Department of Music

Music Theatre and Performance (Analysis): Perception, Temporality and Rhythm in Music Theatre
St. Petersburg, May 2004

Music Theatre Working Group
in the International Federation for Theatre Research (FIRT/IFTR)

Call for Papers

Music Theatre and Performance (Analysis).
Perception, Temporality and Rhythm in Music Theatre

St. Petersburg, Russia, 22-27 May, 2004
Deadline for submissions: January 15, 2004

The Music Theatre Working Group in the International Federation for
Theatre Research (FIRT/IFTR) invites proposals for papers for its meeting
during the FIRT Annual conference to be held in St. Petersburg, from May,
22 to 27, 2004. The meeting will be convened by Clemens Risi and
Friedemann Kreuder, both Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany.

The Music Theatre Working Group is a very new working group within the
FIRT/IFTR (International Federation for Theatre Research). It was
established during the FIRT conference in Sydney in 2001 and held its
first official meeting in conjunction with the FIRT World Congress in
Amsterdam in 2002 with 14 papers about very different topics, ranging from
historical performance practice of opera, discourse analysis of opera of
the 19th century to recent approaches in performance analysis of music

The Music Theatre Working Group is open for new members and welcomes
everybody who is interested in all kinds of music theatre and who feels
the need to exchange ideas concerning music theatre.

In our view, music theatre should be understood in its broadest sense. The
general interest of the group could be summarized in the question of
functions and effects of music, sound and voices in theatrical processes,
the relationship between the aural and the visual. Different perspectives
consider performance analysis of music theatre stagings, (inter-)cultural
and interdisciplinary studies, questions of narrativity and genres, and
the influence of new media.

For the forthcoming meeting in St. Petersburg in May 2004, we propose to
focus on music theatre and opera as performance, to focus on the
performative quality of music theatre as an aesthetic process and event.
We believe that there is still the need to develop a language to describe
and analyze what we experience in the moment of a performance. It is
necessary to look for the reasons why specific performances of the music
theatre touch us and attract our academic interest.

This approach implies to consider but is not limited to the following
the active (sensory) interaction between performer/performance and
the vocal and physical presence of the performer (voice, body, movement);
the relationship between the aural and visual elements of a performance
(sound and movement; light and music; synaesthetics);
the influence of the specific style of the musical language on the
perception (what does it mean for the audience if it is music of the
17th, the 21st century, pop or rock music?);
the individual and collective/cultural memory (also intertextual
the interaction of (historical, cultural, aesthetic) discourses in the
perception of music theatre; the (social, cultural) effects of music

For this meeting, we would like to propose a procedure that is widely used
in other working groups, i. e. to distribute all accepted papers among the
participants of the meeting in advance. In the sessions, every participant
is granted 10-15 minutes to introduce his/her paper, supported by
audio-visual material, followed by an extensive discussion.

We encourage submissions of abstracts of about 200-300 words, preferably
in electronic form no later than January 15, 2004, to:
Notification of acceptance will be sent by February 15.
Participants are asked to submit full paper (around 3000-4000 words, in
rtf-format) by April 15, 2004. The papers will then be e-mailed to all

Please, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Clemens Risi and Friedemann Kreuder

Address: Institut fuer Theaterwissenschaft, Freie Universitaet Berlin,
Grunewaldstr. 35,
D-12165 Berlin, Germany, Fax: +49-30-838503-65

For further details about the FIRT conference in St. Petersburg, 2004,
please see the FIRT website: