Performance analysis: A bridge between theory and interpretation

International Bilateral Conference Portugal/Italy

4th-6th October 2016

Porto, Portugal.

Interpretation can be found everywhere whenever associated with a sign or a group of signs may that be a sacred, philosophical, literary, musical, pictorial or any other kind of text. The assignment of an interpretation always presents itself, to the recipient of the sign, under the form of an interpretative decision. Hermeneutics is the discipline which studies the meanings transmitted by signs, especially in the case of works of art. There are in fact contents which are more immediately evident, in contrast with others which demand a more meaningful interpretation. For example, concerning the works of the past, only a hermeneutic activity comprising very different skills, so much so that it is impossible to delineate them, may deepen the signs, allowing the appropriation of the cultural content of tradition, so that the work remains alive in the present and, potentially, in the future.

That is just the case of music that, from the very moment it embraces an essentially interpretative moment – through which we may have access to the musical message- faces complex interpretative problems. Hermeneutics doesn’t refer just to the performance itself, which includes a virtually infinite spectre of readings of the same text, but coexists with that same text. Hermeneutics in music plays its role on three different plans: theory, composition and performance. Music theory – that is the set of information sedimented, structured and shared by a community at a certain moment – is the only way to have access to history and to question the past. But theory must be also constantly questioned and put into perspective in order to keep its functionality; composition is precisely an attempt to give an adequate answer to the technical-expressive questions mentioned by the theory, to formulate a musical thought that is simultaneously a synthesis of the past and a projection into the future. Performance is ultimately the transmission of the musical meaning embodied in that thought.

So, this conference has a double goal: to promote a critical discussion founded in philosophical assertions and facing strictly theoretical problems and further on to enlarge the discussion to the problems concerning music theory, composition, performance and critic and all that from the point of view of their relationship with semiotic universes – stratification of languages, forms, performance styles, criteria of judgement, listening habits – which are more and more diversified and complex.
Our purpose is to explore what the concept of performance means today – performance in theory and in praxis. This discussion will allow us, on the one hand, to evaluate the pertinence of this notion in the traditional hermeneutical performative field and on the other hand to reflect on the essence and the limits of this field in the musical landscape of the XXI century.

Please submit an abstract in English of no more than 500 words, clear title, 3 keywords, 3 references and a short biography (up to 100 words). The abstract should be submited in PDF, doc, docx tx formats. With your proposal please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation.The deadline to submit a proposal is the 4th of July, 2016. Please send your proposals to the following e-mail: with the subject “Performance Analysis_(title of the paper)”.The scientificcommittee will make its final decision on the abstracts at July 20, 2016 and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter.


Madalena Soveral (ESMAE/CESEM)

Sara Zurletti (Conservatório Reggio Calabria)

Administrative Support

Cristiana Vicente. CESEM

Vera Inácio Cordeniz, CESEM


Ana Maria Liberal (ESMAE, CESEM)

Andrea Francesco Calabrese (Conservatório Reggio Calabria)

António Chagas Rosa (Universidade de Aveiro, INET-MD)

Daniela Coimbra (ESMAE,NIMAE)

Enrico Fubini (Universidade de Turim)

Franco Romano (Conservatório Reggio Calabria)

Isabel Soveral (Universidade de Aveiro, INET-MD)

Letizia Michielon (Universidade de Padova, Conservatório G. Tartini, Trieste)

Manuel Pedro Ferreira (FCSH/UN,CESEM)

Paulo Assis (Orpheus Institut,Gent)

Paulo Ferreira de Castro (FCSH,CESEM)

Sharon Kanach (Centre Iannis Xenakis,Paris)

Further informations: