicology Review – is one.



empirical, scientific, musicology, psychology, humanities


Empirical Musicology Review, v4 n2 (April 2009), 71-74