Typologies of Music Signification: Retrospective and Perspective

Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius, October 21–23, 2021

The Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and the Musicologists’ Section of the Lithuanian Composers’ Union are happy to invite to the international conference “Typologies of Music Signification: Retrospective and Perspective” that will take place at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius, on October 21–23, 2021.

Musical signification, as any other issue related to the meaning in music, has been constantly an object of interest for musicologists, composers, semioticians and philosophers, often in an attempt to classify and categorise it. Looking back at the history of such classifications and foreseeing the need to rethink them, the theme of this conference is dedicated to the theoretical and practical discourses of the interrelations between musical signification and a variety of typologies.

It may be considered that written texts in musicology have emerged from the attempts to categorise abstract phenomena and further practices of their systematisation. Aristoxenus distinguished three basic gènē in his Elementa harmonica. Boethius, in De musica, differentiated the types of musica instrumentalis. The likes of Johannes de Groche, Johann Mattheson, and Johann Nikolaus Forkel named not only new types of music, but also fundamental categories of music, such as genre and style, among others. The path to discovering many of the musical phenomena has been based on the process of categorising and systematising the outcomes of music signification.

Typologies of signification have been acknowledged as research methods and as part of theoretical epistemology of music since the dawn of theoretical musicology and, as such, they have retained a significant place in the research of musicologists, ethnomusicologists, popular music scholars and musical semioticians of the late 20th to early 21st centuries – from Philip Tagg, Simon Frith, Franco Fabbri or Fabian Holt to Heinrich Besseler, Carl Dahlhaus, Helga de la Motte-Haber, Mieczyslaw Tomaszewski and others. Typologisation of significations, as a method for gaining knowledge, is of interest to the current research as well.

This conference seeks at renewing the approach to the concepts, terms and categories employed in the process of music signification, as well as attempts to conceptualise the practices of classification of musical phenomena. We welcome scholars to tackle these tasks from a variety of perspectives: to discuss them as problems of research philosophy, raise the questions of criteria, present individual approaches, analyse historical or current cases and present the perspectives of systematisation.

This interdisciplinary event welcomes researchers from different fields of research. Affiliated scholars, doctoral students and independent researchers are welcome to submit their abstracts.

The conference will take place in a hybrid form (both live and online). Official languages of the conference: English, German.

Keynote speakers
Wolfgang Marx (University College Dublin)
Kęstas Kirtiklis (Vilnius University)
Gražina Daunoravičienė (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre)

Programming Committee
Paulo C. Chagas (University of California, Riverside), Gražina Daunoravičienė (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre), Joan Grimalt (Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya ESMUC), Margarita Katunian (Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory), Helmut Loos (Leipzig University), Lina Navickaitė-Martinelli (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre), Rima Povilionienė (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre), Daiva Vyčinienė (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre)

Organising Committee
Gražina Daunoravičienė (chair), Ingrida Jasonienė, Mantautas Krukauskas, Agnė Mažulienė, Mykolas Natalevičius, Lina Navickaitė-Martinelli (vice-chair), Rima Rimšaitė, Judita Žukienė

Abstract submission
The proposals for the conference will be peer-reviewed anonymously. Please send your abstract both in anonymised and unanonymised forms.

We invite proposals for individual papers (20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of questions and discussion) on topics including, but not limited to:
• Typologisation as a problem of social sciences and sociomusicology;
• Typologisation from the philosophical perspective;
• Musical genres, types and phenomena as object of semiotic research;
• Signification as a premise for categorising musical phenomena;
• Relations of signification and typologisation processes;
• Historical cases of music typologies and their analysis;
• Cases of authorial systematisation, their creativity and innovation;
• Music typologies versus music taxonomies;
• Signification and typologisation as the basis of music epistemology;
• Criteria for typologisation as a problem of research methodology;
• Analysis of case-studies in musical systematisation and taxonomies.

Proposals must be sent by April 1, 2021 to typologiesofsignification@gmail.com in Word (doc or docx) format and should include the following:

• Name, academic degree, affiliation and contact email address;
• Title of the presentation;
• Abstract (300 words maximum, clearly present the research question/aim, research background, methodology, results and conclusions, 5 keywords).
• Photo close-up in TIFF or JPG format (from 300 to 600 dpi);
• Curriculum vitae (100 words maximum).

Registration fee
The conference registration fee for active participants – 50 EUR, online participants – 30 EUR, student fee – 20 EUR. Passive attendance free of charge. Further information will be sent after the acceptance of proposals. Participants pay their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Selected revised papers will be published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Lithuanian Musicology (indexed in SCOPUS, RILM, EBSCO, MLA International Bibliography, ERIH+).

Important dates
Submission deadline: April 1, 2021
Notification of acceptance: May 15, 2021
Conference: October 21–23, 2021

15th International Congress on Musical Signification


Barcelona, September 4-8, 2020

The International Congress on Musical Signification (ICMS) is a biannual congress on recent developments and future trends in the studies of musical meaning. It is the major platform of the project of Musical Signification, launched in Paris in 1984, and subsequently directed for 34 years so far by Eero Tarasti at the University of Helsinki.

ICMS 15 will be held in vibrant Barcelona, main town of Catalonia, hosted by its Conservatoire, the Escola superior de música de Catalunya (Esmuc) and under the auspices of the International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS), the International Semiotics Institute (ISI) and the Academy of Cultural Heritages.

Musical Signification and Performance

In conservatoires and universities, the urgent need for an efficient diffusion and a practical application of the study of musical signification is acutely felt. A musicological, solidly based reflection on the expressive values of music is still under-represented in most music teaching institutions around the world. General music studies should incorporate musical signification and help interpreters and teachers to find reliable tools to support their intuition.

Papers relating performance and musical signification will be favoured, but those dealing with any issues concerning musical signification are also warmly welcome.


Márta Grabócz (Université de Strasbourg), Robert Hatten (University of Texas at Austin), Anatole Leikin (University of California Santa Cruz), Dario Martinelli (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University), Eero Tarasti (University of Helsinki)


Performance studies / Topic theory / Relationships between analysis and interpretation / Narratological studies

Deadline for submission: February 4th, 2020.

Notification of acceptance: February 18th, 2020.

The CALL FOR PAPERS with all the necessary information can be found HERE.

46th International Baltic Musicological Conference “Cultural Change and Music Criticism”


Lithuanian Composers’ Union, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (Vilnius)
23–26 October, 2018

Over fifty years ago Baltic musicological conferences were established as a cultural space for musical exchange, professional collaboration, and openness to the wider international networking. In 2018, the three neighbouring countries – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – celebrate the centennial of their modern statehood. Inspired by the key reference points throughout the century of changes, the 46th international Baltic musicological conference will focus on music criticism in its relationship to cultural transformations. The conference seeks to encourage discussion about the contribution of critical discourse on music to the 20th–21st c. cultural and social processes.

In the 20th–21st centuries, music criticism played an important role in the articulation and critical reflection on rapid changes of culture and their relationship to political history, social and economical transformation, development of technologies and media. Shifts in traditions and canons, variety of new music phenomena, cultural hybridization, expansion of musical consumption and globalization of music industry – orientations of music criticism and understanding of its function were influenced to a great extent by the changing worlds of music. Engaged as an instrument of cultural self-awareness, music criticism itself contributes to the political, social and cultural changes. As Jacques Attali well writes, music “makes audible the new world that will gradually become visible, that will impose itself and regulate the order of things; it is not only the image of things, but the transcending of the everyday, the herald of the future” (Attali 1985) – this attitude can be addressed not only to musical expression, but also to the critical discourse on music. In the context of “cultural omnivorousness” (Peterson 1996) and general cultural polyglotism (Eco 1990), music criticism seeks to reconsider the typologies of ideas and values employed for assessment of musical practice and to reflect their effectiveness within local and global cultural spaces.

To address the chosen topic, the 46th international Baltic musicological conference seeks to provide a space for thorough engagement into music criticism and welcomes the submissions on following aspects:

  • Theories of the 20th–21st c. music criticism
  • Music criticism and political change
  • Criticism, musical taste and society
  • Cultural omnivorousness and perspectives of music criticism
  • Music criticism and values
  • Musical institutions and critical networks
  • Music criticism and the art of performance
  • Music criticism and music industry
  • Music criticism and media
  • Music criticism: globalisation or glocalisation?

Keynote speakers include:

Richard Taruskin (University of California, Berkeley)
Marina Frolova-Walker (Cambridge University)
Andreas Engström (Kontraklang, Berlin)
Olga Manulkina (St Petersburg N. Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory)

Official language of the conference is English. You are invited to submit the proposals for individual papers and study group sessions by May 31, 2018.
An abstract (up to 300 words for 20-minute individual paper) and a CV (up to 150 words) should be submitted to the conference coordinator Rasa Murauskaitė at mokslas@lmta.lt. For study group sessions a general summary is required. Information about the selected proposals will be announced by the end of June 2018.

Further information on conference programme, registration and accommodation arrangements will be announced at the end of July 2018, on the internet sites of the Lithuanian Composers’ Union (www.lks.lt) and of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (www.lmta.lt).

Selected papers will be published in article collections by the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Programme Committee:

Rūta Stanevičiūtė (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre) – chair
Andreas Engström (Kontraklang, Berlin)
Marina Frolova-Walker (Cambridge University)
Jūratė Katinaitė (Lithuanian National Radio)
Jānis Kudiņš (Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music)
Olga Manulkina (St Petersburg N. Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory)
Lina Navickaitė-Martinelli (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre)
Richard Taruskin (University of California, Berkeley)

For further information, please contact: Rasa Murauskaitė at mokslas@lmta.lt.

3rd festival conference of music performance and artistic research “Doctors in Performance”

Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre invites artistic research performers at doctoral and post-doctoral levels to take part in ‘Doctors in Performance’, the third festival conference of music performance and artistic research, which will take place in Vilnius on September 4–6, 2018.

Keynote presenters:

Professor Dr JOHN RINK (University of Cambridge)
Professor VYKINTAS BALTAKAS (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Maastricht Academy of Music)

The purpose of the conference is to bring together doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers working in the fields of musical performance and practice-based or artistic research in music. ‘Doctors in Performance’ places the emphasis on the music itself with the majority of presentations consisting principally of a musical performance in the form of a recital or a lecture recital related to the research. Shorter paper presentations on relevant fields of artistic research are also welcome.

Presentation proposals

The presentations may consist of a musical performance (solo or chamber music), which can take the form of a recital (40 minutes max, including 10 minutes of research introduction) or a lecture recital (40 minutes max). The music performed is expected to include or relate closely to the contents of the doctoral degree or research the participant is conducting. Paper presentations on artistic research (20 minutes max) are also welcome.

Possible forms for presentations:

  • Recital 40 minutes (+ 10 minutes discussion)
  • Lecture recital 40 minutes (+ 10 minutes discussion)
  • Paper presentation 20 minutes (+ 10 minutes discussion)

The conference language is English and all presentations should be in English.

Proposals should be sent by the 1st of April in Word format and should include the following:

  • name, surname, title of the presenter/s;
  • institutional affiliation;
  • photo (as a separate tiff/jpg file);
  • a detailed programme of the recital: composers, work titles, composition years, opus numbers;
  • a title and written summary of the candidate’s research topic (500 words maximum);
  • curriculum vitae (150 words maximum) and contact information;
  • equipment needed for performances and presentations (instruments, data projectors, etc.).

For the submission please use the template provided in the Documents section at http://harps.lmta.lt/en/events/doctors-in-performance/. The completed proposals must be sent to Lina Navickaitė-Martinelli at the email address harps@lmta.lt. The proposals will be peer-reviewed anonymously.

The timetable for this process is as follows:

January 18: Circulation of the call;
April 1: Deadline for submissions;
May 15: Results communicated to the applicants and launch of registrations;
September 4–6: DIP 2018.


Conference abstracts for Doctors in Performance 2018 will be published in advance on the conference website and in print. This will serve as a concert programme as well as provide background information about the participants and their research topics. The applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to include written comments discussing how their artistic and other research work support each other and towards which common goal they are directed. Peer-reviewed publication of selected conference proceedings is intended.

Further information

Doctors in Performance 2018 is organised by HARPS, Hub for Artistic Research and Performance Studies at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. For further information, please contact: Dr. Lina Navickaitė-Martinelli at harps@lmta.lt