Analysis – Interpretation – Performance

A Contact Zone for the Reconsideration of Musicological Methods

Annual Conference of the Austrian Society for Musicology (ÖGMW) 2015

University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG)
November 18–21, 2015

Programme Committee:
Christian Utz (chair); Klaus Aringer, Christa Brüstle, Federico Celestini, Martin Eybl, Werner Goebl, Gerd Grupe

Call for Papers [download]

Processes of musical performance are increasingly the focus of musicological attention. The discourse on the relevance of an aural interpretation for a contemporary understanding of music from the past was triggered by the trend towards historically-informed performance practice that developed from the 1960s onwards. Further “performative turns” in aesthetics, literature and theatre studies did not, however, bring about major repercussions in musicology until the 1990s. Together with an enhanced interest in the history of reception and performance, these developments finally contributed to an understanding of musical works not solely as objects of contemplation but also as frameworks for a “performance culture”. Parallel developments in technology enabled recordings to be used broadly as fundamental research material, often in performance-oriented corpus studies.

Nevertheless, the question of the position of musical analysis, as a traditional musicological tool, in the face of this methodological integration of performance and sound remains unresolved. Conventional approaches that considered musical analyses to be “guidelines” for performance have been decidedly refuted since the 1990s, culminating in Carolyn Abbate’s categorical separation of “drastic” musical experiences through live performances and “gnostic” interpretations based on established musicology and analysis. Recently, a more differentiated approach to this field of tension has emerged, paradigmatically represented in Nicholas Cook’s extensive concept of “music as performance”. Increasingly, the term “performance” is understood to encompass not only live situations but also various forms of medially-documented performances.

How can intuitive knowledge applied and gained in performances (as documented in “arts-based research”, for instance) and analytically-substantiated musicological insights synergize fruitfully? This question may be approached from diverse research traditions: along with the studies on reception and performance history that have been carried out over the course of several decades, the historical and systematic methods of British Performance Studies (including the research projects CHARM 2004–2009 and CMPCP 2009–2014), empirical research e.g. in Performance Science (international symposia/ISPS since 2007), and performance-oriented analytical methods, the rediscovery of structural analysis in ethnomusicology (in the journal Analytical Approaches to World Music, among others) has also shed new light on the field of performance, which had always been of central importance to that discipline.

Abstracts submitted for the annual conference of the Austrian Society for Musicology 2015 may thus feature any area of musicology and should address current research on the relationship between analysis, interpretation and performance as a challenge for reconsidering musicological methods.

Section 1: The Presence of Historical Sound
Section 2: Listening to the Twentieth Century: Musical Performance in the Era of Analysis
Section 3: Analyzing Interpretations and Interpreting Analyses
Section 4: Performance and Analysis in Non-Western Musical Genres
Section 5: Performance, Analysis and Empirical Research Methods

Keynotes:
Kai Köpp (Bern University of the Arts)
Joshua Rifkin (Boston University)
John Rink (University of Cambridge)
Renee Timmers (University of Sheffield)
Sarah Weiss (Yale University / YaleNUSCollege Singapore)

Abstracts for papers (up to 500 words) and poster presentations (up to 300 words) may be submitted by e-mail to oegmw2015(at)kug.ac.at until May 31, 2015. The abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by a jury. Notification of papers accepted will be made by July 15, 2015.

www.kug.ac.at/performance-analysis

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