SysMus11: Fourth International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology


October 5-7, 2011

Department of Musicology, University of Cologne


Fourth International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology


SysMus11 invites PhD and advanced Master students of systematic musicology and related fields of music research to present their ongoing work and to participate in the positioning of systematic and cognitive musicology in a dynamically changing scientific context.




Increasingly, music and music-related phenomena come to be considered as intrinsically connected to a broad range of processes underlying everyday human expression and interaction, raising anew the question of the nature of music and its relation to other human activities/traits such as language. A growing interest for musical aspects of human interaction and communication as well as their biological/evolutionary, linguistic, neuroscientific, and developmental bases (see Strüngmann Forum 2011: Language, Music, and the Brain: Probing a Mysterious Relationship) has been observed lately. Moreover, these aspects are investigated with respect to an evolving cultural context that is strongly influenced by recent advances in media and information technology. Research results, on the other hand, will inform areas such as artistic practice, the design of interactive technology for art, education, and entertainment, or more general social concerns including care, rehabilitation, and therapy.




Thus, music research not only constitutes fundamental research aiming to understand social and cultural processes as well as related technological developments, which within musicology is traditionally covered by systematic and more recently by cognitive musicology, but it also assumes an active role which itself calls for critical reflection. To address these scientific challenges in a comprehensive manner and to contribute productively and responsibly to ongoing societal developments, research related to systematic and cognitive musicology needs to integrate highly focused disciplinary work within a perspective that transcends and even redefines traditional disciplinary boundaries at the intersection of humanities, sciences, and technology.

SysMus11 offers the possibility to connect the different methodological approaches and thematic paradigms of its participants and creates in this way an internationally overall, future-oriented concept of systematic and cognitive musicology. It strives to develop a network between the generations of researchers contributing to the wide transdisciplinary field of music research. The conference atmosphere offers a complement to ongoing international summer schools such as ISSSMthe summer schools organized by the SMC network and ISMIR. Students’ academic horizons will be broadened by keynote presentations of internationally renowned researchers, workshops and the chance to publish their own paper in the conference proceedings. Discussions will deal with the current status, the legitimation and the future directions and challenges of systematic musicology.



Submissions are solicited for spoken research papers or posters related to foundational topics of music from the perspectives of humanities, sciences, and technology. All submissions will be subject to a double-blind peer-review procedure conducted entirely by international students of systematic musicology representing various research fields.



Short submission papers in English (between 1 and 2 pages) have to follow formal guidelines (template will be on the conference website). Please submit your paper until April 30, 2011 (deadline). The submission process will be open soon.