Listening Experience Database

Listening to music in a park
The Listening Experience Database (LED) project is a collaboration between the Open University and the Royal College of Music. It has been awarded a £0.75m grant over three years from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

The main purpose of the project is to collate people’s experiences of listening to music. It will also be used to shed light on a wide range of issues, including musical performance and reception, particularly in relation to the RCM's expertise in Western musical traditions.

The project will focus on the building of a large database of personal listening experiences, relating to any culture and repertoire up to the present. It will look at sources such as diaries, memoirs, letters and oral history, including the Lionel Bradley papers. Held in the RCM collections, these handwritten reports, written by a librarian at the London Library, provide an invaluable insight into the musical life of London during the War.

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Project partners

Project team

Dr Alessandro Adamou (Open University)
Dr Mathieu d’Aquin (Open University)
Dr Helen Barlow (Open University)
Simon Brown
Professor Robert Fraser (Open University)
Professor Trevor Herbert (Open University)
Ivan Hewett 
Dr Tânia Lisboa
Dr Ingrid Pearson
Professor David Rowland (Open University)


Project Conference 2018: 'The experience of listening to music: methodologies, identities, histories'

6-7 March 2018, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

The conference organisers are currently running a call for papers.

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Other project outputs

The Listening Experience Database is open and freely searchable, bringing together data about people's experiences of listening to music of all kinds, in any historical period and any culture.


Questions about our research community and our current research projects should be directed at our Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager.

For all press and media related enquiries please contact our Press team.

Emma Hewett

Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager

+44 (0)20 7591 4734

Press office

All press and media enquiries

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