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Twenty-First European Seminar in Ethnomusicology
Cologne, August 2005


Call for Papers and Participation

The XXI European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM) will take place from
August 24 to 28, 2005 in Cologne (Germany). The seminar venue will be the
musicological institute of the University of Cologne, which celebrates the
50th anniversary of its chair in ethnomusicology in 2005.

Theme 1:

Hidden Voices? - European Traditions of Ethnomusicology

In spite of the often acclaimed "multi-vocality" of the ethnomusicological
discourse in the postmodern era, since the end of World War II,
ethnomusicological output has been profoundly shaped by U.S. American
perspectives due to the discipline's outstanding prominence at academic
institutions. This may give rise to the question whether or not there are
independent, perhaps solitary voices in European ethnomusicology which, by
various conditions and reasons, have remained unheard. What do they tell
us? Why are they unheard? Or is this issue of independent individual,
national, or supranational-continental approaches in ethnomusicology
outdated in view of new technologies and media that have changed the
conditions of communication within our discipline?

We want to encourage contributions that face these and similar questions
in a range between retrospects to ethnomusicology's history and utopian

Theme 2:

Sounding the "Sacred": Concepts of Metaphysical Qualities of Music

Of course, metaphysical qualities of music cannot be measured objectively.
They can be felt individually, they can be negotiated in cultural
discourses, and they can be declared by hegemonic authority. From the
transcendental qualities of a pop singer's voice, to the acclaimed
autonomous spheres of "art music", to the sound sacrifices of ritual music
in religious systems, metaphysical qualities of music manifest in

Rather than eliciting descriptions of detailed ritual procedures, we want
to encourage a dialogue about the use of metaphysical concepts in
discourses on music.

Beyond these two themes we plan to include one or two sessions with video


"ESEM is a Seminar rather than a conference that hosts collegial meetings
in which researchers from around the world can gather to share ideas and
discuss recent work in ethnomusicology, in an intimate and informal
setting. ... Meetings are open to ethnomusicologists from all parts of the
world without restriction." We welcome proposals for paper presentations
(that should not exceed 20 minutes in duration), poster presentations,
video presentations and complete panels, including round table discussions
of up to 90 minutes.

Since ESEM focusses on discussion, we explicitly encourage participation
even without formal presentation.

Abstracts of up to 300 words should be submitted, preferably by e-mail to
Ruediger Schumacher by 31 December 2004. Abstracts will be evaluated by a
programme committee and authors may expect to be advised of their
acceptance or otherwise early in 2005. Declarations of intent to
participate without formal presentation should also be sent by 31 December
2004 in order to ease the organisation of accommodation. For further
information and any questions please contact the chairman of ESEM 2005:

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Schumacher
Universität zu Köln
Musikwissenschaftliches Institut
50923  Köln
Tel.: +49-221-470-2249
Tel.: +49-221-470-2339
Fax:  +49-221-470-4964

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