Neapolitan musical pedagogy of the eighteenth century: 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:


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:

Edmund Rubbra Study Day

The Royal College of Music and Open University Music Department present a study day on the composer Edmund Rubbra (1901–86).

Sunday 6 November 2016, 10.00–16.30, Inner Parry Room, Royal College of Music.

2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Edmund Rubbra, RCM composition alumnus and former student of Gustav Holst. Although chiefly known today for his 11 symphonies and liturgical choral music, Rubbra’s compositions embrace all genres. This study day provides a rare opportunity to find out more about Rubbra’s life, work and music, and includes a lunchtime recital of chamber and solo instrumental works performed by RCM musicians.

Full programme details will be available in early October via the RCM website: . Speakers include Lewis Foreman (editor of Edmund Rubbra: Composer-Essays), Leo Black (author of Edmund Rubbra: Symphonist), Fiona Richards (Open University), John Pickard (Bristol University), Jonathan Clinch (Birmingham University), and Lucy Cradduck (Open University). Talks will cover specific aspects of Rubbra’s music, his writings about music, his relationship with the BBC, and the influence of his teaching on Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe.

Tickets are free, and include admission to the lunchtime recital, plus lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Places are limited and booking is essential. Please contact the RCM Box Office 020 7591 4314 (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm).

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

17 March 2017 – 18 March 2017

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


David Trippett (University of Cambridge)



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.



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


Administrative assistance:

The Future of Music History

The Future of Music History


Institute of Musicology of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA)

Department of Fine Arts and Music of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts


Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Belgrade, 28–30 September 2017




The Institute of Musicology of the Serbian Academy of Sciences is pleased to invite proposals for an international conference on music historiography to be held at the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Belgrade, from 28 to 30 September 2017. The conference will feature a one-day seminar, held on 28 September, convened and introduced by Jim Samson and consisting of invited lectures given by Katharine Ellis, Marina Frolova-Walker, Martin Loeser, Katherine Schofield, and Reinhard Strohm.


In recent years the various sub-disciplines of musicology have evolved in challenging ways. However, these (often radical) changes in disciplinary discourses have not always fed through to the writing of music history. This symposium sets out to look again at some of the latent assumptions underlying music historiography, and to ask how it might better align itself to new political realities and new modes of critical thinking. We welcome papers and panels exploring revisionist discourses of all kinds, including case studies positioned on the borderlands between music history and such disciplines as anthropology, music theory, performance studies, and aesthetics. In all this, our central aim is to recover something of the urgency of historical endeavour, and to that end we offer the following headings and notes. They are indicative only, and are not intended to be in any way restrictive.


  1. Towards a post-European history of music

How might music history address the challenge represented by the cultural relativism implicit in many anthropological studies? Is it feasible to devise explanatory frameworks that embrace the histories of multiple different cultures? How do we circumvent the danger of ‘speaking for’ non-European cultures from a European perspective?

  1. De-nationalizing music histories

Might we challenge the practice of writing national histories of music, and explore instead the commonalities that arise from shared cultural substrata, common imperial legacies, the lure of modernity, and (paradoxically) the rise of nationalism itself? Might we explore more fully a historiography of periphery, acknowledging chauvinism where we find it? And within national histories themselves, might we liberate the regions at the expense of the charismatic cultural capitals, and do adequate justice to mobility and migration flows?

  1. Performance as/in history

Although the rise of Performance Studies has helped liberate performance from the paradigm of interpretation, music histories still tend to place works and institutions centre stage. Should performance play a more significant role in music historiography? And if so, might not other elements shift around somewhat, notably gender and place? A swerve towards performance raises a further important question, currently addressed by several ethnomusicologists. How should music history address and accommodate music that has been disseminated very largely through oral tradition, including non-European art musics, traditional agrarian repertories and popular music?

  1. Everyday history

From the 1970s onwards a number of historians have developed a conception of historiography that has been labelled ‘everyday history’ [Alltagsgeschichte], and there are signs that this is increasingly penetrating the writing of music history. Might there be a further shift of emphasis from a history grounded in human consciousness to one grounded in human communication, concerned with motivations and agency, and placing the spotlight firmly on the consumer and her/his daily routines, experiences and ideas?


The official language of the conference is English. Proposals (of no more than 400 words) for 20-minute papers and short biographical notes (of up to 200 words) should be sent both to Srđan Atanasovski ( and Melita Milin ( by 15 February 2017 (receipt of proposals will be acknowledged by e-mail). We also encourage panel proposals; please provide a short description of the session in addition to individual abstracts and biographical notes. Proposals will be reviewed by the conference committee and the results will be announced by 15 March 2017. A selection of papers will be considered for publication either in an edited volume or in the journal Musicology. Conference fee: 50 Euros (students are exempted).


Programme Committee:

Dejan Despić

Jim Samson

Katherine Schofield

Katy Romanou

Helmut Loos

Jernej Weiss

Melita Milin

Katarina Tomašević

Jelena Jovanović

Ivana Medić

Srđan Atanasovski


Organisational Committee:

Vesna Peno

Biljana Milanović

Marija Dumnić

Language, Music, and Computing

Second International Workshop on Language, Music, and Computing

Aims of the workshop: to encourage interdisciplinary communication and collaboration of linguists, musicians and IT-specialists in the sphere of some actual problems, among which are the following:
1. Language and music acquisition; influence of music skills on language acquisition and language processing; influence of linguistic skills on music acquisition; relationship between music and language training.
2. Linguistic and music knowledge, their structure and functioning; explicit and implicit knowledge of music and language; similarities and differences in understanding of music and language.
3. Automatic classification of linguistic and music knowledge; formal models of linguistic and music knowledge; musical information retrieval vs. linguistic information retrieval.

This year special topics of the workshop are:
– Formal representation of language and music: differences and similarities
– Sound corpora in music and linguistics

Keynote speakers:
Sabine Iatridou, USA
Sergi Jordà, Spain
Merryl Goldberg, USA
Elena Riekhakainen, Russia

Languages of the conference:
Russian & English (some sessions will be simultaneously translated)

Submission process:

Abstracts from different fields are warmly invited. Presentations will last 20 minutes, followed by a ten minute discussion. Abstracts should be submitted before November 27, 2016. Notification of acceptance follows on January 20, 2017. Abstracts should be 450-500 words long (without any subheadings) and clearly present a research question/aim, critical review of the literature, methodology, results and conclusions. Abstracts should be submitted as a pdf. If you wish to include any specific symbols (such as phonetic transcription), please submit your paper both in DOC and PDF format. We have the intention to select papers for a peer-reviewed special issue.
Please send each abstract both in anonymized and unanonymized forms (with author(s) and affiliation) to the following address:

Registration fee (includes program, coffee-breaks, post-conference publication, visa support (if needed)):
Early-bird fee (before March 15, 2017) – 2500 rubles, or 45 euros; students – 1000 rubles, or 20 euros;
regular fee (after March 15, 2017) – 3000 rubles, or 55 euros; students – 1500 rubles, or 35 euros.

Important dates:

Submission deadline: November 27, 2016
Notification of acceptance: January 20, 2017
Registration starts: February 1, 2017
Early-bird registration ends: March 15, 2017
Workshop: April 17-19, 2017
Final papers: June 1, 2017
Results of the revision process: July 25, 2017
Publication – Fall 2017

Sketches and Exercises – History and Theory of Compositional Writing

Call for submissions

The Grieg Research Center at the University of Bergen arranges a two-day seminar 21 – 22 November 2016 at the Bergen Public Library.

Invited speakers:
Jim Samson (Professor Emeritus, Royal Holloway University of London)
Peter Hauge (Senior researcher and editor, The Royal Library, Copenhagen)
Bjørn Morten Christophersen (Lecturer and composer, University of Oslo)
Erlend Hovland (Associated professor, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo)

Sketch studies belong to the methodological core of historical musicology, analysis, and critical editing concerned with the works of 19th and 20th century composers. The study of sketches promise to give insight into the composer’s workshop: as traces of the creative process, sketches shed light on the genesis of a composition from idea to ‘masterwork’. Further, sketch studies can enrich the understanding of the work as a constellation of intertextual associations, whilst the study of compositional exercises might reveal the hidden learning processes behind the formation of a composer’s style.

The overall aim of this seminar is twofold,

  1. to analyze, assess, and contextualize the compositional writing of composers, which correlates with the rise of the conservatories in Paris, Leipzig, and Berlin during the 19th century
  2. to reflect on the current scope, historicity and epistomology of sketch studies within musicological disciplines.

Related issues to be addressed are

  • conceptions of the compositional process
  • changing practices of compositional writing
  • the relationship of music aesthetics, music theory, and compositional practice
  • craftsmanship, creativity, and the concept of the genius
  • the function and value of compositional exercises
  • the influence of teachers, schools, and institutions
  • the relationship of writing and style
  • writing as embodied act
  • the contingencies of notation, imagination and experience.

The seminar takes place at the Senter for Griegforskning, Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek (see map here).

Paper proposals of no more than 200 words can be submitted by October 03, 2016 to the following e-mail address: Arnulf Mattes,

Number of places is restricted. Please register for the seminar at the seminar web page. Conference fee for participants, including two lunches at ‘Amalies Hage’ and coffee breaks: NOK 500.

The seminar is arranged by the Senter for Griegforskning (Grieg Research Center) at the University of Bergen in cooperation with the International Grieg Society.

Music in Nineteenth Century Britain – 2017

The Eleventh Music in C19th Britain conference will take place at the University of Birmingham from 28 to 30 June 2017 inclusive. A call for papers will be issued in late September, with a closing date in early December. Further details will appear here on the  Golden Pages, the conference website (, the University of Birmingham music webpages and via Musicology-All in due course. Enquiries may be directed to:


Dr Paul Rodmell

Department of Music

University of Birmingham



B15 2TT

Experiments in Music Research: Reassessing Pierre Schaeffer’s Contributions to Music and Sound Studies

Experiments in Music Research
Reassessing Pierre Schaeffer’s Contributions to Music and Sound Studies
9 December 2016
Department of Music, University of Birmingham

The Traité des objets musicaux (Treatise of musical objects) is the central theoretical text for the loosely-defined ‘acousmatic’ school of composers that spun off from Pierre Schaeffer’s quarter century of research for the French public broadcaster, first as director of the Groupe de recherche de musique concrète (GRMC), and later with the Groupe de recherche musicale (GRM). Now, fifty years after its original publication, Schaeffer’s work is finally beginning to appear in English translation. At the same time, his carefully wrought meta-language for the relationship between human listening and musical sound is increasingly being tested as a conceptual resource for musicology and sound studies more generally. For all his notoriety, however, it is remarkable how little critical attention has yet been paid to the anatomy and genealogy of Schaeffer’s thought. Engagement with Schaeffer’s ideas, in English especially, has been unevenly focused on a small portion of his eclectic conceptual repertoire, and mostly written from a microscopic perspective that favours putting his system to work over understanding its historical and intellectual implications. Meanwhile, histories of experimental and electronic music have typically emphasized Schaeffer’s work as an engineer and composer over the theoretical project which he considered his highest achievement.

A closer reading of the Traité complicates such reductions. The book is both a prolegomenon to experimental composition, and an exploration of the implications of a musical pluralism brought about by an expanding global mediascape. His concern was not simply with studying listening as a phenomenon or with prescribing specific listening practices, then, but with repositioning listening as the foundation of all musical discipline: from the savoir faire of his solfège, to the analytical attention of his ‘music research’. Any critical reevaluation of Schaeffer’s work should thus be situated not only in relation to the history of electronic music, but also in relation to the history of musical listening and its representation in musicology and sound studies.

This one-day conference invites new critical readings of Pierre Schaeffer’s work. Its goal is to reassess the position of Schaeffer’s theory in the history of musicology and sound studies, its proximity to contemporary concerns in the study of listening and auditory culture, and the implications of engaging with its terminology and epistemology outside of the acousmatic tradition. While previous Schaeffer scholarship has largely maintained a prescriptive focus on the composition and reception of musique concrète, this conference seeks to amplify the dialogue between Schaeffer’s theory and other disciplines. It is timed to precede the appearance of the English translation of the Traité, and will thus set the agenda for future research in the field.

Possible topic areas include, but are not limited to:

  • the Traité des Objets Musicaux as a historical document
  • the Traité, the GRM, and acousmatic music as cultural institutions
  • comparative readings of Schaeffer’s theory with that of his contemporaries
  • critical re-readings of the Traité’s taxonomies
  • Schaeffer’s work as a media personality, novelist or essayist
  • Schaeffer’s philosophy of science and technology
  • the Traité as an analytical or compositional resource for non-acousmatic repertoire
  • Schaeffer and the theory of interdisciplinarity
  • Schaeffer’s work from the perspective of music psychology and cognitive science
  • Schaeffer’s work from the perspective of ethnomusicology and auditory culture studies
  • applications of Schaeffer’s ideas to the cinema and visual media
  • language, speech, and semiotics in the Traité

Abstracts of up to 300 words should be sent to by 30 September 2016. The conference will take place in the Department of Music at the University of Birmingham on 9 December 2016, and will be free to attend. A limited number of small travel stipends are available for doctoral students and early career researchers. Please indicate your intention to apply for a stipend when you submitting an abstract. Selected presenters will be invited to contribute to a collection of essays to be published after the conference.

Experiments in Music Research is presented in collaboration with the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre, University of Birmingham, and with the support of the Institute of Musical Research, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Organizing Committee:
Dr Patrick Valiquet, Institute of Musical Research
Dr Scott Wilson, University of Birmingham