Music and Numbers


Music and Numbers

An international conference hosted by the Department of Music

Canterbury Christ Church University

14 – 15 May 2010


A conference on ‘Music and Numbers’, in association with Sounds New and the Institute of Musical Research (IMR), will be hosted by the Music Department of Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), on Friday and Saturday, 14-15 May 2010.

The conference will coincide with and augment the long-established Sounds New Music Festival, which is closely affiliated with CCCU. The 2010 festival (7-16 May) focuses on the number seven (7). Ensemble Intercontemporain, Cantus Ansambl, the London Sinfonietta, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players are only a few of the many ensembles and artists who will feature in the festival, while composers and film-makers will also participate and introduce their work.

Building on the festival theme, the conference will provide an overview of the latest scholarly work on music, proportion and numbers in composition, and aims to bring together scholars, composers and performers with interests in this area. Proposals are invited on topics that address specific compositional and/or analytical aspects of repertoires and genres, or the work of individual composers. Possible themes might include, but are not limited to: the use of numbers in compositional theory and practice in the Western classical tradition; proportion and cryptographic techniques; the Fibonacci series and magic squares; other numerical calculations and constructs, particularly those used in compositions of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, such as the use of numbers in algorithmic composition; the intersections of music and mysticism – in as much as these relate to composition with numbers – from Pythagoras to the present day. Proposals from composers and sonic artists demonstrating how working with numbers underpins their own creative strategies will be particularly welcome.

The conference key-note speakers are Dr Ruth Tatlow (Associate Professor, Stockholm University) and Professor Douglas Jarman (Emeritus Professor, Royal Northern College of Music).

Potential contributors are invited to submit abstracts for:

i) individual papers (20 minutes, plus 10 minutes question time)

ii) panel sessions (1 hour, with no more than four papers, including question time)

Abstracts should address the conference theme and state the aims and methodological approach of the proposed paper(s). Abstracts, which will be published both electronically and in the conference programme, should be no longer than 300 words for individual papers and up to 1,000 words for panel sessions. They should include the following information:

i) title of the paper

ii) author(s) name(s)

iii) institutional affiliation (if any)

iv) email address (panels: emails for all panel participants)

v) abstract (for panels: description of the panel and brief abstracts of individual papers)

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is Friday 8 January 2010. Successful contributors will be notified via email by late January 2010.

Abstracts should be submitted via email (preferably as plain text – only attachments in .rtf format will be accepted) to the conference organiser, Dr. Eva Mantzourani at:

Postal correspondence should be addressed to: Dr. Eva Mantzourani, Department of Music, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, CT1 1QU, United Kingdom.

Further information will appear on the conference website: