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News items

Two more choirs join the research programme

February 2016
The research team is grateful to Divertimento of Leamington Spa and MK Acapella from Milton Keynes for agreeing to take part in the research experiments. If your choir would like to be involved in this research, which takes no more than five minutes of actual rehearsal time a week, please contact the research team mailbox: pitch-drift@open.ac.uk.

Another choir joins the research programme

January 2016
The research team is grateful to the Clifton Singers of Bristol for agreeing to take part in the research experiments starting this month. If your choir is keen to be involved in this research, which takes no more than five minutes of actual rehearsal time a week, please contact the research team mailbox: pitch-drift@open.ac.uk.

Two more choirs have joined the research programme

December 2015
The research team is grateful to the Sherwood Choral Society of Bletchley and Sine Nomine from Norwich for agreeing to take part in the research experiments starting in January 2016. If your choir could be interested in being involved in this research, which takes no more than five minutes of actual rehearsal time a week, please contact the research team mailbox: pitch-drift@open.ac.uk.

Choral experiments to start in September

August 2015
The research team is grateful to the following choirs who have agreed to take part in pitch drift experiments. They are: Circle Singers, Royal Leamington Spa; Consensus Vocalis, Northamptonshire; Linsdale Singers, Leighton Buzzard; The Open University Choir, Milton Keynes; Solent City Chorus, Portsmouth and St Mary's Church Choir, Harrow on the Hill. If your choir could be interested in being involved in this research, which takes no more than five minutes of actual rehearsal time a week, please contact the research team mailbox: pitch-drift@open.ac.uk.

Experiments with choirs to start shortly

June 2015
The research team wants to work with individual choirs to gather data from three main areas: (a) venue acoustics, (b) pitch discrimination of the choir members (i.e. how small a difference in pitch individuals can recognise), (c) rehearsal environment and performance. The first two require just a single experiment by me and each individual choir member. The rehearsal environment and performance data will be collected over 20 weekly rehearsals. If you are interested in being involved in this research please contact the research team mailbox, pitch-drift@open.ac.uk.

ABCD to publicise research

January 2015
The Association of British Choral Directors (abcd) will publicise Pitch Drift research in a future copy of “Leading Notes”, abcd's email newsletter which may be found at: http://www.abcd.org.uk. An appeal for choirs to take part in forthcoming research will also be included in the same publication and the recent IoA paper will be placed in “Podium”, the members’ area of their website.

Institute of Acoustics presentation

October 2014
The paper presenting the initial findings of the recent survey of choral practitioners was presented at the Institute of Acoustics' 40th Anniversary Conference held on 15-16 October at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. It was well received stimulating some useful discussion. A link to a copy of the presentation will be found by under the 'Papers' tab of this website.

Presentation at forthcoming conference

July 2014
A paper presenting the initial findings of the recent survey of choral practitioners has been accepted for presentation at the forthcoming Institute of Acoustics' 40th Anniversary Conference to be held 15-16 October at the NEC, Birmingham, UK.

The survey is now closed

May 2014
Thank you to all who have completed the survey, there have been 221 responses plus several communications by email and letter. If you are interested in commenting further on this research in any way please email the research team at pitch-drift@open.ac.uk.

Still time to complete the survey

April 2014
Thank you to all who have completed the survey, there have been well over 200 responses. However, it is now time to close it so that the results can be analysed and early results disseminated. Those who have left contact details will receive early results and details of the next steps in the research programme.

Research is publicised in OU Life

March 2014
To coincide with the Conference for part-time PhD students on 20th and 21st March details of pitch drift research, and in particular the survey, was publicised in OU Life which is featured on the in-house intranet. This may be viewed by all full and part-time staff. Many thanks to all who responded to the survey to date, but there is still time to complete the questionnaire.

Now up to 164 responses to the Survey!

February 2014
There has been a fantastic response to the Survey from all parts the world. 55% of responses are from choral directors and 37% from singers. The remainder completed the "other" option which is from anyone who feels they are able to make a contribution. Your views are most interesting and thought provoking. I have to submit my "probation" report by July, which means starting now, so your data will help me hugely in this daunting task.

FutureLearn is a great idea and it's free!

January 2014
I have recently started a FutureLearn course on "Critical Listening for Studio Production" presented by Queens University, Belfast. It consists of 7 weekly blocks each taking around 3 hours (although you can take as long as you wish). There is some theory and simply hundreds of listening tests with a small but tricky assessment at the end of each week. Why not visit the FutureLearn website (www.futurelearn.com) and book yourself a place on one of the many free courses offered. By the way a MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course - obviously!