Essence and Context: A Conference Between Music and Philosophy

INTERNATIONAL MUSICOLOGICAL CONFERENCE
Essence and Context: A Conference Between Music and Philosophy
Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre – LAMT (Tilto g. 16, Vilnius, LITHUANIA)
31st August–3rd September 2016

ORGANIZERS: Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Musicological Section of Lithuanian Composers’ Union
PARTNERS: Hull University, AMS (American Musicological Society) Music and Philosophy Study Group, Royal Musicological Association, Belgrade University of Arts, Lithuanian Philosophy Association

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS include:
Professor Paul Boghossian (New York University)
Professor Vytautas Landsbergis (Lithuania)
Professor Jerrold Levinson (University of Maryland)
Professor Tamara Levitz (UCLA, Los Angeles)
Professor Richard Taruskin (University of California, Berkeley)

PLENARY PANELLISTS include:
Professor John Deathridge (King’s College London)
Professor Mirjana Veselinović-Hofman (Belgrade University of Arts)
Professor Mario Videira (São Paulo University)
Professor Nick Zangwill (Hull University)

This conference brings music scholars and philosophers together to examine the ideas of the essence and context as they apply to music. In philosophy, the notion of essence has seen a renaissance in the last twenty years, yet in many corners of the humanities, essences are still viewed with suspicion. A common worry with thinking of music in terms of essence is about the plurality of music. Can the many musics be seen as the manifestations of one essence? Surely the many musics too diverse to be the manifestation of one essence. There is also the worry that thinking in terms of essence is an overly conservative way of imposing fixity on something that evolves. The appeal to essence in the cultural sphere is supposed to be fraught with the danger of imposing a normative straightjacket over divergent and dynamic phenomena. Many think that we must appeal to the varying historical and cultural contexts of music, and the idea of an essence of music is therefore misguided. On the other hand, if we despair of finding something in common, are we really left with a chaos of completely different phenomena with nothing at all in common? Why then speak of ‘music’ in all the cases that we do across many different historical and cultural contexts? Furthermore, perhaps we can be more careful about the kind of essences we affirm, ones that may not have the normative consequences that some fear. Indeed, anti-essentialism may also have its own dangers. Or can we transcend this opposition? Is there really a tension between the context of music and its having some essence? Perhaps one is part of the explanation of the other. Given the current interest in the notion of essence in philosophy, and given that exhaustively contextual approaches to music are now less dominant than they used to be in both musicology and philosophy, this is a good time to reconsider these notions and the relations between them as they bear on music and musical phenomena. We welcome a broad range of views on these questions, either focusing on particular music or taking a more general view.

SUBMISSIONS: The official language of the conference is English. You are invited to submit the proposals for round table discussions, study group sessions and individual papers by the 15th April 2016. An abstract (up to 300 words for 20-minute individual paper) and a CV (up to 150 words) should be submitted to the conference coordinator Dr Rima Povilionienė at rima.povilioniene@lmta.lt. For round table discussions and study group sessions a general summary is required.
Information about the selected proposals will be announced by the 15th May 2016. Further information on conference programme and accommodation arrangements will be announced at the end of May 2016, on the internet site of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (music-essence.lmta.lt). Selected papers may be published in collaboration with a scholarly journal.
Conference participation fees paid on arrival at the conference. On-site payment is only possible in cash: Standard 50 EUR; Student 15 EUR.

PROGRAMME COMMITTEE:
Professor John Deathridge (King’s College London)
Dr Michael Gallope (University of Minnesota)
Professor Rūta Stanevičiūtė-Kelmickienė (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre)
Professor Mirjana Veselinović-Hofman (Belgrade University of Arts)
Professor Mario Videira (São Paulo University)
Professor Nick Zangwill (Hull University)
Dr Audronė Žukauskaitė (Lithuanian Philosophy Association)

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE:
Jūratė Katinaitė (Musicological Section of Lithuanian Composers’ Union)
Dr Lina Navickaitė-Martinelli (LAMT)
Dr Rima Povilionienė (LAMT)
Rima Rimšaitė (LAMT)
Dr Kamilė Rupeikaitė (LAMT)
Professor Rūta Stanevičiūtė-Kelmickienė (LAMT)
Dr Judita Žukienė (LAMT)

Email:
conference coordinator
Dr Rima Povilionienė
rima.povilioniene@lmta.lt

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