Case Studies/IMERSD

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education, music, university, radio


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The IMERSD project employs new media technologies for e-research content design, production and publication within the music industry, emphasising the importance of access to key works with which to teach and from which to compose.

I believe that Creative Commons in general must form an integral part of the future for universities. — Professor Paul Draper, Head of Music Technology, Griffith University


The IMERSD (Intermedia, Music Education & Research Design) Project was established at Griffith University’s Conservatorium of Music in 2004. Offering facilities which span teaching, research and commercial environments surrounding multimedia and music production, IMERSD emphasises productive engagement between the university and industry partners. The project employs new media technologies for e-research content design, production and publication across three areas, as reflected in its name:

  • Intermedia
    • Collaborations with the Griffith Film School (GFS) in the production of film, animation and music video projects with QCGU composers, performers and sound producers.
    • Supervision of Workplace Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities in key areas including Radio/TV broadcast, film, recording and multimedia industries.
    • Engagement with Internet technologies and interactive media streaming formats for the development and promotion of e-Research and e-Learning.
  • Music Education
    • QCGU and Griffith Office for Commercialisation partnering in the production of music CDs and DVDs, development of Intellectual Property and music law considerations.
    • Working with record labels, independent artists and QMusic to develop recording industry and support QCGU graduate and alumni career development.
    • Establishing and growing WIL links with external industry through the Music Technology Industry Affiliates Program (MTIAP).
  • Research Design
    • Partnering with the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre (QCRC) in the design and production of traditional and non-traditional research outputs.
    • Engaging with interdisciplinary projects in collaboration with Griffith research centres.
    • Promoting exemplars of activity, research growth and music-making in support of high quality Research Higher Degree (RHD) completions; to provide enhanced research training in honours and undergraduate programs.

IMERSD emphasises immersion and engagement across diverse art forms. It offers recording studios, a multimedia post-production suite, and an audio research laboratory. Music technology practitioners and researchers are therefore provided with specialised multimedia production tools and state-of-the-art audiovisual monitoring and reproduction systems and surrounds. IMERSD is designed to offer significant stand-alone projects or collaborative undertakings with industry professionals.

Radio IMERSD broadcasts the project’s digital art outputs in an open access, multimedia format. These include Griffith University’s public speeches and workshop presentations, musical compositions, performances and sound recordings, and commentary and review to prompt discussion. Radio IMERSD is a key output from the Digital Arts @Griffith project.

Examining the role of public, cultural and educational institutions with respect to the implementation of broadband technologies is critical. Seeking to support the growth of the creative industries, the IMERSD programme contributes to the creative economy through the provision of:

  • enhanced infrastructure;
  • content production and commercialisation;
  • up-skilling for current employees and businesses;
  • community engagement and participation;
  • production of skilled and creative employees and small businesses;
  • research, research design and contribution to practice-led research.

License Usage

IMERSD and its associated music technology curricula aim to highlight aspects of teamwork, workflow, data management, Intellectual Property and other such contextual but oft-forgotten aspects of excellence in professional practice. For this reason, the project requires that all works on the IMERSD Stream be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 2.5 Australia licence. Contributions to the project must be original works that have neither been previously published nor submitted to another publisher prior to submission. IMERSD invites digital music and sound contributions from academic staff, professional practitioners, visitors, alumni and students of Griffith University.

The IMERSD Contribution Guidelines provide advice as to the adoption of the site’s Creative Commons licence.

Whilst the licence adopted does not allow derivatives, it does allow for the posting of the creator’s material on a personal server or website, or an institutional server, when a hyperlink is given to the material on the Radio IMERSD site.


According to IMERSD project director and Head of Music Technology Professor Paul Draper, Creative Commons begins as a way to unpack Intellectual Property issues to better inform professional artistic decision making. Being exposed to the range of CC licensing helps students to understand the different kinds of licensing models and the different kinds of value-adding that might benefit their careers and personal endeavours. As discussed in an email interview with Rachel Cobcroft from Creative Commons Australia, Professor Draper indicates that the primary motivation for IMERSD is to engage with original student and staff creative works, to disseminate these and engage with new public audiences in a parallel partnership with Apple iTunes.

In this way, Creative Commons:

  • provides a streamlined and easy-to-understand pathway into basic principles of the rights of creators;
  • opens discussion and projects to ideas surrounding ‘remix,’ creativity, history and ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’; and
  • helps establish wider concepts of matters relating to ‘corruption’ in some aspects of media practices, and allows students to then value their own rights and to think more deeply about how they wish to further engage in commercialisation and the entertainment business upon graduation.

Professor Draper argues that, at the very least, Australia needs appropriate music licensing dedicated to the purposes of teaching and research. This framework needs to be made available to the entire education sector. Many institutions regularly record seminar teaching and research works: key classical pieces from history, important jazz standards, new works, new interpretations. These need to be peer-reviewed, archived and disseminated as an important resource with which to teach, research and provide adequate resources for young musicians – especially in terms of cultural and historical context.


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