Future Sound of Pop Music

Bern (CH), November 30 – December 3, 2017
Bern University of the Arts

New technologies, new interfaces and controllers have significantly altered the sound world of pop music in recent years. In current pop songs, electronic sounds and effects are dominant. The sound aesthetic of pop music has also undergone a major shift from the 1960s to the present day. Initially, pop music invested in a few distinctive distinguishing features such as distortion, but today it features complex electronic constructions based on samples, virtual instruments and effects.

The significance of individual sounds – their origins, their development and their future – has until now rarely been an object of research in popular music. This symposium will discuss how the sound aesthetic of popular music has changed over the past decades. It will debate how sounds have been created, how they are employed, and how they are constantly being renewed and replaced by new sounds. Last but not least, the symposium will discuss the future of sounds in pop music by addressing the following questions:

  • How are sounds modified, manipulated and transformed today, and how will this be done in the future?
  • What role do new interfaces and controllers play in the development of new sounds?
  • What do current sound generators offer?
  • What new sound generators might we expect in the future?
  • How will pop music sound, 10 or 20 years from now?

The following keynote speakers have been invited:

  • Dr John Chowning (San Francisco)
  • Dr Lippold Haken (Illinois)
  • Dr Edmund Eagan (Ottawa)
  • Dr Wayne Marshall (Boston)
  • Bruno Spoerri (Zurich)
  • Annie Goh (London)

Furthermore there is a Call open up to May 1, 2017.

Conference website

Music Pedagogy in Eighteenth-Century Naples: Theory, Sources and Reception

Milano (I), January 25, 2017
Bern (CH), January 26/27, 2017

The international and multilingual conference will be held by the  Università degli Studi di Milano (Centro Studi Pergolesi) and the Bern University of the Arts (SNF project Creating the Neapolitan Canon). Starting in Milano on January 25, 2017 it will continue in Bern on January 26/27, 2017.
Topic is the pedagogy of composition around 1800, its european reception and the creation of a pedagogical canon and its myth by the so-called neapolitan school.

Die internationale und mehrsprachige Tagung wird gemeinsam von der Università degli Studi di Milano (Centro Studi Pergolesi) und der Hochschule der Künste Bern (SNF-Projekt Creating the Neapolitan Canon) getragen. Sie fängt am 25. Januar 2017 in Mailand an und setzt sich am 26. und 27. Januar in Bern fort. Gegenstand der Tagung ist die Pädagogik der Komposition um 1800, ihre europäische Rezeption sowie die Schaffung eines pädagogischen Kanons und des damit verbundenen Mythos der sogenannten neapolitanischen Schule.

Claudio Toscani (Università degli Studi di Milano)
Rosa Cafiero (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
Marilena Laterza (Università degli Studi di Milano)
Claudio Bacciagaluppi (Hochschule der Künste Bern)
Giulia Giovani (Hochschule der Künste Bern/Università degli Studi di Siena)

Invited speakers/Eingeladene ReferentInnen (Milano):
Nicholas Baragwanath (Nottingham)
Ludwig Holtmeier (Freiburg)
Markus Neuwirth (Leuven)
Marco Mangani (Ferrara)
Giorgio Sanguinetti (Roma)
Roberto Scoccimarro (Köln)
Paolo Sullo (Roma)
Peter van Tour (Uppsala)
Felix Diergarten (Basel)
Marilena Laterza (Milano)
Rosa Cafiero (Milano)

Invited speakers/Eingeladene ReferentInnen (Bern):
Rosalba Agresta (Paris)
Rosa Cafiero (Milano)
Lydia Carlisi (Bern)
Sean Curtice (Evanston, IL)
Giulia Giovani (Bern)
Nathalie Meidhof (Freiburg)
Johannes Menke (Basel)
Cécile Reynaud (Paris)
Claire Roberts (Bern)
Martin Skamletz (Bern)

Conferences will be held in Italian, French, English and German.

Die Vorträge finden in italienischer, französischer, englischer und deutscher Sprache statt.

«Composing with the Eyes». The Swiss Composer Hermann Meier

The oeuvre of the Swiss composer Hermann Meier (1906-2002) has a special place in the sparsely inhabited landscape of the early Swiss avant-garde. His method of composition using large-scale graphic plans nevertheless just found few attention during the time of his life. The Symposium invites international experts, fellows and contemporaries of Meier to discuss different aspects of Meiers oeuvre. A Discussion and a concert complement the lectures, serving also as a prelude to an exhibition in the Kunstmuseum Solothurn.

January 27/28, 2017 – Bern, Hochschule der Künste, Papiermühlestr. 13a/d

Further information: www.hkb-interpretation.ch/meier


Der Solothurner Komponist Hermann Meier zählt zu den Hauptvertretern der frühen Avantgarde der Schweizer Musik. Sein Schaffen mit grafischen Kompositionsplänen fand jedoch Zeit seines Lebens wenig Anerkennung. Das Symposium lädt international führende Expert/innen, Nachwuchsforschende und Zeitzeugen nach Bern, um verschiedene Aspekte von Hermann Meiers Schaffen zu diskutieren. Ein Gespräch und ein Konzert ergänzen die Referate, die zudem den vorweggenommenen Auftakt zu einer Ausstellung im Kunstmuseum Solothurn bilden.

27./28. Januar 2017 – Bern, Hochschule der Künste, Papiermühlestr. 13a/d

Nähere Informationen: www.hkb-interpretation.ch/meier

CIMCIM annual Conference 2017 and Fourth International Romantic Brass Symposium

The CIMCIM annual conference 2017 will take place in Basel and Bern – in collaboration with the Fourth Romantic Brass Symposium. The working title of the Conference is «Presentation, Preservation and Interpretation – Musical Instrument Collections challenged in the 21st Century».
Date: February 22–25, 2017

Programme overview (dated July 2016)

A Call for Papers is open until September 23, 2016.
By October 21, 2016, the programme will be published and registration will be open.

See also the symposium website www.hkb-interpretation.ch/cimcim

As a Swiss I’m neutral – Othmar Schoeck’s Opera “Das Schloss Dürande” in context

The world première of Othmar Schoeck’s opera Das Schloss Dürande took place at the Berlin State Opera on 1 April 1943. Hermann Goering declared it to be “bullshit” and ensured that it disappeared from the programme after four performances. Goering’s verdict was prompted primarily by his having read its libretto by Hermann Burte – but perhaps also by having learnt of the explosive end to the ancient régime at the close of the opera, which was already being interpreted by certain contemporaries as a portent of the Third Reich’s own fate. Even today, Hermann Burte’s libretto is agreed by commentators to be the opera’s real weak point. This symposium, organised by Thomas Gartmann and Chris Walton, will endeavour to determine whether it is possible to “decontaminate” a work whose text and context are redolent of National Socialism, and thereby free it to enter the discourse again, even to take its place on the operatic stage. This symposium is part of a research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and run by the Bern University of the Arts.

The topic here is not just Schoeck’s opera Das Schloss Dürande, but its historical and musical context. In lectures, workshops and concerts, this symposium will investigate composers who suffered under cultural dictatorship and opposed it, alongside others who were opportunists, hangers-on or even advocates of it. The symposium will discuss the context and conditions of Dürande’s performances in Berlin and Zurich in 1943, it will ask questions of guilt and innocence in art and culture, and question the consequences of Schoeck’s declaration that “as a Swiss, I’m neutral”. The results of the symposium will be published afterwards.

Website of the Symposium and detailed programme (in german)

Authenticity versus Improvisation in the Philosophy of Music?

The Institute of Philosophy of the University of Bern invites abstracts for papers to be presented at the two-day conference (May, 19/20, 2017) ‘Authenticity versus Improvisation in the Philosophy of Music’, organized in collaboration with with the Hochschule der Künste Bern.

The Conference is part of the Project ‘Ontology of Musical Works and Analysis of Musical Practices’ (Link) organized by Prof. Dr. Dale Jacquette, Prof. Dr. Thomas Gartmann, Dr. Marcello Ruta and Annabel Colas.

The Symposium aims to investigate, from both the ontological and the musicological viewpoints, the notions of authenticity and improvisation, as they seem to constitute two unattainable ideals for musical performance that are nevertheless descriptive of types of musical practice.
Keynote addresses are held by Julian Dodd (Manchester University), Roger Pouivet (Université de Lorraine) and Bastien Gallet.

Possible topics may include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • The notion of authenticity and improvisation in different musical traditions and practices.
  • Theoretical implications of the notions of authenticity and/or improvisation for the ontology of music.
  • Authenticity, improvisation and identity conditions of musical performances or works.
  • Authenticity of performance and hermeneutics.
  • Improvisation and performative-turn.

Presentations can be held in German or English and should last around 25 mins, followed by Q & A. Please send abstracts of no more than 400 words to the following Address: omw@philo.unibe.ch

Submission deadline: 30th November 2016

Information on registration and accommodations will be posted in due time.

Music, Art and Philosophy in Dialogue

Conference in Bern, 20th & 21st May 2016

The Institute of Philosophy of University of Bern, the Hochschule der Künste Bern and the Zentrum Paul Klee announce the two-day conference ‘Music, Art and Philosophy in Dialogue’.  The symposium aims to foster dialogues between musicology, philosophy and art history.
Keynotes are held by Peter Kivy (Rutgers University), Paulo de Assis (Orpheus Institute – Ghent) and Ulrich Mosch (University of Geneva).

A Call of Papers is running until the end of January 2016
The Call seeks contributions in the following fields:
– Philosophical themes in Paul Klee’s Work and Thought
– The role of Music in Paul Klee’s Work and Thought
– The role of Paul Klee in Contemporary Music
Further information