Global Piano Roll Meeting – Prelude 2

Online conference, 27 March 2021

The Global Piano Roll Meeting is excited to announce a second virtual conference on 27 March 2021 at 21:00 CET (20:00 GMT, 13:00 PST, 07:00 AEDT). This three-hour meeting will include lectures on Hupfeld DEA and Aeolian, discussion groups and a listening session. It aims to continue the communication and collaboration sparked by the 2018 gathering, and to be a second prelude to a planned 2021 conference in Switzerland. 
The conference will occur online via Zoom and will offer interactive opportunities for questions and group discussion. It is hosted by the Bern University of the Arts HKB in collaboration with Stanford University, Faszination Pianola and the Museum für Musikautomaten Seewen.

For more information and registration, please see

Music and Art in Pandemic

Organiser: University of Arts, Târgu Mureș
Abstract/proposal deadline: March, 8, 2021
Registration form:

Unexpectedly emerging in everyday life, the pandemic has dramatically changed our social lives. The condition of survival has become the renunciation of such natural forms of human interaction that we sometimes fear that in order to preserve our existence, we risk losing our humanity. The arts that existed and manifested in the context of the meeting – performance, concert, recital, one-man show, but also exhibitions or installations –­ became septic, and artists were deprived of their audience. Art education has was exiled online. But artistic creation could not be hindered. Seeking to survive and express themselves, the artists followed their spectators to the online media adapting existing forms and looking for new formulas that would bring them closer to the audience. Also, pandemic and isolation became inspiration itself.

Music and Art in Pandemic, a conference targeting the art of music, and the arts that connected with music, wants to record the artistic, social, managerial and educational experience of this pandemic year, as well of the similar situations in the history of epidemics. We invite you to participate, answering current questions about the condition of the visual artist, choreographer, director, critic, musician, composer, performer, teacher – How is the spirit of these times reflected in contemporary art? Online versus “real” art, live performance versus recording, online courses versus classroom teaching? Quo vadis music? Quo vadis art? Are the artistic options, choices, attitudes limited? What are the artistic solutions for coping or full expression? Are they only temporary or can be perennial?

The conference is organised by the University of Arts, Târgu Mureș. We accept for presentation scientific studies but also reports, case studies, reviews, analyses, journals or essays in the following languages: English (preferably), Romanian, French and Hungarian. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of Symbolon, a journal indexed by CEEOL, Index Copernicus, Crossref and evaluated in category B by the Romanian National Council for Scientific Research (CNCS).

The conference will take place online, between March 18-19, 2021. Registration deadline is March 8, 2021. For more information, please contact us at

Music Encoding Conference 2021

We are pleased to announce the call for papers, posters, panels, and workshops for the Music Encoding Conference 2021.

As an important cross-disciplinary venue for all who are interested in the digital representation of music, the Music Encoding Conference is open to and brings together members from various encoding, analysis, and music research communities, including musicologists, theorists, librarians, technologists, music scholars, teachers, and students, and provides an opportunity for learning and engaging with and from each other.

The MEC 2021 will take place 19–22 July 2021 at Universidad de Alicante, Spain. It is co-sponsored with the Instituto Superior de Enseñanzas Artísticas de la Comunidad Valenciana.

For more information, please consult the Call for Proposals.

Music as Heritage: from Tradition to Product. An interdisciplinary course about music as heritage, with a focus on Béla Bartók – theory and practice

Central European University‘s Summer Program hosts this course from June 28 to July 7, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. The course aims to provide insight into the methodology and approaches of modern musicology as an integral part of heritage studies. We use music as a tool for analyzing and describing social changes, the interaction of state policies, culture, cultural heritage, and audience. The course builds on a highly interdisciplinary academic approach to modern musicology.

The complex theoretical and practical aspects will be taught in the format of lectures, seminar discussions, library research during a 9-day intensive summer course in Budapest. The course also includes a field trip and an individual project development program.

The course relies greatly on both CEU lecturers, Bard College and SOAS faculty members, and leading scholars in the field such as Jonathan Stock from University College Cork as well as Martin Stokes from King’s College London.

We invite applications from both practicing professionals and graduate students and junior researchers active in the field of research and teaching of related subjects (musicology, ethnography, heritage studies in its broadest sense, management, marketing and tourism studies, minority studies, etc.). Advanced undergraduate students will also be considered.

Application deadline: February 14, 2021

Women and Music in the Early Modern Age




Queluz National Palace

July 2nd – 4th, 2021

Organization: Divino Sospiro – Centro de Estudos Musicais Setecentistas de Portugal 

Scientific Committee:

Cristina Fernandes, Giuseppina Raggi, Iskrena Yordanova,

Ricardo Bernardes, José Camões, Francesco Cotticelli, Paologiovanni Maione

The 9th international conference at the Queluz National Palace organized by DS-CEMSP aims to investigate the role of women in the musical and theatrical worlds of the early modern age, with special reference to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Theatrical practices favoured opportunities and emancipation processes which played significant roles in the imagery of and the stage production themselves. It is equally important to mention the patronage and the encouragement given to the performing arts by female sovereigns and nobles, who intended to promote the dialogue and the reflection between different contexts. Differences can be found in the educational methods, distinctions amid theory and practice or between the amateur and the professional milieu, yet they often merged to produce events destined to leave their mark on history.

The conference promotes research into the careers of women as impresarios, singers, actresses, composers, no matter how resounding their activity was in their heydays. Emphasis is also placed on their travels, contacts, and repertoires, and on the strategies adopted by female patronage in order to support the organization (and the memory) of theatrical and musical events throughout the continent.


  • Female performers: singers, instrumentalists, dancers and impresarios. Their roles and repertoires.
  • Female composers, librettists and choreographers.
  • The feminine in music: women as subjects in the musical literature.
  • Women as music and theatre patrons. Political uses of female musical patronage.
  • The importance of music in the education of aristocratic and royal women.
  • The female public.  
  • Women as music collectors.
  • Women and music sociabilities.

Scholars are invited to submit individual proposals. Each paper shall not exceed 20 minutes. Session proposals will be accepted as well: a maximum of three or four papers will be taken into consideration, and the session should not exceed 1h30. 

A selection of the presented papers will be published in our book series Cadernos de Queluz by Hollitzer Verlag (Vienna). (

Official languages of the conference are Portuguese, English, Italian, Spanish, and French.

Abstracts in Word format (.doc), should not exceed 300 words.

Please enclose in the same file a brief curriculum vitae of 150 words max., providing your name and surname, postal address, e-mail and telephone number, as well as your institutional affiliation. Please indicate to which topic your proposal belongs. 

Deadline for sending abstracts is March 1st, 2021

E-mail: The scientific board will examine all the abstracts by March 15th, 2021 and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter.

Music – Musicology – Interpretation


Belgrade, 21 to 23 October 2021

The Department of Musicology of the Faculty of Music, University of Arts in Belgrade, has decided to postpone the Conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Conference will take place in Belgrade from 21 to 23 October 2021. The organizers of this conference will make contingency plans for an online event, in case an in-person gathering is not possible, because of the continuing uncertainties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A second call for paper is open now, until 15 March 2021; decisions and notifications are re-scheduled for 1 May 2021. Those papers that have already been accepted will be programmed as a matter of course. Details are available on the website. Further information about the conference will also follow in due time.


The Department of Musicology of the Faculty of Music, University of Arts in Belgrade, is pleased to announce its Fifteenth International Conference on the topic Music–Musicology–Interpretation.

The subject of the conference Music-Musicology-Interpretation focuses on the complex and multifaceted relationships between the constituent concepts. It proposes to re-examine these multiple relations by thematizing, from the point of view of interpretation, music as language, discourse, work of art and text, the performance of music and the discourse on music – musicology itself.

Musical hermeneutics as a discipline is today the focus of musicological interest. During the last three decades of the 20th century, it developed in parallel with research into musical semiotics and, as the influence of “pure” structural analysis was waning, it became an important current of thought about music at the beginning of the 21st century. Its renewal in relation to the legacy of the 19th century was partly due to interpretive criticism in Anglo-Saxon literature but also to the works of Carl Dahlhaus in the 1970s and 1980s. Next come researchers into hermeneutics and interpretive criticism and analysis, each with a different orientation in their individual pathways and objects of study, most of whom are still active today: Joseph Kerman, Nicholas Cook, Leo Treitler, Lawrence Kramer, Robert Hatten, Eero Tarasti, Jean-Jacques Nattiez, Michel Imberty, Bernard Vecchione, Christian Hauer, Makis Solomos…

In his Peri Hermeneias, Aristotle established an equality between “sounds emitted by the voice” and symbolic language, that is, meaningful language: “The sounds emitted by the voice are the symbols of the states of the soul, and the written words the symbols of words emitted by the voice” (Peri Hermeneias, 1 / 16a /). Being symbolic, signifying language is thus equated with interpretive language, mediating the relation of the transmitter “of the voice” to the things of the world, with the written language then constituted as a double mediation: of the spoken language and the things themselves. This chain of consecutive “interpretations-appropriations” (Ricœur, From Text to Action, 1986) thus recalls a chain of musical interpretations: the things of the world (the world of life, being-in-the-world– the music (discourse, work of art, text) – the performance of music – the discourse on music, projecting, through the hermeneutical arc, into a new being-in-the-world, as an understanding of oneself in front of signs (Ricœur, ibid).

This chain allows us to problematize the relationship between music, discourse on music and interpretation on several levels.

At the methodological level, it enables us to re-examine the position of musicological interpretive criticism in relation to primary research, technical analysis and structural explanation, on the one hand, and the “new musicology”, on the other, and, at the disciplinary level, to re-examine the position of and relationship between musical hermeneutics and structuralism, as well as semiotics. In both cases, the question can be raised as to whether the structural explanation of the musical work or the explanation of the signs of culture, on the one hand, and interpretation, on the other, are mutually exclusive, or whether a methodological reconciliation is possible in the sense of the mediating role of explanation in the process of understanding, explanation and understanding being integrated into the interpretive chain.

At the poetic level, it allows us to reopen the question of the interpretive character of the musical work/discourse/text itself as the “voice emitted”, thus already the symbolic voice, and then to re-problematize the relationship between musical language and meaning, reference, representation, narrativity and time. In this sense, another question can be posed, namely how the specific abilities of music can help shed light on the interpretive process and the contemporary hermeneutical task in general. Also related to this is the problematics of the historicity of musical hermeneutics / musical interpretation, as well as the problematics of the interpretive discourse on music in history and as history. The issue of the subjectivity and objectivity of the discourse on music and music itself is part of the old debate but it lends itself to reconsideration in relation to music as a “thing” (L. Kramer) and the work of interpretation as event, action, dynamism, creation, production. The notion of metaphor, extracted as a key concept in different conceptualizations by many authors, musicologists and philosophers, is also proposed for examination: as a musical metaphor (at the poetic level) and as a metaphor in the discourse on music.

As a link in the interpretive process, the performance of a musical score as “appropriation” and actualization of a musical text, as a realization of its meaning in another “voice”, offers itself to examination, testifying to the opening of the musical work, discourse and text. In that sense, when it comes to interpreting music from the aspect of performing practice, it is understood as something much more than a mere reproduction of the score in sound. The variable roles of the music performer throughout history represent different social, cultural, stylistic, etc. conditions under which music is understood. In all these different approaches to a work of music, it is implicitly indicated that all of its incidences and meaningful transformations are only achieved by the performance.

The position of the listener in the interpretive process can be approached from several angles: semantic, psychological, narrative. Does the interpretive process not in fact end in the effectuation of the sense in the discourse (tacit or explicit, oral or written) of the listener who has passed through the musical interpretive chain?

Referring to the aforementioned findings, the following topics could be considered:

  • Interpretive criticism in musicology versus primary research and the “new musicology”
  • Musical hermeneutics versus semiotics and structural analysis of music
  • Musical hermeneutics / interpretation in history and as history
  • Musical work / discourse / text as interpretation
  • Musical language and meaning, reference, representation, narrativity and time
  • Musical metaphor and metaphor in the discourse on music
  • Subjectivity and objectivity in musical interpretation
  • Music and / as performance
  • Musical performance and / as analysis of music
  • Historically informed performance as a field of recreation of the past
  • The listener as interpreter

Please submit your paper topic (including the thematic area as listed above) to Ivana Petković Lozo at e-mail address:

The submission deadline is March 15th, 2021.

Please include your short biography and an abstract of 250 words. You will be notified by 1 May, 2021 if your topic has been accepted.

The official language of the conference is English. It is possible to deliver papers also in German, French, Russian, and Serbian, but the authors are kindly requested to provide a Power-Point presentation in English or the translation of their papers in English. The time limit for the presentation and discussion of your paper is set at 30 minutes in total. Selected papers presented at the conference will be published in the proceedings.

Conference fee: Both participation at the Conference and the publication of a text whose topic has been accepted by the Programme Committee are conditional upon the payment of the participation fee. The travel expenses, per diem expenses and hotel accommodation are to be covered by the participants. The fee can be paid on the spot or with PayPal (120€; early bird, deadline June 15th, 2020: 100€; PhD candidates: 50€). Participants will be notified about PayPal payments instructions.

More about conference, themes and participation you may find at conference web site

Keynote Speakers:

Danielle Cohen-Levinas
Professor of Musicology and Philosophy
Université Paris 4 / ENS-CNRS, France

Robert S. Hatten
Marlene & Morton Meyerson Professor in Music
Professor of Music Theory
Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music
The University of Texas at Austin, USA (TBC)

Lawrence Kramer
Distinguished Professor of English and Music
Fordham University, USA

Makis Solomos
Professor of Musicology
Université Paris 8, France

Eero Tarasti
Professor emeritus of Musicology
The University of Helsinki, Finland

Programme Committee:

Professor Antonio Baldassarre, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Suisse
Professor Danielle Cohen-Levinas, Université Paris 4 / ENS-CNRS, France
Associate Professor Paulo Ferreira de Castro, CESEM – Nova FCSH, Portugal
Professor Robert S. Hatten, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Distinguished Professor Lawrence Kramer, Fordham University, USA
Associate Professor Marija Masnikosa, University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia
Professor Ivana Perković, University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia
Professor Tijana Popović Mladjenović, University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia
Professor Makis Solomos, Université Paris 8, France
Professor Irina Susidko, Gnesins Russian Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia
Professor Leon Stefanija, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Professor Ana Stefanović, University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia
Professor Dragana Stojanović-Novičić, University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia
Professor emeritus Eero Tarasti, University of Helsinki, Finland
Academician, Professor emeritus Stanislav Tuksar, HAZU/University of Zagreb, Croatia
Professor Mirjana Veselinović-Hofman, University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia

Organizing Committee:

Stefan Cvetković, PhD candidate, Teaching Assistant, University of Arts in Belgrade
Marina Marković, PhD candidate, Teaching Assistant, University of Arts in Belgrade
Ivana Miladinović-Prica, PhD, Teaching Assistant, University of Arts in Belgrade
Radoš Mitrović, PhD, Teaching Assistant, University of Arts in Belgrade
Ivana Petković Lozo, PhD, Teaching Assistant, University of Arts in Belgrade
Neda Nestorović, PhD candidate, Research Assistant, University of Arts in Belgrade
Milica Petrović, PhD candidate, Junior Researcher, University of Arts in Belgrade
Marija Simonović, PhD candidate, Research Assistant, University of Arts in Belgrade
Maša Spaić, PhD student, Junior Researcher, University of Arts in Belgrade
Marija Tomić, PhD student, Junior Researcher, University of Arts in Belgrade

“Bach and Italy” International Conference — 22-28 November 2020

We invite you to the International Conference “Bach and Italy”. It will take place online from November 22nd to 28th, 2020, and will be broadcast from Turin, Italy. 
Attendance to the Conference is entirely free of charge and no registration is required. The events will be broadcast on the social media channels of (YouTube:–U_cSATZyNe_yOI3w; Facebook: The videos will remain online, and freely available, after the Conference. 

The Conference is co-organized by, the Istituto per i Beni Musicali in Piemonte and the Conservatory “G. Verdi” of Turin, and is realized with funding offered by the Ministry of the Cultural Heritage (MIBACT) and with the sponsorship of the Royal Musical Association, Inner Wheel Club, and with the support of Music&Letters and of the General Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany – Milan. 
The Conference includes themed sessions with papers and lecture-recitals selected by the Conference Committee (Chiara Bertoglio, Maria Borghesi, Kenneth L. Hamilton, Michael Heinemann, Stefano Leoni, Michael Maul, Ruth Tatlow, Yo Tomita); two keynote speeches (Michael Maul and Raffaele Mellace); three Roundtables (“Bach’s Sacred Works in a Catholic Country”; “Bach Societies Worldwide”; “Bach on the Italian stage”); special episodes of “A coffee with” (a series of informal video-podcasts); concerts and other events. The complete programme can be found at, and can be downloaded as a pdf booklet here or browsed as an ebook here. 

The main aims of this Conference are: 1) to foster research about Bach’s interest in Italian music and about the Italian reception of Bach; 2) to create a repository of videos constituting a valuable resource for education and research; 3) to promote the dialogue between musicology and performance, as well as the outreach of musicological studies and the involvement of music lovers, students and teachers. 
More information:

Between Centres and Peripheries

Music in Europe from the French Revolution until WWI (1789-1914)


International Virtual Conference

06-08 May 2021

The Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini of Lucca, the Research Group ERASMUSH of the University of Oviedo (Spain) and the Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de musique romantique française of Veniceare pleased to invite submissions of proposals for the symposium «Between Centres and Peripheries: Music in Europe from the French Revolution until WWI (1789-1914)», to be held from Thursday 06 until Saturday 08 May 2021.

In the nineteenth century, music occupied a prominent position in bourgeois European society, and cities such as Paris, Vienna, Leipzig, Milan, and London became social and cultural references for the rest of the continent, inhabitants of which worked to imitate the cities’ concerts, theatrical life, their soirées and parties, its music promenades, etc.

This conference examines, from a micro-historical perspective, the tensions and dialogues developed in European musical life throughout this time period. Here we apply the concepts of centres and peripheries not to geography but also to methodology. We will analyze the reproduction of cultural models but also the tensions that these models produced in the peripheries, most of which have been ignored in the historiography of Western European music.

Periphery also refers to the emergence of musical genres that have remained relatively non-canonic, including popular repertoires from the music hall to the variétés, street bands or the music of cabarets. Furthermore, we will also examine the birth of musico-national languages situated on the European geographical margins.

The programme committee encourages submissions within the following areas,although other topics are also welcome:

  • Music from the peripheries: alternative genres and repertoires
  • The diffusion and circulation of music in new and different contexts
  • The reception and adaptations of the canon on the margins of Europe
  • Redefining centres and peripheries in European music
  • Cultural transfer of music, both geographically and socially
  • The commercialization of music
  • Models of music production in the peripheries: concert cycles, musical societies, festivals, etc.
  • Music national languages inside or outside the canon?
  • Universality vs. Nationality
  • Amateurism in the time of the virtuoso performers
  • Music for new spaces: promenades, cafés, cabarets, gardens, etc.

Programme Committee:

  • Maria Encina Cortizo Rodriguez (Universidad de Oviedo)
  • Roberto Illiano (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Étienne Jardin (Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de musique romantique française, Venice)
  • Fulvia Morabito (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Massimiliano Sala (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Ramón Sobrino (Universidad de Oviedo)
  • José Ignacio Suárez (Universidad de Oviedo)

Keynote Speakers:

  • Étienne Jardin (Palazzetto Bru Zane)
  • Yvan Nommick (Université de Montpellier)

The official languages of the conference are English, French, Spanish and Italian. Papers selected at the conference will be published in a miscellaneous volume.

Papers are limited to twenty minutes in length, allowing time for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and one page of biographical information.

All proposals should be submitted by email no later than Sunday ***28 February 2021*** to <>. With your proposal please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation.

The committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by the end of ***March 2021***, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the programme and registration will be announced after that date.

For any additional information, please contact:

Dr. Massimiliano Sala

Medieval and Renaissance International Music Conference 2021

Medieval and Renaissance International Music Conference 2021, Lisbon, Portugal, 5-9 July

Call for Papers

On 5–9 July 2021, the FCSH–School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa will host the 49th edition of the Medieval and Renaissance International Music Conference – MedRen 2021 Lisbon – which is to be organised by CESEM–Centre for the Study of the Sociology and Aesthetics of Music. Proposals in all areas relating to Medieval and Renaissance music are welcomed, though the organising committee especially encourages consideration of topics arising from the following:

– the centenaries of King Alfonso X the Wise (b.1221), King Manuel I of Portugal, and Pope Leo X (both of whom died in 1521) and issues of patronage;

– Philippe de Monte (b.1521), Robert Fayrfax (d.1521), and Josquin des Prez (d.1521);

– dynamics of cultural confluence and exchange and their relevance for concepts of cultural centrality and laterality (those dealing with the Mediterranean region are particularly welcomed).

The conference keynote speakers will be Tess Knighton (ICREA / Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and Luisa Nardini (The University of Texas at Austin).

MedRen 2021 Lisbon will be a mixed in-person–online event, offering three options to speakers: present in-person; pre-record but participate in a live discussion; both present and participate in a discussion live but remotely. To minimise risks of technical problems, speakers attending in person will be obliged to upload their slides to the conference computers (the connecting of personal computers to the projectors will not be permitted) and will be asked to prepare them in Google Slides; if another programme is used it must be tested on the conference computers in advance. When not presenting a paper or participating in a panel discussion, remote participants will connect via a streaming platform (Videocast) alongside other participants; Zoom will be used solely for delivering live presentations and by panel members when participating in discussions. Pre-recorded presentations will be shown via Videocast.

Possible formats of presentation include, but are not limited to:

– individual papers of 20 minutes;

– paired papers (60 minutes including Q&A);

– themed sessions (120 minutes for 4 papers and 90 minutes for 3 papers, including Q&A);

– round tables (maximum 90 minutes);

– workshops/ lecture-recitals (n. b. technical requirements may prevent presentation to online delegates);

– posters (with a discussion session for online participants).

Conference languages: English and also French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.

All proposals should be written in English and submitted via the conference website ( The following will be required:

– title;

– indication of format (e.g. individual paper);

– provisional indication of whether the presentation will be given in person, pre-recorded, or remotely but live via Zoom;

– proposer’s name;

– proposer’s affiliation (if any);

– indication of whether you wish to make use of members of the conference ensemble specialising in post-c.1450 repertories (voices (SATB), recorder(s), lute, and possibly other instruments);

– names and affiliations of any additional participants;

– contact email;

– AV requirements;

– a short bio or bios of the participants (60-80 words) suitable for use by session chairs;

– abstract of c. 250 words; for panels c. 200 words on the proposal as a whole, and c. 100 words on the contribution of each participant;

– indication of the presentation language.

By submitting a proposal to MedRen 2021 Lisbon participants accept that their communications (including open discussions) will be streamed online, recorded and available for the duration of the conference and for up to 48 hours after the close of the conference to all registered participants. Depending on the epidemiological situation, and in order to comply with regulations that limit maximum occupancy of the available spaces, it is anticipated that the committee will be able to accept approximately 200 proposals of all types. Proposals will be evaluated anonymously and solely according to their scientific merit.

Deadline: 23 January 2021

Notification of acceptance: 28 February 2021

Choral Life in Switzerland, 19th-21st Century

Institute of Musicology, University of Bern

17–18 September 2021

Conference Website

Extended deadline for proposals: 31 January 2021

Official languages: English, German, French, and Italian

Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Friedhelm Brusniak, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany
  • Profesor Beat Föllmi, Université de Strasbourg, France
  • PD Dr Delphine Vincent, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland

Call for Papers

Switzerland is a country with intense choral life. The report Singing Europe, published by the European Choral Association in 2015, indicates that 7,2% of the Swiss population sang in a choir in 2008. A more recent survey by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office shows that nearly 20% of the population sings and that this activity is practised by people of all ages and all educational levels. The choral movement gained momentum in Switzerland under the influence of the music pedagogue, composer, author, and publisher Hans Georg Nägeli (1773–1836). From the beginning of the 19th century, choral societies flourished throughout the country and became one of the foundations of Swiss musical life.

Despite this significance, the study of choral life in Switzerland and its implications is almost entirely neglected in current scholarship. There is a lack of research on past and present choral activities in the different language regions of Switzerland, as well as on the relation between such activities and their social, political, and historical contexts.

This two-day conference aims to foster interdisciplinary discussions about choral life in Switzerland from the 19th century to our days. It expects to contribute to a better understanding of activities and traditions that have had and still have far-reaching influences on musical and social aspects but have hardly been researched so far.

We invite proposals for individual papers (20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of discussion) on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Choral activities and traditions in the different language regions of Switzerland
  • Musical, historical, social, linguistic and political aspects related to choral societies and their activities
  • Gender aspects related to choral singing (for instance, the participation of women)
  • Choral singing and the challenges of social and demographic changes
  • Choral singing and immigration
  • Choral singing and its impact on composition and creativity
  • Swiss composers and choral repertoire
  • Swiss choirs outside Switzerland
  • Transnational aspects of Swiss choral traditions

Researchers from different disciplines (e.g. musicology, ethnomusicology, sociology, history, gender studies, cultural studies) are welcome to submit a proposal. The conference committee wishes to encourage the participation of young researchers by offering a limited number of travel bursaries (see below).

New deadline: Please send an abstract (PDF format) of no more than 300 words accompanied by a short biography (150 words) to by 31 January 2021.

The conference will be followed by a concert on the evening of 18 September 2021 in the Französische Kirche in Bern (this concert will be repeated on 3 October in the Aula of the University of Fribourg). The Bernese choir Canto Classico and the Choeur de Chambre de l’Université de Fribourg, along with soloists and instrumentalists, will perform vocal music by Swiss composers from the 19th century to the present day. The program includes the premiere performance of works by the composers Leopold Dick and Jean-François Michel, which were specially commissioned for this event. A round table with these composers will take place at the end of the conference and will be moderated by Dr Irène Minder-Jeanneret (Dictionary of Music in Switzerland).

The organisation of the event (conference and concert) is a collaboration between Dr Caiti Hauck, researcher of the MSCA project CLEFNI – The choral life in the cities of Bern and Fribourg in the long 19th century, Dr María Cáceres Piñuel, researcher at the University of Bern, and the Association Musica Classica in Bern.


We are delighted to offer a limited number of travel bursaries for young researchers. Any person engaged in producing academic research and who a) is a current PhD student or b) has attended their PhD viva within the last five years is eligible to apply. Please send an email to with the subject “Bursary Application” and provide a PDF with your name, email address, institutional affiliation (if applicable), a short biography (150 words), and up to 200 words describing how attendance at the conference will benefit you and your research.

The new deadline for bursary applications is 31 January 2021.

Participation in the conference is free of charge.

Conference Committee

Dr Caiti Hauck, CLEFNI, University of Bern

Dr María Cáceres Piñuel, University of Bern

Professor Cristina Urchueguía, University of Bern