A silhouette (in white) of Founder's Tower, on a background illustrating a musical theme. Royal Holloway, University of London

French Music, Aesthetics and Identity in the Process of Transformation, 1892-1992

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Call for papers for International Colloquium on

French Music, Aesthetics and Identity in the Process of Transformation, 1892-1992

Organised by the Département de musicologie de l’Institut d’Arts, Lettres et Histoire, I.A.L.H. of the Université Catholique de L’Ouest, Angers, Pays de la Loire, France.

In cooperation with:
Institut de Recherche Fondamentale et Appliquée, U.C.O. Angers, France
Research Intitute for the Humanities, Keele University, England, U.K.
Groupe de Recherche Interdisciplinaire Histoire et Fiction, U.C.O. Angers

29-30 April 2008 in Angers, France

Between the composition of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and the year of Olivier Messiaen’s death, French music has been constantly questioned as much for its aesthetics as for its identity.  It seems, though, that certain characteristics endure, giving works of French composers a distinctive identity.

At the beginning of the 20th century, two factors need to be taken into consideration: the emergence of the first musicological studies, and a shared determination among composers, conductors and performers to reinvest in French musical traditions.  These were reinforced, one the one hand, by the efforts of teachers and professors to make known the techniques of musical writing and, on the other, by a new body of compositions.  All this played a crucial role in the search of a French
musical identity.

French composers have established their distinctiveness by drawing on the great masters of the past, selected popular music traditions, and exotic musics from beyond Europe.  Musical teaching, nurtured by French institutions, such as the Paris Conservatoire, the Ecole Normale de Musique and the Schola Cantorum, have played a determining role.  Since the Second World War, the young generations have interrogated the musical paradigms and have created works which seem to participate in this French
spirit.  In fact, during these last forty years a deepening knowledge of an ever-expanding repertory, alongside scientific research into the domains of sonority, have contributed to the transformation of French music, while conserving an essential core.

This colloquium wishes to draw together research which would enable us to define more precisely the complex dynamics underlying these transformations.  The following themes have been identified:

•           Composition, harmony, modality…
•           Orchestration, instrumentation
•           Teaching, pedagogy, educational training
•           Analyses of works
•           Form, technologies
•           Characteristics of and engagement with Modernism
•           Centralisation or regionalism (Paris – Provinces)
•           Reception history
•           Perceptions from abroad
•           Influences from the domains of French politics, society, science and art

Presentation of abstracts
The procedure consists of two stages:
1.         Send the title and a short abstract outlining the scope of your argument, the research questions and some commentary, accompanied by your personal and contact details (surname, forename, postal and email address, telephone number, academic affiliation) to Pascal Terrien (pascal.terrien@uco.fr) and Barbara Kelly (b.l.kelly@mus.keele.ac.uk) by abstract deadline of 7 December 2007.
2.         You will receive a reply by 15 February 2008.  Authors whose papers have been accepted must then send the definitive title of their paper and a formal abstract, as well as a short biographical note by 15 March 2008 (abstracts should not exceed 500 words)

Send both items by email only in word-compatible format (Times new Roman, 12 point) to both email addresses detailed above.

Organising committee: Pascal Terrien, Université Catholique de l’Ouest (France), Barbara Kelly, Keele University (England, UK).

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