Music and Realism: Comparative Historical Perspectives

The Dome (3rd Floor), Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham, 19–20 June 2015

Speakers: Adrian Daub, Ben Earle, Marina Frolova-Walker, Jonathan Hicks, Paul Rodmell, Arman Schwartz, Leslie Sprout, Peter Tregear, Heather Wiebe, Gavin Williams, Flora Willson

A draft programme is available here:

There is no attendance fee or requirement to register. Those wishing to attend should nevertheless contact Ben Earle ( for access to pre-circulated materials.

Tyranny and Music

CFP: Tyranny and Music

Date: November 21-22, 2015

Location: Middle Tennessee State University

Narrative: 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat by the allied forces at Waterloo, the 150th year since John Wilkes Booth shouted “sic semper tyrannis” after assassinating President Lincoln and the 800th year since the creation of the Magna Carta, perhaps the first English language resistance to tyranny. In recognition of this important date, the music department at Middle Tennessee State University invites proposals of up to 300 words for scholarly presentations broadly aligned to the theme of Music and Tyranny.

We welcome a diversity of perspectives, not only on the Napoleonic era, but from across human history, from the music that Nero might have played on his lyre to the portrayal of Kim Jong Un in a music video, studies of music composed for, against, or in some way reactive to tyranny. Thus, we seek perspectives across the spectrum of musicological investigation including (but not limited to) those based on a historical, social, ethnographical, theoretical, or performance approach. Presentations may take the form of traditional paper presentations, panel sessions, roundtable discussions, posters, or lecture recitals. Please note that submission of a proposal constitutes a commitment to attend the conference, if the proposal is accepted. Authors of the strongest papers will be invited to revise their work into critical essays for a projected book-length collection.

All proposals should meet the following criteria:

To be considered, please submit a 250-word abstract, a 250-word biography, and supporting documentation (if desired) to Dr. Joseph E. Morgan at Joseph.Morgan at mtsu dot edu by June 15, 2015.  Presenters will be notified by July 15, 2015 of the status of their applications.

What is distinctive about lyric performance?

SongArt Symposium, 26 & 27 June, 2015
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London NW3 3HY

A celebration and exploration of lyric through performance and debate, involving singers, poets, composers, instrumentalists, directors and academics. The research questions include, but are not limited to, embodiment, liveness, relationships between words and music, relationships between the dramatic and the lyric, and the application of lyric beyond song.

With a Keynote Address by opera and musical director Jo Davies, which itself will be a practice as research demonstration and performance, the two days will comprise performances across many genres and styles of music which seek to address the central question from different perspectives through practice as research.

Details about SongArt may be found on
This Symposium will lead to a major international SongArt conference planned for 2016

Seating is limited. Please email with booking requests.

Research in Popular Music Education

Research in Popular Music Education

A One-Day Symposium

Thursday 23rd July 2015 at the University of Huddersfield

In association with:

  • Association for Popular Music Education
  • International Association of the Study of Popular Music (UK & Ireland)
  • Institute of Contemporary Music Performance
  • University of Huddersfield

Call for papers and panel discussions

The University of Huddersfield hosts this special one-day symposium to focus and reflect on the gathering momentum of research in popular music education. While music education and popular music each have well-established traditions of multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research, the field of scholarly study in popular music education is less well developed. Amidst a surge of publications and burgeoning worldwide interest in this emerging field, we invite colleagues to contribute to the discussion by joining us for this event. Following the vibrant HEA/IASPM conference held at University of Edinburgh in 2014 that explored popular music pedagogy, we welcome submission of submit abstracts of 200-300 words on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Popular Music Education vs Popular Music Studies
  • Higher Popular Music Education
  • Entrepreneurship, (neo)liberalism and contemporary higher education
  • Popular music pedagogies
  • Canon and creativity in curricula
  • Assessment – objectives and processes
  • Teaching teachers to teach popular music

These may be formal presentations, discussions, theoretical, practice-focused or industry-related. Abstracts should be emailed as Word or PDF attachments to not later than 1st May 2015. Notifications of acceptance will be by 15th May. Submissions may be for 20-minute spoken papers, or for 60 minute panel discussions. There will be a £45 fee for attendance.

The symposium is organised by Rupert Till, lead editor of the forthcoming (April 2015) special issue of IASPM@Journal on popular music education, and Gareth Dylan Smith, lead editor of the forthcoming Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Music Education (expected summer 2016).

Keynote speaker: Bryan Powell (Association for Popular Music Education, Amp Up NYC, Music Learning Profiles Project)

OM: Orient in Music – Music of the Orient

Łódź (Poland), Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music, Department of Music Theory, International Conference, 10-11.03.2016

OM, a fundamental meditation sound present in the cultures of Buddhism, is a syllable full of philosophical and transcendental meanings. The category of Orient, as contrasted, antithetical and complementary to the Occident (West) and its culture, appears to be one of the most interesting and long lasting issues discussed in the humanities throughout the centuries. European fascination with oriental cultures has found multifaceted manifestations in science, art, fashion and beliefs.

Music, being an important element of the cultural communication, has always been well suited for transitions and inspirations. The relationship between Orient and Western music seems to compound a wide and fascinating scope of problems, a field of various multidimensional influences which brings an opportunity not only to study particular questions but also search for universal and fundamental values. The main aim of the proposed conference is to outline a range of the relationship between Western music and oriental cultures, the idea that could arouse interest mainly in both groups of researchers: ethnomusicologists and historians (or theoreticians) of music. However, the scope of musicological knowledge can be interestingly broadened by taking into account other perspectives, such as sociological, philosophical and others.


Call for papers

20-minute papers or longer panels of a few speakers (up to 60 minutes) are expected on any aspect connected to the conference theme, including (although not limited to) the following areas:

  1. Orient as a musical category (terminological/geographical frames and ranges of the musical Orient; the Orient and the Occident: musical correspondences; the Orient in musicology and other humanities)
  1. Music of the Orient (musical cultures of the Orient; music of the Orient: idioms and styles; ethnomusicological research regarding oriental cultures)
  1. The Orient as perceived musically (images of the Orient in Western music; oriental inspirations and stylizations in Western music; oriental elements in Western music – classical, popular, folk)
  1. Musical orientalism from theoretical perspective (the Orient in musicological research; methodology of oriental studies in theory of music and musicology; category of the musical Orient from colonial and postcolonial perspectives).

The language of the conference is English. Each submission should include the following information: author(s) name(s), academic affiliation(s), e-mail address, title of presentation, abstract (300 words max.), a short CV. All proposals must be submitted by 1 October 2015 to Prof. Marta Szoka ( or Małgorzata Grajter, Ph.D. ( Final decisions will be announced to speakers by 1 November 2015.

During the conference, an extensive program of mid-day and evening concerts on the 10th and 11th March 2016 (as well as a performance of Carl Maria von Weber’s opera Abu Hassan on the evening preceding the conference, i.e. on the 9th March 2016) is arranged (with a free admission for all participants) – the events will be announced in the build-up to the conference. There will be no conference fee. The organizers could only provide the information about travel opportunities and accommodation in Łódź. After the conference, selected papers will be published in a miscellany.


Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum

Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum

The next meeting of the Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum will take place on:

Friday 22nd May 2015, 9.30 to 6.45pm, followed by an evening concert at 7pm.

At: City University London, College Building, St John Street, London EC1V 4PB

Maps and directions

This event is run in conjunction with the Institute of Musical Research. Entrance is free and all are welcome but to help us with planning we ask that you book in advance:

Registration from 9.30am

Room AG09, College Building

9.45am                  Welcome and Session 1

Ahmad AlSalhi (Royal Holloway University of London): ‘Introduction to the History of the Genre of aut in Kuwait’

Ed Emery (SOAS): ‘The Kurdish Songbook Project 2014-15: The Right to Song and a Model for Radical Ethnomusicology’

11am                     Tea/Coffee

11.30am                Session 2

John Baily (Goldsmiths University of London): ‘Playing the Dotar in Torbat-e Jam, Iran’

Emin Soydas (Cankiri Karatekin University, Turkey): ‘Identifying the Ottoman Tanbur before the Nineteenth Century’

Michael Ellison (University of Bristol): ‘Multiple Traditions, New forms: Transcending East and West in Musical Theatre’

1.15pm – 2.15pmLunch     


2.15pm     Session 3

Stephen Wilford (City University London): ‘Between Thames and Sahara: Representations of Algerian Music in Contemporary London’

Sam MacKay (City University London): ‘A Shared History? North African Musical Heritage and the Public Sphere in Contemporary Marseille’

Polly Withers (University of Exeter): ‘”I’m not a Palestinian musician, I’m a musician who happens to be Palestinian”: Negotiating Nationalism in Popular Musics in Palestine’

4pm                       Tea/Coffee

4.30pm – 5.40pm

Veronica Doubleday (Visiting Fellow, Goldsmiths University of London): ‘Recent Social Changes Reflected in Female Music-Making in Afghanistan’

Merav Rosenfeld (Universities of London and Cambridge, St Edmund’s College): ‘A Short Summary of a Long History: The Paraliturgical Song of Jews Originating in Arab Countries’

6pm – Book launch with wine and nibbles (room AG01, ground floor, College Building)

Laudan Nooshin Iranian Classical Music: The Discourses and Practice of Creativity (Ashgate Press, SOAS Musicology Series, published February 2015)


7pm – Concert: Sounds of the Bosphorus Today (Performance Space, lower ground floor, College Building)

Free to attend, but please book your place (if you have registered for the conference, you need to sign up for this separately)

This is the opening concert of the City Summer Sounds Festival:


Neva Özgenkemençe

Yelda Özgen cello


Ziyad (for kemençe and cello) (2002) –  İhsan Özgen

Asumani (for kemençe and cello) (2012) – Kamran Ince

New Work, 2015 (for kemençe and cello) – Michael Ellison

Uzak (for kemençe and cello) (2003) – İhsan Özgen

Evcara Peşrev Dilhayat Kalfa – (1710?-1780)

Evcara Saz Semaisi  –  Dilhayat Kalfa

Ferahfeza Peşrev – Tanburi Cemil Bey (1873-1916)

Ferahfeza Saz Semaisi – Tanburi Cemil Bey


Mixing experimental, sometimes polyphonic makamsal music (deriving from makam) by İhsan Özgen, Michael Ellison, and Kamran Ince, with that of two traditional masters, this concert shows what three different composers are doing today in straddling the borders between Turkish traditional music and the contemporary West. In Özgen’s case, his perspective is completely from within the long tradition of Ottoman music, and yet these small pieces for kemence and cello show consciously embedded western influence. With Michael Ellison, for whom Ottoman music is a learned tradition, and whose music explicitly attempts to find a middle ground and then go beyond this, it is entirely the opposite. Similarly, Kamran Ince is a Turkish composer writing western music, but coming back to the roots of tradition. These contemporary experiments are followed by works of Dilhayat Kalfa (1710?-1780) and Tanburi Cemil Bey, whose style İhsan Özgen is renowned for extending and preserving.

The Middle East and Central Asia Music forum 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.)

For more information, please contact Laudan Nooshin:

International Conference ‘Russian Émigré Culture: Transcending the Borders of Countries, Languages, and Disciplines’

Call for Papers
International Conference “Russian Émigré Culture: Transcending the Borders of Countries, Languages, and Disciplines”

13-15 November 2015
Saarland University (Saarbrücken, Germany), Department of Slavonic Studies

Scientific Committee: Prof Dr Roland Marti (Saarland University), Prof Dr Christoph Flamm (Musikhochschule Lübeck)

Conference Organisation: Dr Marina Lupishko (Saarland University), Dr Olga Tabachnikova (University of Central Lancashire, UK)

Invited Speakers: Prof Dr Mikhail Meylakh (Université de Strasbourg, France), Prof Emeritus Stephen Walsh (Cardiff University, UK)

The Russian emigration is a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon that had a considerable impact on the cultural life of the 20th century, especially in Europe. The period after the October Revolution witnessed the first wave of Russian emigration, which, after a short period of euphoria and cosmopolitism, became a rather hermetically closed entity, partly isolated from the cultural processes in Europe and often rejected by the mainstream Soviet culture. One of the tasks of the first wave of Russian emigration was to preserve, study, carry on and create Russian culture (Raeff 1990: 95). During the late 1950s-1960s, the renewed cultural exchanges of the USSR with the rest of the world resulted in another wave of emigration that went hand in hand with the dissident movement as soon as the short thaw ended. Perestroika changed the picture fundamentally, opening Russian culture towards the West. Today it is not yet clear whether the development will be reversed. At any rate, the process continues, adapting itself to the ever-changing global context.

Although the different waves interacted in some ways, a holistic look at Russian emigration is at its formative stage. It is clear now that the existence of Russia Abroad is a unique phenomenon of the 20th century. The planned international conference, in the wake of the one held in Saarbrücken in 2011 under the title “Russian Émigré Culture: Conservatism or Evolution?”, will address the Russian cultural emigration, its representatives, and their artistic products in an approach that calls for a re-definition of the word “emigration” itself. It will focus on the process of self-transformation in a conscious or subconscious effort to push the borders of countries, styles, media, languages, and national identities in order to resist stagnation, censorship, or isolation. The following topics, among others, will be addressed at the conference:

– understanding of the cultural canon: what constituted Russian “classical” art from the point of view of Russian émigré artists and their Soviet colleagues?

– the opposition of two literatures, two musics, two arts etc. – that of the USSR and that of Russia Abroad;

– collaboration between Russian avant-garde artists in exile and their Soviet colleagues;

– “inner” vs. “outer” emigration: how did a change of medium helped Russian émigré or Soviet artists to avoid censorship, isolation, or unemployment?

– assimilation of new cultural, linguistic or aesthetic idioms and rejection of the old ones;

– the “multiple” emigration cases: the consequences of the departure to yet another country or of the return to the Soviet Union (Russia);

– international and interdisciplinary interactions within the Russian émigré circles (the epitome of this tradition being Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes) ;

– transformation of or search for national identity;
– non-Russians as part of Russian émigré culture;
– nostalgia and overcoming nostalgia (e.g. the double-residence cases);
– the impact of Russian émigré artists on the surrounding (e.g. European) cultural landscape;

Special sessions devoted to music, fine arts, and literature/poetry – and, to a lesser extent, drama, ballet, and cinema – are planned. The conference papers are expected to be published. Scholars are invited to submit proposals for papers of 20 minutes with a short abstract (max. 250 words) and a short bio (max. 100 words) before 31 May 2015 to both email addresses below:

Dr Marina Lupishko
Slavistik Geb. C 5.2
Universität des Saarlandes
66123 Saarbrücken

Dr Olga Tabachnikova
School of Language, Literature and International Studies University of Central Lancashire Preston PR17BE

Digital Musicology workshop at DH@Ox Summer School

Applied computational and informatics methods for enhancing musicology

Dates: 20–24 July 2015

Registration: until 29 June 2015.

A wealth of music and music-related information is now available digitally, offering tantalizing possibilities for digital musicologies. These resources include large collections of audio and scores, bibliographic and biographic data, and performance ephemera — not to mention the ‘hidden’ existence of these in other digital content. With such large and wide ranging opportunities come new challenges in methods, principally in adapting technological solutions to assist musicologists in identifying, studying, and disseminating scholarly insights from amongst this ‘data deluge’.

This workshop provides an introduction to computational and informatics methods that can be, and have been, successfully applied to musicology. Many of these techniques have their foundations in computer science, library and information science, mathematics and most recently Music Information Retrieval (MIR); sessions are delivered by expert practitioners from these fields and presented in the context of their collaborations with musicologists, and by musicologists relating their experiences of these multidisciplinary investigations.

The workshop comprises of a series of lectures and hands-on sessions, supplemented with reports from musicology research exemplars. Theoretical lectures are paired with practical sessions in which attendees are guided through their own exploration of the topics and tools covered. Laptops will be loaned to attendees with the appropriate specialised software installed and preconfigured.

The workshop is part of the Digital Humanities @ Oxford annual Summer School. As well as the workshop programme there are numerous events in the Summer School including keynote lectures and evening social events.

Summer School site:


OBERTO CONFERENCE 2015: Opera and Celebrity

OBERTO CONFERENCE 2015: Opera and Celebrity

Oxford Brookes University

Tuesday 8 September 2015


From the castrati of the 18th century and the prima donnas of the 19th century to the star singers of the present day, opera has long been associated with celebrity culture. Although operatic celebrities were never just famous for being famous, many performers – and more recently also some composers and directors – were fêted or notorious for more than their artistic achievements. From the earliest days of public opera, accounts of singers’ love affairs, spectacular feuds or personal antics were eagerly lapped up by audiences that looked to the opera for entertainment both on and off the stage. The advent of mass media culture in the later 19th century, however, offered singers and their agents new and powerful promotional tools, which many embraced with enthusiasm. Singers such as Melba and Caruso commanded extravagant fees and were treated like royalty. The opera house also acted as a magnet for celebrities from other walks of life, seeking to enhance their public image via the cultural cachet and glamour factor of opera. During the 20th century audiences and critics became somewhat less tolerant of earlier models of operatic ‘star behaviour’ and in the present day operatic stars might appear to have been comprehensively eclipsed by new and very different types of celebrity. However, studies such as Claudio E. Benzecry’s The Opera Fanatic have demonstrated that contemporary opera enthusiasts are as obsessive about individual singers as they ever were.


This conference, organised by the OBERTO opera research unit at Oxford Brookes University,  aims toexamine the ways in which operatic celebrities across the centuries have promoted themselves and been received by audiences, as well as exploring the impact stars have had upon operatic works and productions. The conference will include a special session on opera and celebrity during the interwar period, associated with Dr Alexandra Wilson’s British Academy-sponsored project on British operatic culture in the 1920s. However, the conference as a whole will engage with all historical periods and a wide array of geographical areas. We also invite contributions on the place of operatic stardom within changing models of celebrity culture in the early twenty-first century.


Topics might include (but are not restricted to):


  • The star as god vs. the star as commodity
  • Celebrity lifestyles and morality
  • The impact of the ‘star’ on operatic works and productions
  • Celebrity and life writing
  • Opera singers in films
  • Celebrity and image / portraiture
  • The travelling / trans-Atlantic celebrity
  • Operatic fandom past and present
  • Critical responses to operatic stars
  • Celebrity appropriation of the operatic environment
  • Operatic celebrity during the interwar period


We invite proposals for 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.


Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Dr Alexandra Wilson at by Monday, 1 June 2015.


The conference will take place at Oxford Brookes University on Tuesday, 8 September 2015.