The State We’re In: Directions in Researching post-1900 British Music

The State We’re In: Directions in Researching post-1900 British Music
University of Surrey
16–17 April 2015

Dr Joanna Bullivant (University of Nottingham)
Dr Christopher Mark (University of Surrey)

The last thirty years have witnessed a surge of interest in the study of British music since 1900 and a number of landmark publications. Among a diverse body of work, the concept of ‘British modernism’; the role of theory and analysis versus cultural and reception history; the question of the cultural value of indigenous music; and issues of national musical identities in the face of radical change internationally, a declining Empire, an increasingly multicultural society, and strengthening nationalisms within the constituent British nations, have proved to be major – and contested – themes.

In recognition both of the diversity of work already embarked upon, and the topicality of issues of national identity and cultural value in Britain today, we believe the time is ripe for a dedicated forum to enable the exchange and development of new ideas. This initial, exploratory conference is intended as the first step in the establishment of a new research network. It will incorporate several keynote ‘perspectives’ on the state of research from within academia and the music profession, and conclude with an open meeting concerning the goals of the proposed network. We warmly encourage papers on any aspect of music in Britain since 1900, and particularly welcome submissions from research students as well as more established scholars. Possible themes include, but are not limited to:

British modernism(s).
The role of institutions and media in modern British music, both historical and current.
Theory and analysis.
Nationalism(s) and identity.
Music and Empire.
Folk and popular music.
National and regional musics within the UK.
Gender and sexuality.
Reception history.
Technology/film music.

The conference will include a recital of twentieth-century British song on the evening of the 16th, performed by Justin Vickers (tenor) and Lucy Walker (piano)

Conference Committee:
Peter Atkinson(University of Birmingham)
Joanna Bullivant (University of Nottingham)
Kate Guthrie (University of Southampton)
Chris Mark (University of Surrey)
Allan Moore (University of Surrey)

Proposals for 20-minute papers should be sent as abstracts of not more than 300 words to by 5.00pm on Friday 5 December.

Conference website:

Enquiries should be directed to Chris Mark at

Supported by the Royal Musical Association