Pre-existing music in screen-media: Problems, questions, challenges

Cleveland State University and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be hosting the twelfth annual conference of the Music and Media (MaM) Study Group of the International Musicological Society (IMS). The gathering will take place on June 5-6, 2020.

We welcome proposals that examine the theoretical and practical implications of pre-existing music in a variety of screen media—with special emphasis on cinema, music videos, and digital technologies. We encourage scholarship from a wide range of interdisciplinary approaches—musicology, film studies, ludomusicology, composition, etc. Conference topics may include:

  • The definition of pre-existing music in screen media; What is pre-existing music? What are the specific characteristics of pre-existing music?
  • Pre-existing music and socio-cultural representations in cinema
  • Pre-existing music, cultural coding and “recodification” in specific cinematic contexts
  • Pre-existing music and intertextuality
  • Re-appropriation of pre-existing music in screen media
  • Pre-existing classical, jazz, and popular music in screen media
  • Pre-existing music in video games and non-fictional cinema (documentary films, television)
  • Pre-existing music vs. commissioned music
  • Pre-existing music and auteur cinema
  • Licensing of pre-existing music for film, television and other media.
  • Pre-existing music, post-existing music and cinematic listening

Keynote speakers are Carol Vernallis (Stanford University) and James Buhler (University of Texas at Austin).

Deadline: Wednesday March 1, 2020. Participants will be notified by March 15, 2020.

Each speaker will have 20 minutes for the paper plus 10 minutes for discussion.

Please include as pdf or Word file: an abstract of no more than 250 words, a biographical note of no more than 150 words, contact details including academic affiliation, if applicable, and any technological requirements that exceed the standard. A projector, stereo and internet access will be provided.

Please send proposals to: Ewelina Boczkowska (

The program conference committee consists of: Carol Vernallis, Stanford University, James Buhler, University of Texas at Austin, Chloé Huvet, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Tobias Pontara, Gothenburg University, Emile Wennekes, Utrecht University (chair of MaM), Ewelina Boczkowska, Youngstown State University (co-organizer), Jason Hanley, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (co-organizer), Michael Baumgartner, Cleveland State University (co-organizer).