Malik Sharif
Composition and Musicology as Artistic Research: The Case of Ruth Crawford and Charles Seeger

Between 1929 and approximately 1933, Ruth Crawford (1901–1953) and Charles Seeger (1886–1979) collaborated closely in the systematic development of a comprehensive compositional approach that they called “dissonant counterpoint”. Encompassing the production of both musical compositions and theoretical texts, their work was informed by a characteristic merging of composition and musicology. The paper discusses Crawford’s and Seeger’s collaboration in the light of contemporary concepts of artistic research, arguing that it can be considered a case of “artistic research avant la lettre”.

Malik Sharif (born 1982) holds BA and MA degrees in musicology and philosophy and a PhD in musicology. From 2011 to 2015, he was a researcher and lecturer in ethnomusicology at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (Austria). From 2015 to 2018, he was the head of the same university’s research management and knowledge transfer department. In this function, he provided advice and support to numerous artists applying for funding of artistic research projects and was involved in advancing the university’s artistic research strategy. From 2018 to 2019, he was the managing director of a community radio station in Graz and is now working as an independent scholar and freelance consultant in research funding. Sharif has published on diverse musicological and philosophical topics, including Balkan exoticism in popular music, alternative wind band music, the ontology of sounds and auditory knowledge, and the history and philosophy of musicology. His book Speech about Music: Charles Seeger’s Meta-Musicology was published in 2019.