Chapter 2

Methodological approaches

Chapter 2 of Performing Music Research reviews three methodological approaches: qualitative, quantitative, and multistrategy. While all three approaches can be used to shed light on musical topics, qualitative approaches tend to elicit an understanding of individuals’ idiosyncratic perspectives and experiences, whereas quantitative approaches tend to focus on larger-scale, more generalizable explanations. The chapter considers the main features of these two approaches and addresses the increasing body of work combining qualitative and quantitative forms of enquiry in multistrategy research. It delves deeper into each of the three methodological approaches to illuminate some of the specific strategies associated with them, ranging from the ethnographic exploration of musical cultures to experimental studies testing the very latest innovations in the field.

Practice questions

These questions test your knowledge of the content of Chapter 2.

In quantitative research, the research design is flexible and can be adapted as the research progresses.

In qualitative research, generalization to a larger population is not the aim.

Which qualitative methodological strategy is used to study cultural practices of people, societies, and cultures?

Which form of validity means that findings from measures used in one quantitative study reflect or predict the findings from equivalent but different measures in another study?

What type of research is a cyclical process undertaken by a practitioner-researcher in order to address a specific area of their practice?

Which sampling approach involves identifying one appropriate participant and then asking them to recommend another participant, and so on?

The emic perspective captures the researcher’s perspective on the world.

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