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Ritual, Liturgy and Magic in Early Modern Music Theatre
Turku, September 2001

Ritual, Liturgy and Magic in Early Modern Music Theatre:  A Call for Papers 

We invite proposals for a conference on the above-mentioned title which will take
place in Åbo (Turku), Finland, 7th-10th September 2001.  The conference has been
arranged in connection with a project supported by the Joint Committee of the
Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities (NOS-H), and Åbo Akademi University;
and our keynote speaker will be Professor Gary Tomlinson (University of
Pennsylvania), the author of, among other works, Monteverdi and the End of the
Renaissance (1987), Music in Renaissance Magic (1993), and Metaphysical Song

The project has been underway for a couple of years now, and the aim of the
conference is partly to establish a larger forum for discussion and research for
scholars who have an interest in the same -- or relevant adjacent -- fields.  
Accordingly, the conference will focus on religious, ritual, and metaphysical
aspects of various forms of Early Modern Music Theatre and will seek to trace
connections between different kinds and national varieties of music theatre.  
(These may include, for example, issues such as the relation between liturgical
drama and opera; or the interconnections between opera, English masques and French
or Scandinavian ballets de cour etc.)

We are currently exploring the possibility of publishing an anthology of articles
- provisionally entitled 'Ritual, Liturgy and Magic in Early Modern Music Theatre'
- which may, in part, derive from papers delivered at the conference.  In this
context, it is hoped that the book will open up a line of interpretation relating
to early modern music theatre which is slightly different from the prevailing
politicised modes of approach which have become so familiar in this field.

Proposals are invited on any topic relevant within the above-mentioned subject
area.  In particular we welcome contributions addressing questions concerning the
intellectual and spiritual backgrounds to the circles in which Early Modern Music
Theatre was produced; as well as devotional practices or theological and literary
commentaries associated with different moments in the development of the form.
(Keywords here might include: varieties of Protestant reform, Catholicism,
Pythagoreanism, Hermeticism, or Numerology; and key foci might include textual,
scenic, choreographic, art historical or musicological studies within the subject


Please send your proposals (of up to about one page in length) to our e-mail
address at or to the postal address above by
1st June 2001.  In general, presentations delivered at the conference should be
thirty minutes in length, although proposals for twenty minute presentations may
also be considered.  All proposals should include a request for any special
equipment (projectors, videos etc.) that will be required for the presentation.

Any inquiry or correspondence (unless specified otherwise) will automatically put
you on our mailing list, and in due course you will receive all necessary
supplementary information about the conference.


The conference will take place in Åbo (Turku), Finland 7th-10th September 2001 at
the hotel- and conference centre Linnasmäki, Turku Christian Institute. To visit
the Institute please go to, click contacts and maps,
followed by maps, and then Turku on the map of Finland. You will be able to see
the exact location of the hotel.  Turku Christian Institute is known for
well-organized conferences, good food and its excellent location at the very rim
of a small forest.  Pictures of the hotel may be found at and

Additional Details 

For information on prices and other practical matters, please send us an e-mail to  You can, of course, also reach us by

Johan Hellberg 
Research assistant and Conference Secretary
Ritual, Liturgy and Magic in Early Modern Music Theatre
The September Conference 
Papinkatu 2 bst 4
SF - 86300 Oulainen, Finland 

Once you have contacted us, you will be added to our conference mailing list.  
The file we will send you next includes facts about the conference and all the
information needed on how to get to the conference, what is included in the full
board service of the hotel, how to pay the conference fee and all that is included
in the price.

We would be most grateful if you would pass this call for papers on to anyone you
think might be interested in our topic.  If you have any further enquiries
concerning the project or the conference, please do not hesitate to ask.

Hoping to see you in Åbo (Turku) in September!

The Project for Liturgy, Ritual and Magic in Early Modern Music Theatre

Conference Committee:

Dr. Anthony Johnson
Acting Professor and Project Leader
Department of English
Åbo Academy University
Fänriksgatan 3A,
FIN-20500 Åbo

Dr. Nils Holger Petersen
Associate Professor
Centre for Christianity and the Arts
Copenhagen University
Købmagergade 44-46
DK-1150 Copenhagen

Dr. Kristin Rygg
Associate Professor
Department of Music
Hedmark College
Holsetgata 31
N-2317 Hamar

Johan Hellberg
Research assistant and Conference Secretary
Papinkatu 2 bst 4
SF - 86300 Oulainen, Finland

Åbo, 2001-05-09