Announcement title

Hamburg University of Music and Drama

Four part-time doctoral positions available in the field of artistic research

within the framework of the “KiSS: Kinetics in Sound and Space” collaborative research project

-supported by national state research fundings-

All positions are 50% part-time. Salaries are paid according to the tariff contract of public service of Germany (Entgeltgruppe TV-L E13).

The 3,5 year employment is expected to start on June 1, 2019 and end on November 30,2022.


Project description:

The collaborative research project KiSS at Hamburg University of Music and Drama in cooperation with Hamburg University of Applied Science is focusing on the dynamics of ambient sounds and sound spaces. For this purpose, a total of six doctoral part-time positions will be announced (of which two at HAW Hamburg coming soon). Main focus of the artistic and scientific research is the exploration of the dispositifs of the (digital) stage: this is covering the spectrum of purely physical movements, as they are known from dance and theater, to virtual surround sound movements, which are made possible by ingenious computer simulations. These extremes are mediated for example through motion capture technologies that translate real motion into data flows. This allows creating hybrid forms of stage art that may lead to innovative and immersive experiences on the stage of the 21st century.


  1. Computational Musicology PhD on the topic of “Symbolic Representation for Contemporary Multimedia Composition Practices” (towards Dr. sc. Mus.) (reference number KISS-Prom 01)

As part of the „Innovative Hochschule” initiative at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, the proposed PhD position will support the MaxScore and Symbolist projects, forward-looking software notation platforms designed to facilitate the development of new types of symbolic notation for emerging multimedia composition practices.

The successful candidate for the PhD position, will focus on two main concerns of the project:
(1) Surveying historical and contemporary strategies for the representation of spatial and computational processes in the context of multimedia performance practices.

(2) Developing tools and authoring interfaces for the design and performance of new symbolic representation.
Programming experience and familiarity with Human Computer Interaction concepts is desirable. In the case of applicants with a strong Computer Science background, a secondary CS-based PhD supervisor may be coordinated for further support.

Supervision: Prof. Dr. Georg Hajdu                

  1. Position at hfMT's Innovation laboratory (towards Dr. sc. Mus.) (reference number KISS-Prom 02)

In the innovation laboratory, the job holder will find various interesting fields of research at the intersection of technical development and practice-based artistic research, and there is a versatile equipment with motion tracking system, embedded computing platforms, 3D printer, soldering stations, etc.

In addition to the realization of own ideas in the fields of interface design / musical instrument construction / software development, etc., a special focus should be placed on the work with HfMT´s large scale Optitrack motion tracking system.

In addition to the realization of own ideas in the fields of interface design / musical instrument construction / software development, etc., a special focus should be placed on the work with HfMT´s large scale Optitrack motion tracking system. In particular, the aspect of "intelligent" gesture recognition appears highly promising and still offers significant development potential. With the help of adaptive algorithms, the recognition of the gestures of musicians and actors could be (largely) independently learned by the system, which would simplify the practical work drastically. The application of the technology would be far more intuitive and could thus be made available to a broad user group from various artistic disciplines.

In addition to the technical development and theoretical reflection the research results of this promotion should be presented in a final stage performance.

Requirements for the applicant:
In addition to the general requirements (please carefully read below), a special artistic aptitude must be provided by proof of in-depth experience in the field of interactive computer music, media art or another art to be performed on stage

Elaborated exposé to the dissertation with a (partly) focus on HfMT´s motion tracking system

Supervision: Prof. Dr. Jacob Sello                              

  1. Position at HfMT Theaterakademie of Hamburg (towards (reference number KISS-Prom 03)

Theater / Music Theater: the dissertation's subject should be located in the spectrum of "Postdramaturgies of Theater / Music Theater" and deal with questions of semantics, aesthetics and perception of space / place / scene, especially in connection with sound and movement. Topics like text / language, body / player / figure can also be included, all within the framework of a socially relevant discourse. The contextualization of questions about the digital override of all subject areas would be desirable. The topic of working method should be part of the project. Experimental or even collective working methods with colleagues in other disciplines should be possible and specifically involved in both the scientific-discursive and the artistic-practical part of the work.

Supervision: Prof. Sabina Dhein                     

  1. Position at HfMT department of musicology (towards Dr.phil.) (reference number KISS-Prom 04)

The musicological doctoral project (Dr. phil.) builds on the aspect of spatiality, which amongst other things can be investigated through a view on multimedia compositions of 20th and 21st century that are often working with the medium of film. In the process numerous questions are possible: e.g. what interactions arise between the space of sounds, cinematic space and the space on (virtual or real) stage? How are movements of sound and bodies organized spatiality? What is the role of the digital? How can spatiality be meaningfully described and analyzed in the context of the „spatial turn“? How are current cultural-scientific, philosophical and sociological spatial concepts related to contemporary artistic discourses about sound, movement and space? What role does the reception play? It is also conceivable to deal with common musicological and analytical topoi, which are often also based on spatial metaphors and at the same time organize a "scientific stage" in the broadest sense. The possible range of topics allows a more general or specific or exemplary question; A cultural-scientific access should become visible.

Supervision: Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Nina Noeske


We expect (general requirements):

A  master degree completed in one of the following fields:

Music, musicology, theatre studies, dramaturgy, design, digital media, computer science; or a First State Examination (erstes Staatsexamen) in music. In addition to conducting their original research in their respective fields, the doctoral students are expected to participate in organizing lectures, seminars, conferences and symposia.


How to apply:

Please send the following documents both via email and by post by naming the reference number of the specific positions no later than April 15th, 2019 (please merge your application into a single pdf document) to:


            Benjamin Helmer, Transferbüro, Harvestehuder Weg 12, 20148 Hamburg



  1. A portfolio including the title and description of your dissertation project, a statement about your professional experience as well as a bibliography and a time schedule with milestones (7-10 pages).
  1. A curriculum vitae, and, if applicable, examples of your artistic research
  2. Copies of your diplomas and certificates
  3. Statutory declaration: Have there been previous attempts to graduate or has there been a graduation in doctoral studies? Did you submit the same or a similar version of your dissertation previously? If so, please name date, location, university and topic of submission.
  4. A statement that you have familiarized yourself with the regulations of doctoral studies at HfMT Hambu


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