CESEM is a research unit dedicated to the study of music, in disciplinary and interdisciplinary terms, based on various approaches derived from the most up-to-date perspectives and methodological trends in the Social and Human Sciences.

Based at NOVA FCSH, it also includes researchers working at the Polytechnic Institutes of Lisbon (ESML) and Porto (ESMAE) and the University of Évora. Its internal structure is organized into five groups: Early Music Studies, Music in the Modern Period, Contemporary Music, Critical Theory and Communication (with two nuclei: Music and Thought and SociMus-Sociology of Music), and Education and Human Development. There are also eight thematic lines, which allow researchers from the various groups to collaborate on cross-cutting themes: Luso-Brazilian Studies, Music and Interpretation, Opera Studies, Musical Iconography, Music and Literature, Palaeography and Music Publishing; Therapeutic Effects of Music and, more recently, Music, Gender and Sexuality Studies. CESEM’s work includes intense laboratory activity based in five laboratories, both at its facilities on the NOVA FCSH campus and at the ESML research hub.