Chapter 1

Research questions

Chapter 1 of Performing Music Research considers how to develop effective research questions, outlining ways of formulating them so that they are clear and answerable. Different assumptions about the world underlie different research questions, which in turn seek different kinds of knowledge. Therefore, when designing research, it is essential to understand the nature of the knowledge that is to be generated. The chapter explores some of the ways in which this understanding can be framed in a study and shows how it feeds into and shapes the whole process of research design.

Practice questions

These questions test your knowledge of the content of Chapter 1.

Key decisions about research design should be taken before the research question is formulated.

What is the name for a literature review that makes use of existing studies to answer a research question?

Post-positivism strives to discover absolute truth through objectively measuring and describing the world as it exists.

Top-down approaches to research gather data to test a prediction.

Which epistemological approach uses the methodology and methods most suitable for addressing a research question rooted in a real-life context?

What term describes a tool for generating knowledge?

Which approach refers to the reduction of complex phenomena to simpler, often numerical, components?

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