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Higher music education (HME) in Europe is multifaceted due to the great variety of legal frameworks, conservatory histories and practices. However, following the Bologna declaration in 1999, traditional conservatories are gradually transforming into research-based institutions, which means combining advanced performer training with artistic research. After a background on academisation in the higher education of classical, professional musicians, this article reports on a Swedish case study of meanings assigned to academisation in HME. Findings show that it is defined and justified as a quality development project, which requires adaptation and also gives opportunities for further development. Issues of agency in HME are discussed.
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