After Idealism: Sound as Matter and Medium in the 19th Century

Conference website: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/26935

Registration for the conference is now open. Fees are £40 (full fee) and £15 (student/unwaged). Fees include lunches and teas/coffees. Registration will close on Wednesday 1 March. 

 

Convenor

David Trippett (University of Cambridge)

 

Summary

The legacy of idealism has been a guiding doctrine for the study of 19th-century music, from an emphasis on neo-Platonic musical works, acousmatic voices and intangible structures, to listening experiences disembodied, creatively imaginative, and ineffable. But idealism has arguably obscured the emergent perspective of natural science during the period, and with it, those of philosophical and scientific materialism that engaged composers, listeners, and their art.

This conference aims to enlarge substantially our understanding of the dialogue between 19th-century music and natural science, examining in particular how a scientific-materialist conception of sound was formed alongside a dominant culture of romantic idealism. It takes as its subject sound as matter and medium, focusing on the domains of natural science, emergent technologies, sentient communication and acoustics. It investigates the view that sound, for a time the cherished mantle of idealist metaphysics, was also regarded by writers, composers, scientists and engineers as tangible, material and subject to physical laws; that scientific thinking was not anathema but—at key moments—intrinsic to music aesthetics and criticism; that philosophies of mind and theories of the creative process also drew on mechanical rules of causality and associative ‘laws’; and that the technological innovations brought about by scientific research were accompanied by new concepts and new ways of listening that impacted the sound world of composers, critics, and performers.

This event brings together approaches from the philosophy of science, musicology, phenomenology, sound studies, and media theory / communication studies.

A series of addresses come from leading figures across these disciplines. By placing the respective disciplinary perspectives in dialogue the conference aims to foster discussion on such topics as:

  • Historical soundscapes
  • Histories of sensation / materialities of communication
  • Acoustics & theories of sounding matter
  • Phenomenologies of listening
  • Embodied / materialist theories of the creative process
  • Philosophical & scientific materialism

Within this array of approaches to the subject of sound as matter and medium, the conference will promote a dialogue between materialist philosophies of mind and historical understanding of acoustics, between sound as cognitive phenomenon and vibrational event, between constructed identities of the composer as natural genius and a sentient body engaging with the tangible, noisy, physical environment.


[original CFP follows]

17 March 2017 – 18 March 2017

Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DT

Convener

David Trippett (University of Cambridge)

 

Summary

The legacy of idealism has been a guiding doctrine for the study of 19th-century music, from an emphasis on neo-Platonic musical works, acousmatic voices and intangible structures, to listening experiences disembodied, creatively imaginative, and ineffable. But idealism has arguably obscured the emergent perspective of natural science during the period, and with it, those of philosophical and scientific materialism that engaged composers, listeners, and their art.

This conference aims to enlarge substantially our understanding of the dialogue between 19th-century music and natural science, examining in particular how a scientific-materialist conception of sound was formed alongside a dominant culture of romantic idealism. It takes as its subject sound as matter and medium, focusing on the domains of natural science, emergent technologies, sentient communication and acoustics. It investigates the view that sound, for a time the cherished mantle of idealist metaphysics, was also regarded by writers, composers, scientists and engineers as tangible, material and subject to physical laws; that scientific thinking was not anathema but—at key moments—intrinsic to music aesthetics and criticism; that philosophies of mind and theories of the creative process also drew on mechanical rules of causality and associative ‘laws’; and that the technological innovations brought about by scientific research were accompanied by new concepts and new ways of listening that impacted the sound world of composers, critics, and performers.

This event brings together approaches from the philosophy of science, musicology, phenomenology, sound studies, and media theory / communication studies.

A series of addresses come from leading figures across these disciplines. By placing the respective disciplinary perspectives in dialogue the conference aims to foster discussion on such topics as:

  • Historical soundscapes
  • Histories of sensation / materialities of communication
  • Acoustics & theories of sounding matter
  • Phenomenologies of listening
  • Embodied / materialist theories of the creative process
  • Philosophical & scientific materialism

Within this array of approaches to the subject of sound as matter and medium, the conference will promote a dialogue between materialist philosophies of mind and historical understanding of acoustics, between sound as cognitive phenomenon and vibrational event, between constructed identities of the composer as natural genius and a sentient body engaging with the tangible, noisy, physical environment.

 

Sponsors

Supported by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH) and the European Research Council (ERC).

 

Administrative assistance: conferences@crassh.cam.ac.uk

Russia and the Musical World: Nineteenth-Century Networks of Exchange

16th December 2016

Centre for Russian Music, Goldsmiths, University of London

 

 

This study day seeks to generate discussion on how and why music, musicians and musical materials moved in, through and out of Russia during the long nineteenth century. Russia’s connections to the nineteenth-century musical world remain understudied. While various isolated moments of transfer are well known – the premiere of Verdi’s La forza del destino in St Petersburg, for instance, or Diaghilev’s Ballets russes in Paris – the breadth, depth and mechanisms of musical exchange require further investigation. After all, it was during this time that Russia became increasingly entangled in international cultural networks, enabled by a combination of remnants of the past (aristocratic patronage, royal relationships, cosmopolitan circles) and its modernisation (improving transport links, new political ties).

 

To pursue this line of inquiry is to participate in the recent turn towards cosmopolitan, international or transnational histories of music. Such frameworks push against entrenched methodological nationalism: a trend under which Russian music history has particularly suffered. In his epic Oxford History of Western Music, Richard Taruskin sought to ‘“mainstream” Russian music and musicians into the general narrative’, rather than lumping them into chapters on national schools (Taruskin, 2011). In order to continue this project of understanding Russia in its wider global context, the means by which connections were made need to be established.

 

In addition to tracing the movements of people – singers, impresarios, touring troupes, conductors, translators, writers, composers – we encourage contributions that consider the participation of nonhuman actors, such as institutions, scores, libretti, transport links and media, which should emphatically be included in the social analysis of musical life. Through debate at this meeting, we seek to establish how existing networks were used for music, how new ones were built, and also what factors limited musical mobility. By raising these issues in a study day format, we aim to bring together those examining movement in different directions, and, in so doing, to draw Russianists and non-Russianists into conversation about international mobility.

 

We invite proposals for papers under the following and related themes:

  • Musical networks connecting Russia and the rest of the world (people, institutions, communities);
  • Musicians and other figures from musical life travelling to or from Russia;
  • Mediators of exchange (hosts, organisers, translators);
  • Collaboration across borders;
  • The mechanisms, materials, and particular conditions of cultural transfer in the long nineteenth century;
  • Music and diplomacy;
  • Shifting borders;
  • Barriers to musical mobility (politics, gender, technology, language).

 

This conference will take the form of a study day in which papers will be circulated in advance. We aim to collect a selection of contributions to be developed for publication in a themed journal issue.

 

The language of the conference is English.

 

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Tamsin Alexander at t.alexander@gold.ac.uk by 30th September 2016. Notices of acceptance will be sent by 7th October 2016.

 

Organisers:

Tamsin Alexander (Goldsmiths, University of London)
t.alexander@gold.ac.uk

Rutger Helmers (University of Amsterdam)
r.m.helmers@uva.nl

 

This study day is supported by the Centre for Russian Music at Goldsmiths.

OBERTO Conference 2016: Operatic Acting

Oxford Brookes University, Thursday 8 September 2016

Without acting, there would be no opera. And yet for centuries opera theorists and critics have debated the relative importance of music and drama in the art-form, usually positioning drama as music’s servant. In the past the technical competence of singers, who wanted to ensure a flawless delivery of their vocal lines, was sometimes seen as being at odds with the realistic depiction of actions on stage or the convincing embodiment of a character’s psychological state. ‘Park and bark’ or ‘stand and deliver’ have become bywords for stereotypical operatic acting that – developments in recent decades notwithstanding – still surface in popular and professional discourses about opera. Mark Twain went so far as to claim that ‘there isn’t often anything in the Wagner opera that one would call by such a violent name as acting; as a rule all you would see would be a couple of … people, one of them standing still, the other catching flies.’

The perceived superiority of music over drama is reflected in the focus of much academic work on opera: studies of how singers or even extras and choruses act are few and far between. Yet the subject of operatic acting is a fascinating one, not least because demands on the acting abilities of singers have increased in recent decades. Modern directors and composers often require artists to perform athletic or acrobatic acts while singing, and the ‘stand and deliver’ approach is now largely considered old-fashioned or even unacceptable on the operatic stage. In the wider media, meanwhile, the physical appearance of singers is widely (and sometimes voyeuristically) discussed, but the way in which they bring characters and dramatic situations to life is not.

This conference, organised by the OBERTO opera research unit at Oxford Brookes University, aims to examine the manifold ways in which opera, singing, performance, acting, body image, drama and dramaturgy interact. We invite proposals for individual 20-minute presentations, panel discussions and alternative format sessions such as lecture-recitals or poster presentations. We welcome contributions not only from academics but also from performers and opera industry or media professionals. Past OBERTO conferences have facilitated lively debates between academics, practitioners and members of the general public, and we would like to continue this tradition.

Topics might include (but are not restricted to):

  • Case studies in the history of operatic acting
  • Composers’ / librettists’ conceptions of how particular roles should be acted
  • Varying perceptions of ‘good acting’ in different national repertoires and staging traditions
  • The relationship between opera and spoken theatre past and present
  • The influence of cinema on operatic acting / opera singers in films
  • Critical / audience responses to operatic acting
  • Changing conceptions of dramatic and psychological realism in opera
  • The dramatic demands placed upon singers today: live relays and the ‘close up’
  • Regietheater and acting
  • Drama training for singers
  • The singer’s appearance and its relationship to operatic drama

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Dr Alexandra Wilson at alexandra.wilson@brookes.ac.uk by 1 June 2016. We will endeavour to notify contributors by the end of June and publicise the full programme in early July. The conference website is at: https://obertobrookes.com/conference/ 

Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum

Friday 13th May 2016, 9.45am-6pm

‘Soundspaces of the Middle East and Central Asia: Exploring the Intersection of Sound Studies and Ethnomusicology in the Middle East and Central Asia’

Convened by the Music Department at City University London in conjunction with the Institute of Musical Research

Venue: City University London, Music Department, Room AG09, College Building, St John Street, London EC1V 4BP

All welcome and admission is free but advance registration is requested for planning purposes.

http://www.city.ac.uk/events/2016/may/middle-east-and-central-asia-music-forum

Provisional Schedule

9.45am                  Welcome 

Session 1, 9.50am – 11.30am

Meri Kyto (University of Tampere, Finland): ‘Negotiating the Acoustic Community: A sonic ethnography of a housing cooperative in Istanbul’

Ruard Absaroka (SOAS) ‘ Sounding Islam in Chinese Central Asia: Methodologies and perspectives’

and Rachel Harris (SOAS): ‘Islamic Extremism, Song and Dance, and Sonic Territoriality: Contesting the Xinjiang Soundscape’

11.30-11.50                  Tea/Coffee

Session 2, 11.50 – 1.10pm

Rachel Beckles Willson (Royal Holloway, University London) ‘Beyond “isolation wrapped in layers of silence”: when an oud is a place that narrates. [This paper will include extracts from Telling Strings, a documentary film by Anne-Marie Haller (2007) featuring Palestinian musician Kamilya Jubran.]

Abigail Wood (University of Haifa): ‘The Cantor and the Muezzin’s Duet at the Western Wall: contesting sound spaces on the frayed seams of the Israel-Palestine conflict’

Lunch (not provided)     

Session 3, 2.15pm – 4.15pm

ROUNDTABLE: Exploring the Intersection of Sound Studies and Ethnomusicology in the Middle East and Central Asia: Opportunities and Challenges

Seth Ayyaz (City University London)

Aaron Einbond (City University London)

Jason Stanyek (University of Oxford)

Elizabeth Tolbert (Johns Hopkins University)

Abigail Wood (University of Haifa)

4.15-4.30pm            Tea/Coffee

Session 4, 4.30-6.30pm

 

Seth Ayyaz (City University London): ‘On The Admissibility of Sound’: dual processes, a triple helix and three speculations on the Islamic sonic-social’

Stefan Williamson Fa (UCL): ‘Loudspeakers and Chains: public ritual and Shi’i soundscapes in Northeastern Anatolia’

Mohsen Shahrnazdar (Tehran Soundscapes project) title tbc

We are also hoping to including a screening of the film ‘Telling Strings’ (Anne-Marie Heller, Switzerland, 2007), during the day.

The Middle East and Central Asia Music forum has been running since 2007 and is open to researchers, students and anyone interested in the music and culture of the region. In the spirit of fostering dialogue and interdisciplinarity, we hope that the issues discussed at the forum will be of interest to a broad audience, including musicologists, ethnomusicologists and other researchers in the arts, humanities and social sciences. In addition, we welcome those working on other aspects of Middle Eastern and Central Asian culture broadly speaking (dance, visual arts, media, film, literature, etc.)

The Forum is convened by Dr Laudan Nooshin, City University London (l.nooshin@city.ac.uk) and Dr Rachel Harris, SOAS (rh@soas.ac.uk)

Ligeti’s Legacy in Retrospect

The Association “Transylvania Art and Science”, Cluj-Napoca, Romania in collaboration with Gheorghe Dima Music Academy is pleased to announce the International Conference

 

LIGETI’S LEGACY IN RETROSPECT

 

hosted at “I. Lapedatu” Hall of the National Bank of Romania, on 26 and 27 May, 2016. The event is organised within the Festival ‘A Tribute to György Ligeti in his Native Transylvania’ (Festival director: Bianca Ţiplea Temeş).

 

The conference features an exciting line-up of contributors and aims to provide a forum for a dialogue among scholars from various musical standpoints while presenting a portrait of the composer 10 years after his death. The official conference language is English.

 

We would be happy to welcome participants from abroad, no participation fee required. If you are interested, please send an email to the following address, mentioning your name and affiliation:

 

transylvania.art.science@gmail.com

 

As places are limited, we will consider applications in the order of their confirmation. Apart from attending the conference, participants will have the unique opportunity to visit Cluj in the heart of Transylvania, a very dynamic city full of culture where Ligeti started to study music.

 

For more information please visit the following page:

http://cimro.ro/ligeti-international-conference-in-cluj/

Whose Cultural Legacy?: Polish Composers and Music History 1930–1945

10am-4 pm, Friday 22 April 2016

Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square WC1B 3RA.

Keynote speaker: Dr Katarzyna Naliwajek-Mazurek, Instytut Muzykologii Warsaw.

The International Centre for Suppressed Music and the Department of Music, Royal Holloway University of London, invite proposals for 20 min papers for presentation at a one-day symposium to be held at Bedford Square, on the practical and historiographical challenges facing scholars and performers interested in the rehabilitation of mid-twentieth-century European music history, focusing on Polish composers who have not fallen comfortably into current notions of national and cultural identities.

The shifting borders of Poland have left many musicians, who unlike writers could not be classified culturally by their native language, unclaimed by any of the countries formerly, or presently part or Poland. Would musicians and composers from Danzig or Breslau be considered Polish, Kashubian,  or German? Would those from Teschen be considered Czech, Polish or Austrian? Would musicians from Lviv/Lwów or Tarnopol/Ternopol be Austrian, Polish, Ukrainian or Russian? Many of these countries effectively classified Jews as an ethnic sub-division, often depriving them of any national identity. Today, national cultural institutions such as orchestras, schools and broadcasters play central roles in whether the works of a composer are revived and profiled. To be culturally unclaimed is to remain unperformed, and lack of performance can only lead to lack of understanding and vice-versa.  This symposium seeks to focus attention on these issues and thereby help scholarly efforts to solve them.

Call for papers

Abstracts on topics related to this theme should be no more than 250 words and should be e-mailed by 7 March 2016 to Professor Peter Tregear peter.tregear@rhul.ac.uk and include a title, author(s), affiliation(s), email address for contact.

The Programme Committee consists of Professor Erik Levi, Professor Stephen Downes, and Professor Peter Tregear.  The programme will be finalized by 21 March 2016.

The Organisers acknowledge the kind support of the Research Strategy Fund of Royal Holloway University of London.

Music Education and Music Psychology Student Conference

Thursday 23 June 2016, Music Department, University of York UK

The conference will feature a keynote presentation given by Professor Graham Welch, internationally renowned expert in Music Education from University College London, as well as student papers and posters on topics relating to instrumental and vocal teaching, class music teaching, music psychology and approaches to studying these subjects. Registration is now open, and details of the programme are available on the conference website:

https://musiceducationandpyschologyyork.wordpress.com/

Conference organisers: Dr Liz Haddon, Dr Hauke Egermann and MA Music Education students, University of York, UK

For further information please contact Dr Liz Haddon (Leader, MA in Music Education: Instrumental and Vocal Teaching), Music Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, email liz.haddon@york.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1904 324564


[original CFP follows]

Call for Papers

We encourage submissions from students studying Music Education and Music Psychology for this one-day conference. We welcome papers and posters on any aspect of these subjects particularly relating to instrumental and vocal teaching, class music teaching, music psychology and approaches to studying these subjects. The conference will feature a keynote presentation given by Professor Graham Welch, internationally renowned expert in the field of Music Education.

Proposals of 250-300 words are invited for spoken papers of 20 minutes. These should be sent as a Word attachment to liz.haddon@york.ac.uk and must include the following: Title, author(s), affiliation(s), and email address for contact. The deadline for proposals is Friday 22 April 2016 at midday.

Registration will open on Monday 9 May. Information about the conference: travel information, draft programme etc. will be available in due course from Dr Liz Haddon.

Conference organisers: Dr Liz Haddon and Dr Hauke Egermann (University of York)

For further information please contact Dr Liz Haddon (Leader, MA in Music Education: Instrumental and Vocal Teaching), Music Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, email liz.haddon@york.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1904 324564

‘Musicology after Postmodernism’: Critical Theory for Musicology Study Day

‘Musicology after Postmodernism’: Critical Theory for Musicology Study Day

Call for Papers

In association with the Royal Musical Association and the Institute of Musical Research

2nd July 2016, Senate House, University of London

Keynote Speaker: Professor James Currie (State University of New York at Buffalo)

In recent decades, the postmodern turn in musicological scholarship has prompted a productive interaction between multiple disciplines in order to answer questions of ontology, theory, and praxis that were overlooked in earlier dialogues. It encouraged disciplines to ‘embrace contradictions’ (Kramer 2002), to ‘absorb multiple discourses’ (Horton 2001), and to look outside of themselves to various other disciplines such as literary theory, philosophy, and sociology in order to ‘reconnect “the music itself” with the fabric of human life’ (Cusick 2001). Yet, as Berger notes, ‘the field opened up both thematically and methodologically to such an extent that no one knows what musicology is any more’ (1995). This pluralist notion that ‘everything is permitted’ (Žižek 2011) has led to a state of relativism and— perhaps inadvertently—cultural stasis, in which it is difficult to know how to move forward in either a disciplinary or a socio-political sense. This means that postmodern musicology not only loses sight of the very music that it aimed to reconnect with, but also obscures any potential for social transformation.

If this is the case, then how does musical scholarship connect to human life? How might it reflect current affairs, or deal with questions of urgency, action, or revolution? Is it necessary or even possible for musicology to address the concerns of the world today? We suggest a return to critical theory in order to investigate both the musical and social implications of these questions.

This study day aims to provide a supportive and friendly environment for students to gain experience in presenting work that may fall between disciplines in other research settings. We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers from postgraduate students in any discipline on any aspect of critical theory and music. We are particularly interested in proposals that address the above questions either directly or indirectly, as well as any of the following:

  • The effects of studying, listening to, or talking about music on critical theory
  • The effects of critical theory on listening to, studying, or talking about music
  • The relationship between critical theory and music analysis
  • The effects of critical theory on musical performance
  • Connections between music(ology) and theorists such as Heidegger, Adorno, Hegel, Lacan, Žižek, Jameson, Eagleton, Butler, Braidotti,  Badiou, Deleuze,  and others

For 20-minute paper proposals, abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent by email to criticaltheoryformusicology@gmail.com. Please also include your name, affiliation, email address, AV requirements, and a biography of no more than 50 words on a separate cover sheet (Microsoft Word or PDF). The deadline for receipt of proposals is 31st March 2016. All those submitting proposals will be notified of the outcome by mid-April 2016.

For more information about the Critical Theory for Musicology study group please see our website: http://criticaltheoryformusicology.wordpress.com

‘Arts + The Inklings’: Verge Conference

Call for Papers: “Arts + The Inklings” Verge Conference Sep 28-30, 2016

Trinity Western University presents its 2016 Verge Conference on “Arts + The Inklings.”  This interdisciplinary arts conference invites presentations on topics relating to and stimulated by the work of the group of Oxford authors known as The Inklings—including C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, and J.R.R. Tolkien. We invite presentations on such topics as…The Inklings authors’ contributions to the arts; translating their work into other media–film, theatre, music, visual art; the Inklings’ legacy as culture critics. Keynote speaker is Dr. Michael Ward, author of “Planet Narnia.” Proposal deadline is May 15, 2016. Info and CFP: http://www.twu.ca/vergeconference.

Music on stage: The sixth bi-annual international, interdisciplinary conference

Music on stage

The sixth bi-annual international, interdisciplinary conference at

Rose Bruford College, Sidcup, Kent

October 22nd and 23rd 2016

 

For this year’s conference, the organisers support an open call in order to interrogate questions regarding the field of music on stage in relation to modes of practical and critical research, different practices and modes of dramaturgical composition and a variety of theoretical conceptualizations. As a result, the conference title is intentionally wide as it is hoped papers will cover all aspects of performance and genres. The following strands are anticipated: opera, the musical, contemporary music theatre, historic and contemporary performance practices, design, and production, areas of musicality in performance training and making, and philosophical theorizations regarding the nature of the theatrical event.

Our themes focuses broadly on how we negotiate theatrical artefacts and the collectively-produced ephemerality of the broad field of music on stage; that is, how performative interactions between the spectators and the performers – along with the non-human intervening dramaturgical elements – as an evental process enable musical environments and processes to emerge.

We invite presentation proposals from a wide variety of scholars and practitioners, with a special emphasis on the interconnections of music on stage in relation to contemporary and historical performance. Embracing the interdisciplinarity of the field, we actively promote practice-as-research methods and welcome proposals in different presentation formats. These formats can include:

  • 20min paper presentation.
  • Ignite/PechaKucha.*

 

* A PowerPoint presentation with 20 images/sides set to automatically progress after 20 seconds. Presenters are then invited to speak alongside their images.

Your presentation proposal, irrespective of format, should include a 250 word abstract along with a short biography.

Suggested topics relating to the broad theme of music on stage include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Music on stage as an interdisciplinary network.
  • Music and musicality as the activation of the senses and emotions in performance practices.
  • Exhibiting, documenting and/or remembering music on stage: archiving music on stage.
  • Historical performance practice.
  • The theoretical potential of emergent forms of practice in relation to the field. Approaches to examining the creation of music on stage: Conceptual and theoretical interpretations.
  • Research into opera scores/texts.
  • Current modes of practice and creating: Intermediality; music and sonic environments; interrelations with other artistic areas of creation such as, for instance, Fine Art; and Music on the stage and its relation to visual dramaturgies.
  • Contemporary forms of disseminating research and practices, for example, live streaming.

 

CALL FOR PAPERS

Papers are invited of 20 minutes duration and abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent to Dr F Jane Schopf at Fiona.schopf@bruford.ac.uk or Rose Bruford College, Burnt Oak Lane, Sidcup, Kent DA15 9DF, England  

Deadline May 15th

Papers published subject to peer review.

Previous sets of papers published by Intellect Press and Cambridge Scholars Publishing.