Welcome to Sound, Voice & Music

There has been a notable increase in scholarly activity concerning the sonic/aural dimensions of theatre in the last decade. This is part of the so-called ‘acoustic turn’ in the humanities and social sciences, as well as interdisciplinary ‘sound studies’, which examines how sound in cultural texts and everyday life shapes understanding and perception, and vice versa. Relatedly, the emerging field of interdisciplinary voice studies theorises ‘voice as a phenomenon of communication and performance, and a methodology or metaphor for analysis’ (as stated on the website for the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies). Research into the role of music in theatre, and into specific performance genres, such as musical theatre and ‘music theatre’, is also thriving.

This working group will encompass research into all three areas of scholarly activity, investigating intellectual crossovers and shared concerns. We aim to:

  • offer a forum for the sharing and development of research into the function and significance of voice, sound, and music in drama and theatre, both contemporary and historical, in all cultural contexts;
  • advance the critical interrogation of concepts such as aurality, orality, musicality, and vocality in theatre and performance studies;
  • establish interdisciplinary links with scholars in sound studies, sensory studies, audiovisual design, musicology, ethnomusicology, cultural studies, literary studies, voice studies, psychoacoustics, and opera and musical theatre studies;
  • foster a new generation of scholars in these areas through sustained engagement with such initiatives as the TaPRA PG Bursaries and TaPRA ECR Bursaries schemes and the TaPRA PG Essay Prize;
  • extend an invitation to existing working groups for collaborative projects on drama/performance and aurality through joint open panels, interim events, and publications.

The working group is currently seeking new convenors for a three-year term from 2024–25. Please email soundvoicemusic@tapra.org for more information or to register your interest.

Current Convenors

Dr Maggie Inchley

Queen Mary University London

Dr Karen Quigley

University of York

Calls for Participation

Interim Events

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