The 2016 IASPM Benelux/KVNM Popular Music Thesis Prize Winners Announced!

IASPM/KVNM is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s popular music thesis prize. We congratulate this year’s winners for their excellent contributions to the field of popular music research (broadly conceived). This year’s winners are:

Eline Langejan (BA in Musicology, University of Utrecht) for winning this year’s BA Prize for her thesis:

Biophilia en Drastische Muziekanalyse


Beth Agett (MA, University of Amsterdam) for winning this year’s MA prize for her thesis:

‘Building on the Power of the Past:’ a Political Analysis of North Sea Jazz

Both of these theses significantly contributed unique and well-researched approaches towards their subjects. Their work also reflected excellent standards of writing and argumentation. Finally both contributed to under-researched areas within the music field.

In total we received 8 MA theses and 4 BA theses from various universities and HOB institutions. Our jury consisted of music journalist Job de Wit, popular music researcher and editor Dr. Lutgard Mutsaers, Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Floris Schuiling and last year’s MA winner Fardo Eringa

As always it was difficult to compare such vastly different subjects and approaches represented by all the entries, but by using the criteria listed below we have tried to ensure fairness and diligence in the evaluation process.

Here is the criteria which was used by the jury:

Beoordelingsformulier (voorbeeld) (geef een 1 tot 5 waarvan 5 het beeste cijfer is)

1.     Relevantie en/of innovatie van de scriptie (nieuw onderzoek of bijdrage aan bestaand onderzoek, relevantie voor thema van de prijs)

2.     Onderzoekskwaliteit van de scriptie (kennis van het veld, engagement met het veld, theoretisch gebruik en kader, empirische of wetenschappelijk onderzoek)

3.     Scriptie opzet en argumentatie (scriptiestelling, methoden en argumentatie)

4.     Schrijfstijl van de scriptie (citaten, tekstopbouw, bibliografie, vocabulaire, citaties…

Together with KVNM, IASPM Benelux and IASPM DACH will organize a one-day student conference in May in which we will officially award the winners of this prize. We will also invite both the winners and several upper level students to present their research on popular music. Please look to our website for the call for papers for this conference sometime in February.

Here are some of the judge’s reviews for both of these winners:

MA winner comments:


“This study presents urgency and topicality in the current debate about (strategic!) blackness in the context of the NL as a former colonial power of sorts. Really interesting and informative read. Well written too. Mature and insightful. I really loved it.”


“Interessant en relevante insteek om NSJ te onderzoeken. Origineel gebruik van verschillende bronnen o.a. social media. Erg uitgebreid onderzoek gedaan…

Een rijkdom aan informatie, verhalen en perspectieven die op een sterke manier in verband worden gebracht maken dit tot een zeer sterke scriptie.”


BA winner comments:


“Biophilia is a very fresh research project (in an area that used to be so moldy) and in a sympathetic way respects the art of composing and challenging ‘the public’ into its own active creativity.”


“Innovatief onderwerp en mooi uitgewerkt. Een heldere inhoudsopgave. Duidelijke hoofdvraag. Goede schrijfstijl. Student heeft een kritisch gebruik van bronnen en is hierbij reflectief. Goed uitgewerkt eigen empirisch onderzoek. De argumentatie is helder en overtuigend. Indrukwekkende bibliografie.”



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