The department’s academic staff carries out a considerable and comprehensive work in artistic development. They are involved in a many-sided activity as performing musicians through concerts and recordings locally, nationally and internationally – soloistically, chamber musically and as leaders of different types of ensembles/orchestra.
Several of the department’s academic staff are active composers. In addition research is being performed in the point of intersection between art and science – so-called performance studies. This type of research has the goal of studying the relation and interaction between theory and practice in music performance.
The artistic development work at the Department of Music is of fundamental concern for the sustaining and vitalization of the department’s artistic creativity. The same way that research is the foundation of the university’s teachings and imparting in scientific disciplines, the artistic development work is the prerequisite for teachings and imparting within the fine arts. Acquisition of knowledge and experience in the fine arts follow other methods than those of scientific research. The artistic development work is both a necessity and an enrichment for the education, and represents a guarantee for the quality of the department's programmes of study.
The Act relating to Universities and University Colleges gives classic research and artistic development work equal status. This does not mean that the two are considered identical forms of realization, but that artistic development work is assessed and recognized as equal to and independent of science and research. However there does not exist a uniformly agreed upon definition of what the term "artistic development work" include. Delimiting research in the fine arts is not easy, as this research can be separated into different categories, such as research about, or of art; research through art; or research as art. In addition the discussion of the term's meaning and content is not completed. When the fine arts relate to development work, the term include "systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience, which is directed to producing new materials, products or devices; to installing new processes, systems and services; or to improving substantially those already produced or installed" (definition from OECD, the Frascati-manual). Nevertheless, the artistic development work will frequently (if not generally) take the form of a performing artistic exercise. As such, the term will involve activity with the task of bringing forth knowledge and experience, insight, perception and understanding through the activity’s process and product.