In Search of Perfect Harmony: Giuseppe Tartini’s Music and Music Theory in Local and European Contexts

International Musicological Conference
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Tartini House, Piran, Slovenia
16 and 17 November 2020

The 250th anniversary of the death of the famous violinist, violin teacher, composer and music theorist Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770), which we will commemorate in 2020, presents an opportunity to reconsider the research of his life and work already done, as well as to address topics that have so far remained in the background. The international musicological conference, which will be held on 16 and 17 November 2020 in Ljubljana and Piran, Tartini’s birthplace, will focus on Tartini’s musical-theoretical thought and his compositional creativity.
When in 1896 Tartini’s monument was erected in Piran, one of the commemorative records named him as “an artist and scientist of European reputation without an equal” (Amico, 2 August, 1896). Indeed, not many musicians made history both as an outstanding composer (the renowned mathematician, physicist and Tartini’s contemporary Leonhard Euler even called him the greatest composer of the time) and as an exceptional music theorist (beginning from traditional musical-theoretical ideas, Tartini laid the foundation for many later music-acoustical considerations). Especially after he began to devote himself to speculative reflections on music, Tartini seems to have been searching for harmony between music theory (which he studied in depth, even reaching back to ancient concepts of music) and musical practice (his daily routine as composer and violinist at St Anthony’s Basilica in Padua and as violin teacher).
Given that during his lifetime Tartini’s music and musical-theoretical works were known throughout Europe, they should also be considered in a broad European context. Despite his international reputation and his residence in Padua, Tartini remained connected to his native Piran: although he never returned to live there after 1708, when he left for Padua, he stayed in touch with his family through a lively correspondence. The influence of local (Istrian) folk-music traditions is of particular importance for his compositional output as well as for his theoretical reflections on music. This is revealed by the fact that the Piran archives still hold many Tartini documents, including manuscripts containing theoretical essays and fragments.

In this context, the following themes seem to be of special interest:
– Tartini’s music-theoretical thought in Italian and European contexts.
– Tartini as a follower of ancient theoretical tradition.
– Specific musical-theoretical questions in Tartini’s treatises.
– Tartini as a mathematician and a philosopher.
– Previous research on Tartini’s musical-theoretical thought and the publications of his musical-theoretical writings.
– Links between Tartini’s music theory and his compositional work.
– Tartini’s music in the European context.
– Tartini’s perceptions of folk-music tradition.
– Traces of folk music (especially Istrian) in Tartini’s works.
– Musical analysis of Tartini’s works.
– Music-theoretical and compositional influences on Tartini and Tartini’s influence on music theorists and composers of later periods.
– Other themes connected to Tartini’s compositional and musical-theoretical work.

Proposals for papers (20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion), which should include a title and a short summary of the proposed topic (200-400 words), a short biography and contact details of the author, are to be sent by Sunday, 31 May 2020, to

Authors will be informed about the selection of papers, which will be reviewed by the international scholarly committee, no later than 30 June 2020. The final programme of the conference will be formed by the middle of October 2020. After the conference, the selected papers will be published either in a monograph or a special number of Musicological Annual.

The official languages of the conference will be Slovenian and English.

The registration fee for active participation at the conference is € 50.00; members of the Slovenian Musicological Society may participate free of charge.

Invited keynote speakers
Prof. Sergio Durante, Ph.D. (University of Padua)
Prof. Pierpaolo Polzonetti, Ph.D. (University of California, Davis)

International scholarly committee
Prof. Patrizio Barbieri (Rome)
Prof. Dr Matjaž Barbo (University of Ljubljana)
Prof. Sergio Durante, Ph.D. (University of Padua)
Sr. Res. Fell. Dr Metoda Kokole (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts)
Prof. Dr Svanibor Pettan (University of Ljubljana)
Prof. Neal Zaslaw, Ph.D. (Cornell University)

Organizational committee
Assist. Prof. Dr Katarina Bogunović Hočevar (Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana)
Res. Assoc. Dr Klemen Grabnar (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts)
Assist. Prof. Dr Nejc Sukljan (Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana)