The Lab is a research group which functions as an environment in which creative practitioners can experiment with new approaches to scoring, working with colleagues in other disciplines to support their research.

It brings together: composers and artists whose practice includes making open scores in different media; performers who are experienced in realising open scores in performance; graphic designers who focus on the visual display and communication of information; creative computing specialists who explore networked processes and interactive systems; other researchers in related disciplines where there is a common interest in scoring and communicating instructions.

The work of the Lab is to develop new approaches to scoring, and consequently to develop new modes of music making.

This takes place through monthly meetings and a series of focused projects that deal with a specific aspect of score making:

  • Locative scores (Scott, Saunders): users are directed to specific locations (e.g. by GPS) and access scores whose operation is contingent on a geographic feature (e.g. aural features of the environment, triggered audio files on a smartphone)
  • Audio and animated scores (d’Heudieres, Hugill, Maia, Nickel, Saunders): information is transmitted to users in time through an audio and/or video stream rather than statically as written instructions, symbols or images. The instructions may be pre-recorded or transmitted live by participants. Players respond to the flow of information as it is delivered.
  • Group behaviours (Dupras, Porfiriadis, Saunders): users make decisions as groups or respond to interpersonal cueing to create the music.
  • Interfacial scores (Chatzimakris, Porfiriadis, Saunders): a single score may provoke realisations in more than one discipline (e.g. dance, writing, video), with the score acting as an interface between these disciplines.
  • Live score generation (Dupras): computer-generated scores which give cues to individual performers, incorporating machine-listening, score following, and collaborative real-time composition or improvisation.
  • Combinatorial scores (Hugill, Saunders): scores that define probabilistic or topological processes using graphs, decision-making and permutation of elements to produce different arrangements and sequences of material in each realisation.
  • Improvisation and notation (Dorrell, Humphries, Maia, Penton): scores present frameworks for improvisers to work within.
  • Living scores (Nickel): concepts and material are communicated to other people who become the repository for the work. Those realising the scores must consult the human repositories to learn what to do.

If you're interested in joining the Lab as a PhD student, please see our PhD page.



We welcome proposals from prospective PhD students wanting to join the Open Scores Lab, focusing on topics which intersect with current interests of Lab members or which extend the scope of our work. We can support practice-led projects incorporating a portfolio of creative work and more theoretical/musicological research, as well as interdisciplinary approaches. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss a proposal.

Bath Spa also part of the South, West and Wales AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership, an alliance between eight leading universities: Bath Spa plus Aberystwyth, Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Reading and Southampton. Individually our research excellence is internationally recognised. Collectively our expertise creates a centre of excellence supporting and supervising PhD and doctoral students across the humanities, languages and creative arts. The SWW AHRC DTP will be awarding up to 50 fully funded doctoral studentships for the best postgraduate research projects across the full range of Arts & Humanities disciplines for 2017-18 entry. You can find out more about the scope and excellence of the Partnerships’s research activities in each subject at the SWW website. We also welcome interdisciplinary applications and practice-led research projects. For information about opportunities in Music please see the SWW music pages.

For University regulations, fees, and general information, please also visit the our research degrees webpages.

Current PhD Students

  • Vassilis Chatzimakris – Indeterminate Mix: Exploring ways of incorporating indeterminacy in the context of mixed-media performances
  • Louis d’Heudieres – Spontaneously realising the unspontaneous:developing a compositional strategy that exploits reduced exposure between performers and scores
  • Martin Humphries – Composing in the community: creating a language of authentic expression within the context of amateur music
  • Ralf Dorrell: Beyond Chord Symbols: an exploration of alternative ways of integrating the improvising soloist into notated big band jazz compositions.
  • Oogoo Maia: Compositional and performative approaches to indeterminate scores in experimental music theatre and multimedia events.
  • Luke Nickel – Living scores: musical scores that exist only in memory
  • Misha Penton – Voice: Sound, Body, Image. Solo and Collaborative Pathways in the Creation of New Post-Opera Works
  • Alexis Porfiriadis: Towards a collective/participatory approach to composition and performance: applications of collective improvisation and verbal/graphic notation in composition for music ensembles.
  • Caitlin Rowley – Questioning the division of ‘public’ and ‘private’ creative spaces through an interdisciplinary approach to composition derived from a performative interpretation of visual art processes.
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