The Second Annual Conference of the RMA Music and Philosophy Study Group

Call for Papers

Music and Philosophy

2nd Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy Study Group in collaboration with the Music and Philosophy Study Group of the American Musicological Society

King’s College London
Friday and Saturday, 20-21 July 2012

Generously supported by King’s College London, the British Society of Aesthetics, and the Institute of Musical Research, University of London.

Keynote speakers will include:

Professor Carolyn Abbate (University of Pennsylvania)
Professor David Davies (McGill University)

The RMA Music and Philosophy Study Group warmly invites paper submissions for this two-day international conference, to be held in London on 20-21 July 2012. The event, the second of an annual series of conferences run by the Study Group, will offer an opportunity for those with an interest in music and philosophy to share and discuss work, in the hope of furthering dialogue in this area. Paper submissions on all topics related to the area of music and philosophy are welcome, but in particular those relating to this year’s optional theme of ‘Meaning and ineffability’. Collaboration between persons from different disciplines would be especially welcomed.

In addition to papers relating to the conference theme, topics of interest might include (but are not limited to):

– perception and expression
– music and memory
– music and everyday life
– music and ethics
– music and ontology
– the philosophy of rhythm
– performance, authenticity, and interpretation

Conference theme 2012: ‘Meaning and ineffability’

Musical meaning and ineffability have engaged both musicologists and philosophers for decades, resulting in a variety of approaches and debates. While both challenging and elusive, both concepts bear witness to musicological and philosophical endeavours to ascertain what might be meaningful and sayable ‘about’ music, and whether (and/or how) music is able to speak for itself in ways that can be world-disclosive. This year’s (optional) theme seeks to encourage further debate about the possibilities and limitations within the area of ‘musical meaning and ineffability’: while seeking to explain music, where do musicological and philosophical discussions fall short, and why? Are there ways of ‘doing justice’ to what music does and ‘says’, and do scholars have ethical commitments to continue to reflect and explain?

Proposals of up to 500 words are invited for individual papers (20 minutes) and collaborative papers (up to 30 minutes).

Please submit proposals by email in a word document attachment:

The deadline for proposals is Friday 17 February.

All paper submissions will be considered by the programme committee:

Professor Julian Dodd
Dr Michael Gallope
Professor Julian Johnson
Mr Tomas McAuley
Dr Jairo Moreno
Dr Nanette Nielsen
Mr Stephen Smith
Professor Nick Zangwill

Reasonably priced university accommodation will be available.

More information is available on the conference website: