The Research Center for Popular Music, founded in 1983 at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, was the first institution of its kind. From the beginning, its mission was to explore the various forms of popular music through research and teaching.
The Center has an interdisciplinary bent, welcoming students and researchers from all relevant fields in support of their research projects. Work at the Centrer revolves around the following main themes:
Pop Music and youth culture
The various forms of pop music are properly understood only in their cultural contexts. How do today's youth use this music? What does it mean to them? What cultural value do they seem to place on it? In answering these questions, one traces the cultural dimensions of popular music.
Pop Music as insdustry
The forms of popular music takes are very much a result of how the music industry functions. In spite of a great deal of debate on the subject, there remains only a very vague idea about the development processes and organizational structures in the music industry. the commercial and technological aspects of music industry virtually terra incognita for researchers.
Pop Music as medium through sound
Pop ist much more than just music, but the cultural, economic and technological processes it sets into motion are experiented through the medium of sound. The rules of aesthetics may therefore here be applied to sound, but this has been as scantily researched as pop's visual dimension - which has as much to do with the show, or with the eyes, as with the ears.