The Composer as Chronicler: Telemann’s “Gebrauchsmusik” as a musical diary

Call for papers

The Composer as Chronicler:
Telemann’s “Gebrauchsmusik” as a musical diary.
4th Frankfurt Telemann Symposium
5 – 7 October 2017

The conference has been organized by the Frankfurt Telemann Society together with the institute for musicology at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main and will held in the Holzhausenschlösschen of the Frankfurter Bürgerstiftung.
In the course of his 86 years, the composer Georg Philipp Telemann was an unusually alert eyewitness to the inexorable passage of time and change in social mores impacting the society in which he lived. His compositions for specific occasions, often thought of today rather disrespectfully as “Gebrauchsmusik”, can be seen as entries in a diary, entries which capture and comment upon important events in the life of his community and his world. The texts and music of such works open a window on contemporary thought and feeling about such matters as war and peace, natural catastrophes, and even stock market crashes.  They accompany the composer in his various capacities as church musician (music for weddings, for the induction of priests into their new parishes, and for funerals) and court composer (music for royal birthdays and state visits), and illuminate the complex network of interdependentcies between composer and society. Such works are valuable not only for their intrinsic beauty, but also for what they can tell us about the society of which they formed a part.
This conference in the Telemann year 2017 – the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death – proposes to examine this aspect of the composer’s oeuvre in light of its social and cultural relevance and of its place in the developing musical language of the time. Of particular interest are works which have until now received only a cursory investigation and have not appeared in critical editions (cantatas for the dedication of churches, music for the induction of priest into their new parishes, music for weddings, birthday serenades and works for political celebrations and for the schools in Hamburg and Altona).
Participants in the conference are invited to enter into a dialog with works of the above mentioned categories, whereby more general discussions of “occasional music” in the 18th century from an historical, sociological or cultural standpoint would also be most welcome.
Prospective papers should be 30 minutes in length, followed by a 15-minute interval for discussion. Conference languages are German and English. Interested parties are requested to submit a short (500 words or less) summary of their proposed topic, preferably per email, to:
Prof. Dr Thomas Betzwieser
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Institut für Musikwissenschaft
Senckenberganlage 29-31
D-60325 Frankfurt am Main
email: betzwieser at em dot uni-frankfurt dot de
The deadline for receipt of abstracts is January 15, 2017; the final program will be published on the web page of the Frankfurt Telemann Society (www dot telemann dot info) no later than the beginning of March, 2017. A publication of the symposium proceedings is planned.
During the symposium there will be a concert by students of the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt with works discussed during the proceedings.