Chapter 9

Qualitative analysis

Chapter 9 of Performing Music Research introduces the characteristics of qualitative analysis, focusing on the interpretative role of the researcher. Given that large volumes of information are typically collected in qualitative enquiry, the chapter presents ways of organizing and storing data and discusses the strengths and limitations of computer-assisted analysis. It goes on to discuss three types of qualitative analysis: thematic analysis, suitable for identifying patterns of meaning across data collected from multiple participants; interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), suitable for understanding the lived experience of individual participants; and qualitative synthesis, suitable for developing a holistic account based on a synthesis of the data. Throughout, the chapter explains how to report qualitative results efficiently and effectively.

Practice questions

These questions test your knowledge of the content of Chapter 9.

Transcription of audio data should always be verbatim.

In qualitative analysis, what is the term for a word or short phrase that captures the meaning of a segment of data?

In thematic analysis, coding should always be bottom-up.

In interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), where should the themes be noted?

Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is typically conducted with smaller samples than those used in thematic analysis.

Which approach to analysis focuses on language and use of language, which are seen as ways of understanding social functioning?

Content analysis of qualitative data can result in frequency counts.

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