Music and Power in the Long Nineteenth Century

Siena, Accademia Musicale Chigiana

2-4 December 2021, Siena

Call for papers

The use of the arts, including music, as an instrument of representation and exercise of power, is widely debated within the context of the society of the ancien régime and the twentieth century, with frequent emphasis on absolutism and dictatorships. This conference aims to investigate this issue in the “long nineteenth century” (c. 1789-1914): the age of the Industrial Revolution, liberalism and social conflicts, nationalism and colonialism.

The geographical scope considered is the Western world (Europe and the Americas), including those extra-European territories subject to or influenced by colonial rule. The entire field of musical experience will be considered, without limitations on genre, from sacred to instrumental music, from musical theater to song and beyond.

“Power” is understood not only in a strictly political sense, such as state power, or as the domination of one nation or ethnic group over others; instead, in light of contemporary and emerging historiographical and philosophical debates, the scope of the concept extends broadly to all aspects of social life in which relations of dominion/submission are significant. By way of example, the following types of relationships might be considered: those between social classes, between economic powers, between religious affiliations, between genders, within the family, and others, in all possible combinations and permutations.

Proposals to further broaden the field of investigation are welcome; preference will be given to those that combine a breadth of conceptual horizons with a rigorous presentation of unpublished sources.

Possible topics for consideration include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Musicians and power
  • Musical practices as instruments of power and organizations of consent
  • The language of power in musical material
  • The use of music and entertainment in celebration
  • Symbolic representations of power relationships in opera
  • Sacred music as an expression of power
  • Song and choral music as a means of exercising and negotiating power
  • Folk, popular, and dance music within an increasingly powerful music industry
  • Negotiations of power in discourses about music
  • Domain relationships in musical education

The official languages of the conference are English and Italian. A selection of the conference papers will be published in the 2021 volume of Chigiana. Journal of Musicological Studies (https://journal.chigiana.org/).

Please send proposals to chigiana.journal@chigiana.org by 30 November 2020.

Proposals should include:

  • Title of paper
  •  Name of speaker(s)
  •  A proposal of c. 300 words

Papers should not exceed 30 minutes in duration.

Scientific Committee: Esteban Buch, Fabrizio Della Seta, Markus Engelhardt, Axel Körner, Massimiliano Locanto, Fiamma Nicolodi, Antonio Rostagno, Carlotta Sorba.

Organizing Committee: Susanna Pasticci, Stefano Jacoviello, Anna Passerini, Nicola Sani.

We are aware that the current scenario presents many uncertainties; we are constantly monitoring the situation and the measures that the Italian and other governments have put in place and we hope that by December 2021 it will be possible to travel, so that the conference may go ahead as planned and we can meet in Siena. However, if necessary, we will be running the conference online.

CALL PDF English: https://journal.chigiana.org/wpcontent/uploads/2020/09/Chigiana_Call_PDF_Eng_2021.pdf Italian: https://journal.chigiana.org/wpcontent/uploads/2020/09/Chigiana_Call_PDF_Ita_2021.pdf

Re-envisaging Music: Listening in the Visual Age

Siena – Accademia Musicale Chigiana
10-12 December 2020

Keynote Speaker Prof. Leslie Korrick
(School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, York University, Toronto):
“Listening in the Age of Sound Art”

Music and images, seeing and hearing have always been inextricably linked. Even when more autonomous concepts of music developed at various times through the centuries, they arguably served to keep at bay the ever-present visual dimensions of the act of listening. When we listen to music, do we just listen? When we see a painting, or anything else, do we just watch?

The last few decades, however, have witnessed the advent of an ever more pervasive visuality. From the development of technology to social media to special effects, seeing is foregrounded like never before. What does this mean for music? How do music’s materialities answer to the materialities of visual objects and arts? How does music answer to the demands of pictures? Do these new developments affect our listening and performance experiences? What categories are particularly useful to explain the connections between musical and visual domains? How are different musical traditions, from “classical” music and opera to jazz, popular and folk music being re- envisaged?

Possible topics for consideration include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • live performance
  • site-specific performance
  • installations/sound art
  • video performance
  • live broadcasting
  • pre-existing music as soundtrack
  • historically informed listening
  • places/spaces for performance
  • urban musicology

The official languages of the conference are English and Italian.

A selection of the conference papers will be published in the 2021 volume of Chigiana. Journal of Musicological Studies (https://journal.chigiana.org/).

Please send proposal to chigiana.journal@chigiana.org  by 25 June 2020.

Proposals should include:
– Title of paper
– Name of speaker(s)
– Institutional affiliation
– An abstract of c. 300 words

The papers should not exceed 30 minutes in duration.

Conference Committee: Antonio Cascelli, Tim Carter, Laura Leante, Allan Moore, Christopher Morris, Emanuele Senici

Organizing Committee: Nicola Sani, Stefano Jacoviello, Susanna Pasticci

The conference is organized within the 2020 Chigiana Project, Reshaping the Traditions. The project aims to explore the impact of the concepts of tradition in contemporary music culture, combining educational opportunities, music production and scientific research.

We are aware that there are still uncertainties in the current scenario; we will constantly monitor the situation and the measures that the Italian and other governments put in place and we hope that by December 2020 it will be possible to travel, so that the conference may go ahead as planned and we can meet in Siena. However, if necessary, we will be running the conference online.