“Musica Practica, Musica Theoretica” – In Search of the Composer’s Idiom: Poetics, Stylistics, and Technique

On behalf of the Faculty of the Theory of Music at the I. J. Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań I would like to invite you to participate in the 16th International Conference from the series “Musica Practica, Musica Theoretica” – In Search of the Composer’s Idiom: Poetics, Stylistics, and Technique – to be held on 9th-10th April 2019 in our Academy’s Presidential Hall.

The focus of the Poznań conferences is always on the issues of a musical work and various types of relations between theory and compositional practice. This time we propose to discuss considerations about the constitutive features of compositional idiom, which manifest themselves both in the poetics and stylistics of the musical work. The word idiom, functioning as a synonym of specificity, difference and individuality, refers to the unique and distinctive features of a given phenomenon or those specific to a given unit.
The concept of an idiom in contemporary music theory includes features characteristic of output of one or a group of composers, as well as a set of features that distinguish musical artifacts. The identification of the abovementioned properties is possible thanks to a careful analysis of the means of the composer’s speech (technique, formal formation, expression), made from the axiological perspective of what the piece communicates. According to Leonard B. Meyer, an idiom is what is common to the works of one composer, thus he associates the concept of an idiom with individual strategies identical for the composed works [L. B. Meyer, Style and Music. Theory, History and Ideology, Philadelphia 1989]. Thus, the idiom category may embrace features specific to more general artistic phenomena (e.g. currents and directions of the epoch, cultural tradition), as well as to the composer’s output (aesthetic attitude), and finally to a single piece.

Focusing reflection on compositional output and its results stems from the assumption that the concept of an idiom can be extremely helpful in exploring the essence of three areas of musical culture, indicated in the title of the conference, and finding the constitutive features of the composer’s idiom will contribute to defining creators’ stylistic preferences as well the aesthetic and artistic values they create. Such outlined research perspective sets out a wide field of investigation that includes the reflection, among others, on:
 elements of common phenomena, musical works that determine their essence,
 identity and individuality of a musical work,
 a form of expression characteristic of a given creator,
 sound and structural features of a work (Walter Wiora),
 artistic philosophy of an artist (Bohdan Pociej),
 sets of constitutive features of a composer’s style (Mieczysław Tomaszewski),
 inspiration as a “component” of an idiom (Władysław Stróżewski),
 national idiom in music, including the determinant of the “Polish” idiom (Katarzyna Szymańska-Stułka).

The presentation of the paper including musical samples should not exceed 20 minutes. The conference languages are Polish and English, and the presentation of the paper in Polish should be accompanied by a presentation in English or a translated speech delivered to the organizers by 8th March 2019.
Conference participants shall be offered accommodation, board and modest remuneration.
You are kindly requested to declare your willingness to take part in the conference and send us (in Polish and English):
 your presentation’s title,
 a biographic note (up to 300 characters),
 an abstract of your paper (up to 2000 characters),
no later then 20th December 2018.
Upon receiving our acceptance – no later than 15th January 2019 – you will be asked to transfer a conference fee of PLN 300 by 31st January 2019 to the following account number:
BZ WBK S.A. VI O/POZNAŃ 66 1090 1362 0000 0000 3601 7907
Your application, subject, biographic note, abstract of the presentation and payment confirmation should be sent to Julia Gołębiowska, Ph.D.’s email address:

Further details shall be sent at a later date.