SPARC Symposium 2019: Land Music: Sound Practices in the Age of Ecological Crisis

Ecological thinking, beyond the conventional understanding of environment, asks us to consider new ways of imagining how we conceive of and consider the world. As Donna Haraway writes, “[…] another world is not only urgently needed, it is possible, but not if we are ensorcelled in despair, cynicism, or optimism, and the belief/disbelief discourse of progress.” The third SPARC Symposium will consider this shift in thinking and consider how to respond to this moment of crisis through the lens of sound practice from a variety of perspectives including talks, discussions, concerts and a foraging and jam making event. 

Sign up to this free symposium here

Visit the SPARC website here

DAY 1 // Thursday 12th September
Music Department at City, University of London
280 St John St, London EC1V 4PB, College Building: Performance Space

19:00// Opening concert with sets by Cathy Lane and Mariam Rezaei

***

DAY 2 // Friday 13th September
Music Department at City, University of London
280 St John St, London EC1V 4PB, College Building: Performance Space

10:30 // Symposium with speakers including Amina Abbas-Nazari, Tanya Auclair, Joe Browning, Gabriel Dattatreyan, Lily Green, Tonia Ko, Clare Qualman, Cathy Lane, Sam Lee, Sylvia Lim, Heloise Tunstall-Behrens

17:30// multi.modal record launch

19:00// Concert with Aaron Einbond, Matilde Meierless, Cath Roberts, Benedict Taylor, David Toop

***

DAY 3 // Saturday 14th September
IKLECTIK, Old Paradise Yard, Waterloo (SE1 7LG)

11:00// Foraging and making jam with Clare Qualman

15:30//Concert with Nell Catchpole, Leo Chadburn, Jan Hendrickse, Amber Priestley

Symposium and Workshop: South African Opera Productions after the Apartheid

Venue: Universität Bayreuth

Date:   18th– 19th October 2018

Call for Papers:

Deadline: 15th August 2018

With the end of the Apartheid era, opera – stigmatized as ‘eurocentric opera’ – became a symbol of Western dominance/colonial imposition and seemed to be dead in South Africa.

But in fact, especially the so called ‘indigenous opera’ ‘flourishes’ as something of an anachronism and can be assessed as ‘black empowerment’ (Naomi André 2018).

The writing of a historiography of opera productions in South Africa although has academically just shortly started (Donato Somma 2016; Hilde Roos 2013, 2010; Martina Viljoen 2006) and is confronted with problems of different natures: political structures, post-colonization, globalization, unstable artistic standards and institutional relations.

The ‘bloom’ of opera presents itself neither through regular performances nor through crowded theatre halls. This is a consequence of the difficult political relations of artistic production in South Africa, which are among others characterized by a lack of funding and the re-organization of the Performing Arts Councils/ National Arts Councils. The existing significant multiple theatricalities of South Africa are thereby not having a platform to present themselves. The market pressure results often in overseas productions financing the few performances in the country itself. Thereby putting itself on risk to confirm with their opera productions transferred expectations of a South African identity rather than expressing an ‘authentic’ one.

This symposium will focus on South African Opera productions. Thereby the aim of the symposium is to represent the plurality of artistic concepts that deal in different ways with the multiple challenges of political and social transformation. How can opera in South Africa be involved in the process of societal transformation in a post-apartheid society? Which new artistic concepts are needed? How does themes for the libretti change? How did language, the style of composition and orchestration transform? Which new locations for performances are found to involve new audiences? How did the aesthetics change? And how are new media used either for a new aesthetic of performances, as with e.g. ‘Lamento’ (Umculo) or ‘U-Carmen eKhayelitsha’ (Isango Ensemble), or for marketing purposes?

For the first day of the symposium presentations shall focus on one opera productions. To ‘map’ the plurality of the field presentations are invited that cover one of the following topics.

  1. South African opera productions
  • Operas of different opera companies and composers
  • Different locations of opera performances (opera house, township, film)
  • Aesthetics of the opera opus itself
  • Analysis of compositions, libretti & performances

With Prof. Dr. Naomi André (University Michigan, USA), Dr. Donato Somma (University of Witwatersrand, SA) and Dr. Lena van der Hoven (among others) some experts in the field are invited. They will present on ‘Winnie – The Opera’ (Bongani Ndodana-Breen), ‘Princess Magogo’ (Opera Africa, Mzilikazi Khumalo), ‘Heart of Redness’ (Cape Town Opera, Neo Muyanga) and ‘Romeo’s Passion’ (Umculo, Cathy Milliken).

The workshop on the second day will cover transformation processes of Opera production in South Africa focusing on the following topics:

  • Opera institutions & opera companies
  • Finances/ Funding
  • Audiences
  • Marketing
  • Political impact

Abstracts (max. 2000 characters) for 20 minutes papers along with the technical requirements for the talk and a short CV with contact details should be sent by 15th August 2018 to Lena van der Hoven (Lena.van-der-Hoven@uni-bayreuth.de). Contributions from both the humanities and social sciences are welcome (Musicology, Theatre Studies, History, Cultural Studies, Sociology). Early career researchers in particular are encouraged to contribute. The chosen speakers will be informed by 31th August 2018 and the conference programme published online at http://www.prof-musikwissenschaft.uni-bayreuth.de/de/index.html .

 

 

Autoethnography, Self-Reflexivity, and Personal Experience as Academic Research

‘BEYOND “MESEARCH”: AUTOETHNOGRAPHY, SELF-REFLEXIVITY, AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS ACADEMIC RESEARCH IN MUSIC STUDIES’

Institute of Musical Research (IMR) Study Day

in association with the School of Advanced Study, University of London

16-17 April 2018, Senate House, London

*NB This event has now been expanded to a two-day conference*

Registration: https://store.surrey.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/fass-faculty-of-arts-social-sciences/conferences/autoethnography-selfreflexivity-and-personal-experience-in-music-studies-1617-april-2018

Provisional Programme: https://christopherwiley.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/imr-conference-programme-provisional-16-17-04-18.pdf

Website: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/department-music-media/research-department/autoethnography-and-self-reflexivity-music-studies

Keynote Speakers: Professor Neil Heyde (Royal Academy of Music, London); Professor Darla Crispin (Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo); Ian Pace (City, University of London)

CFP: deadline for submissions 12 January 2018

The advent of autoethnography, a form of qualitative social science research that combines an author’s narrative self-reflection with analytical interpretation of the broader contexts in which that individual operates (e.g. Etherington, 2004; Chang, 2008), has come at a critical time for the discipline of music. In the UK, the expectation of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) that creative practice outputs will be contextualised through an accompanying commentary signals the urgency for establishing scholarly structures suited to the discussion of one’s own work by performers, composers, and music technologists alike.

The recent inauguration of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), meanwhile, places a renewed emphasis on pedagogic research, for which autoethnography will increasingly prove to be critical in facilitating discourse on individual teachers’ experiences, in anticipation of the upcoming subject pilot for TEF and discipline-level evaluation being implemented more widely thereafter. As a methodology, autoethnography also yields enormous breadth of potential elsewhere in music studies, with the capacity to support academic enquiry encompassing individual experiences as listener or concert-goer, habits and modes of music consumption, and conduct as fans or aficionados.

While autoethnographic approaches have received significant application to the discipline of music internationally, for instance in Australia (Bartleet & Ellis, 2009) and the US (Manovski, 2014), this study day aims to raise its visibility at such a timely juncture in the UK. It will thereby consolidate the seminal contributions made by isolated studies in areas such as music education (Wiley & Franklin, 2017; Kinchin & Wiley, 2017), sonic arts (Findlay-Walsh, 2018), and composition and performance (Armstrong & Desbruslais, 2014). It also offers significant opportunity to initiate dialogue with academic fields as disparate as the social sciences, education, and health studies, in which autoethnography is more substantively practised.

At the same time, this study day will bring together composers, performers, musicologists, and music teachers, seeking to explore different modes of autoethnography with a view to establishing an analytical vein in continuation of previous work undertaken within music studies (e.g. Bartleet & Ellis, 2009). With an emphasis on transcending the production of so-called ‘mesearch’ – work that merely draws upon the author’s autobiographical description in an academic context – the event will cultivate modes of engagement in music research that enable scholar-practitioners at all levels to locate their experiences within a robust intellectual framework as well as to articulate their relationship to wider sociocultural contexts.

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

20-minute papers (plus 10 minutes for questions) are invited on any aspect relevant to the study day’s themes.

Proposals for panels of 3–4 papers (1.5–2 hours) on a closely related topic are also warmly welcomed, as are proposals for roundtables (3–5 participants, 1 hour duration). The latter should be thematically integrated and dialogue-based rather than simply a series of unconnected mini-papers.

Note that papers will be expected to offer some critical self-reflection on method, and not merely to set out ground covered in an individual’s own practice. Those that adopt non-traditional formats, or incorporate a practice as research component, will be warmly welcomed.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be e-mailed by 12 January 2018 to Christopher Wiley, c.wiley@surrey.ac.uk (enquiries to the same address). Decisions will be communicated to speakers by 5 February 2018.

The registration fee will be £20 per person (reduced rates of £10 available for students/the unwaged), including lunch and refreshments. A limited number of bursaries will be offered to students/the unwaged to offset travel costs, up to a maximum of £60 each.

Organising Committee: Christopher Wiley (University of Surrey, Chair), Iain Findlay-Walsh (University of Glasgow), Tom Armstrong (University of Surrey)

Study Day Supporters: Institute of Musical Research, in association with the School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House (funding supplied by Nick Baker)

Further information: Dr Christopher Wiley (University of Surrey): c.wiley@surrey.ac.uk

RMA Music and/as Process Study Group 6th Annual Conference

Call for Papers/Lecture Performances
Conference: Music and Language Friday 29th June – Sunday 1st July, 2018
Edinburgh Napier University, School of Arts and Creative Industries, Merchiston Campus

We welcome proposals for contributions in the following formats:

  • Paper (20 minutes + 10 minutes questions)
  • Lecture Recital (30 minutes)
  • Participatory lecture/workshop (30 minutes)

The theme of the conference is Music and Language, both spoken and written.

Whilst the Music and/as Process Study Group has previously been aimed towards the field of music, the call remains open to practitioners and researchers within the spoken arts, and sound poetry and beyond who are drawn towards an association with the theme.

Particular themes covered might include:

  • Sound Poetry Linguistic processes in composition and new music performance
  • Oulipo
  • Radio art (or Hörspiel)
  • Concrete Poetry / Phonetic art / Lautpoesie
  • Spoken/Written Language in the construction of new music/performance/creative work
  • Interactive spoken word performance
  • Translation

Proposals should include all of the details of the proposed contribution:

  • the name(s) of presenter(s)
  • email address of presenter(s)
  • affiliated academic institution
  • title of paper/lecture-recital/workshop
  • 200-word abstract
  • [for participatory workshops only] description of the format of the workshop
  • A full list of any technical requirements and other resources

 

Please send your proposals by email to Alistair Zaldua: alistair.zaldua@canterbury.ac.uk
Deadline for proposals: Friday, 09 March 2018 Notification of successful presentations can be expected in late March 2018.

In your proposal please clearly indicate all of the presenters, including any performers if you do not intend to perform your own work. Unfortunately, the study group is not able to provide any financial assistance to attend the conference, or to support the creation or performance of works at the conference.

All presenters and performers will be required to register and pay the conference fee. At present we are working to keep this as low as possible, and we do not anticipate it being higher than £50, with a discount for students, unaffiliated ECRs, and RMA members.

Principles of Music Composing: ratio versus intuitio

17th International Music Theory Conference

November 8th – 10th 2017

Vilnius, Lithuania

The aim of the annual conference ‘Principles of Music Composing’ is to foster theoretical thought that is essential for compositional practice and education of composers. Sixteen conferences of this series have already been held in Vilnius. The 17th conference draws attention to the phenomena of rationality and intuition, which are considered to be contrasting yet complementary poles in the compositional process. Intuition often alters the realization of rational scheme, model or archetype chosen by the composer. Meanwhile rational revision may improve intuitive improvisation, sonorous vision, or the artistic idea.

The topic of the conference could be divided into suggested subtopics:

  1. Rational processes of composition and aural intuition (theoretical insights, definition, conceptions, typology)
  2. Musical work as the result of rational and intuitive creative activity (theoretical, historical and aesthetical aspects)
  3. Adaptation of interdisciplinary ideas in the compositional practice based on rational and intuitive origin
  4. Rational and intuitive qualities in new musical resources and techniques (sonorism, microchromatics, extended techniques, aleatory, electronics, etc.)
  5. ‘Rational’ and ‘Intuitive’ composers: features of their works and the creative process
  6. Phenomena of rationality and intuition in the contemporary compositional practice
  7. Lithuanian composers: between rationality and intuition

Paper proposals (abstract and a short biography) should be sent by email pmc@lmta.lt . The abstract must not exceed 500 words. The duration of full presentation is limited to 20–25 minutes.

 The main language of the conference is English.

The deadline for proposal submissions is August 20th 2017. Proposals will be reviewed by the members of the scholarly committee and all applicants will be notified of the outcome in the beginning of September 2017.

The participation fee is 20 Euros.

Selected papers of the conference will be published in the annual peer reviewed scientific journal ‘Principles of Music Composing’.

pmc.lmta.lt 

Creating music across cultures in the 21st century

CALL FOR PAPERS:

Creating music across cultures in the 21st century

Istanbul Technical University, 25-27 May 2017

In the context of one of the world’s most organic melting pots, Istanbul, The Centre for Advanced Studies in Music, Istanbul Technical University, will host an international conference, in partnership with the European Research Council funded project “Beyond East and West,” May 25-27, 2017.

No music is an island.  Since time immemorial, cultures have traded and mixed musics across their domains, yet only in the 21st century have people around the world gained instant and virtually free access to musics beyond those of their neighbors.  The history of these mixings has been marked by a plethora of descriptors, some benign and others acerbic.  Depending on one’s perspective, the “other” musics span the gamut of primitive (“first”), Oriental, classical, art, learned, popular, etc.  Their mixtures have been termed synthetic, syncretic, trans-traditional, trans-cultural, intercultural, cross-cultural, borrowed, or globalized.  The oral and the literate have been contrasted, while the exotic has been vilified.  Quests for musical beauty and knowledge have been shaped by political, economic and social, hegemonic forces.  We are now at a point where, for the first time in history, the playing field has reached a new level of equity, with widespread access to a majority of the world’s traditions, on a scale radically different from a mere generation ago.

We invite proposals for papers (20-minute presentation plus 10-minute discussion) on any topic related to the mixing of musics from different musical traditions.  In addition to mixtures of maqam, raga, and other art traditions, we encourage proposals concerning the incorporation of “folk,” “traditional,” and “low-technology” musics in our 21st-century milieu. Our conference will be Interdisciplinary, and we welcome proposals from composers, performers, improvisers, musicologists, critical theorists, music philosophers, ethnomusicologists, and—especially—etcetera.  While springing from a notated art music tradition, we welcome other perspectives, oral traditions, and boundary stretchers.

Deadline: Please send a 250-word abstract to Robert Reigle, rreigle@gmail.com, with subject heading “Creating Music across Cultures-Abstract,” by 6 March 2017.  We will announce acceptances by 20 March.

Keynote speaker: Dr. Münir Nurettin Beken, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, University of California, Los Angeles.

Programme committee: Prof. Amanda Bayley, Prof. Şehvar Beşiroğlu, Prof. Sandeep Bhagwati, Dr. Michael Ellison, Dr. E. Şirin Özgün, Dr. Robert F. Reigle.

Website: http://www.miam.itu.edu.tr/cmac2017/index.html

Conference Fee: Full conference, 3 days: €60 / 200-Turkish Lira; 2 days: €40 / 140-TL; 1 day: €20 / 70-TL.

(€ international/TL local rates).  Free for students, both international and local.

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant no. 648810), and MIAM Centre for Advanced Studies in Music.

Sounds Between: a one-day festival exploring interdisciplinary encounters in music composition

Wednesday 7th December PATS Studio 1 and Ivy Arts Centre, University of Surrey, 10.15 – 9pm. Tickets are free but advance booking is recommended http://www.surrey.ac.uk/arts/music/sounds-between

’Sounds Between’ focuses on the places where music and other disciplines interact. Four specially commissioned works from squib-box, Jamie Hamliton/Dom Czapski, Jan Lee and Rodrigo Camacho/Sara Rodriguez explore a broad terrain of ideas: the perception of meaning and mass media, the strange attractions of digital avatars, how dancers become musicians in order to ‘play’ a space, and the formation of cultural identity in London’s Hatcham (New Cross).

Surrounding these premieres are contributions from leading artists, researchers and industry figures: Susanna Eastburn (Chief Executive of Sound and Music) leads a panel discussion on drivers and obstacles to interdisciplinary work in music composition, Jason Freeman shows how online networks can enable realtime, participatory music making, and Matteo Fargion and Jonathan Burrows perform work from their extensive back catalogue of sound/movement pieces. A workshop from Michael Picknett exploring theatrical devising techniques in composition and an installation by Scott Mc Laughlin (as well as plenty of opportunities for networking) complete the day.

‘Sounds Between’ is presented by Music Composition as Interdisciplinary Practice. MCIP is an AHRC-funded research network of artists, artistic researchers and scholars. Over the past year we have been commissioning, sharing and reflecting on music composition as a nexus of different disciplines. We have held a one-day seminar at Oxford Brookes University and a two-day symposium at the University of York. Through these events and through artists’ documentation of the commissioned pieces we have looked for insights into how such approaches to composition reflect different kinds of interdisciplinarity, how interdisciplinarity is facilitated ‘on the ground’ and how understandings of creativity might contribute to and be re-evaluated by the study of such work. ‘Sounds Between’ brings the practice that has underpinned the network into wider public view. The diversity within the programme reflects the phenomenon we are studying; it will appeal to those interested in experimental music, performance, multimedia, installation, dance and theatre practices, or simply curious to hear and see a snapshot of composers working between disciplines today.

Orpheus Research Seminar 2016 – Sound Work: Composition as Critical Technical Practice

The 10th Orpheus Research Seminar offers the opportunity for contributors from around the world to gather and explore the theme of composition as critical technical practice.

This seminar – convened by Jonathan Impett – will consider composition as a research activity – a process informed by theory and intuition, constraint and contingency, expectation and experience. It is a continuous iterative process of inscription and reflection in which its models, metaphors, aspirations, obligations, tools and technologies all play a part. This process is distributed temporally, socially and materially. The artefacts of composition – however notated, improvised, virtual, embodied or technologically implemented – are hybrid technical objects. Neither pure ‘inspiration’ not unmediated formalism account for what they contribute. We might rather consider composition as a design process, and study its dynamics and decisions in the spirit of critical technical practice – a term coined by Philip Agre in his work on the creation of the artefacts of artificial intelligence.

Call for Proposals

Practitioners from all disciplines are invited to submit proposals for presentations. We particularly welcome proposals for presentations that explore the demonstration of composition as research in innovative ways.

Deadline for Proposals: August 17, 2016.

Send us your proposal through info@orpheusinstituut.be

Download the full call in PDF

Keynote speakers

  • Nicolas Collins, Professor of Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
  • Alan Blackwell, Professor of Interdisciplinary Design, University of Cambridge (TBC

More info on the seminar

Given the prominence of the work and its author, of originality and development in Western art music, we might expect composition to be seen as the very embodiment of the notion of music as knowledge-production. Practice-as-research and artistic research have reached a relatively mature stage of assimilation and consensus, and yet the role of composition as research remains much debated in some quarters, unhelpfully unclear in others. Is this a question of communication, of discourse, of process and reflection, of composition as a cultural activity, or of its wider intellectual context?

The self-reporting of composition tends to consider the areas in which it aspires to be innovative, or the theories – musical, aesthetic, social, scientific, technological – that have informed the work, rather than research aspects of the activity of composition itself. The knowledge presented in such cases often lies outside composition. There is no shortage of investigation of the ontology and epistemology of the ‘work’ as a persisting historical cultural phenomenon, but the technologies and context of composition have undergone a paradigm shift. The present, to repurpose a phrase, is another country.

This seminar will consider composition as a research activity, as reflective critical making. Composition walks a tightrope between formalism and the arbitrary, a process informed by theory and intuition, constraint and contingency, expectation and experience. It is a continuous iterative process of inscription and reflection in which its models, metaphors, aspirations, obligations, tools and technologies all play a part. This process is distributed temporally, socially and materially. The artefacts of composition – however notated, improvised, virtual, embodied or technologically implemented – are hybrid technical objects. Neither pure ‘inspiration’ not unmediated formalism account for what they contribute. We might rather consider composition as a design process, and study its dynamics and decisions in the spirit of critical technical practice – a term coined by Philip Agre in his work on the creation of the artefacts of artificial intelligence.

Registration

http://www.orpheusinstituut.be/en/events/sound-work-composition-as-critical-technical-practice

International Conference of Young Musicologists. Young Musicology Today: tendencies, challenges and perspectives

The aim of the conference is to integrate the musicological community through the creation of an international forum for exchanging ideas and research experiences. We encourage young musicologists to present results from ongoing studies and to engage in discussion on the future of musicology, its role and place in the contemporary culture. Currently, musicology, which is not only the study of music, is starting to perform social functions, becoming not only a field of scientific inquiry but one of use to society. During the conference, we would like to consider new avenues of research, new methodologies of musicologists’ work, and the challenges and career prospects faced by musicologists entering the labour market. It will also be an opportunity to consider the subject areas of interest to young musicology.

Subject areas for consideration include

  • New research perspectives in musicology
  • Music versus other arts
  • Music in the public space (sonosphere research)
  • Music in society (music and ideologies)
  • Music and the sacred
  • Music and science (e.g. psychology of music)
  • Challenges of modern ethnomusicology
  • The state and the form of contemporary music criticism
  • Source studies and music editing
  • Music librarianship – issues and challenges
  • Performance practice
  • Theory of music
  • Music and pop culture
  • Opera nowadays

The conference will incorporate both traditional lectures and panel discussions, during which groups of researchers conducting a joint project or studying similar subjects will be able to present the results of their studies or discuss a specific subject. We encourage the participants to organise their own panel sessions during the conference (due to time constraints, we suggest no more than four papers during one session; please indicate the person leading the session during registration).

In addition, the conference programme includes:

  • “A musicologist on the labour market” panel

This will be an opportunity for an in-depth discussion of the current employment situation of musicology graduates in Poland and abroad, and for the presentation of experiences in this area. We encourage participation in this panel session by musicologists – musical life animators, employees of media and cultural and educational associations and institutions etc.

  • Masters’ lectures (plenary speakers)
  • The conference programme includes additional events, such as concerts, sightseeing in Krakow, and exhibitions.

A publication of the collected papers presented at the conference is also planned.

Conference language: English.

Schedule

  • Accepting applications with abstracts – until 31th of May 2016.
  • Information about accepted papers – by 30 June 2016.
  • Conference dates: 7-9 November 2016.

Applications should be made by sending the application form via email to: agnieszka.lakner@doctoral.uj.edu.pl  and musicologytoday@gmail.com

You can find an application form here.

For any further information please feel free to contact: Agnieszka Lakner; agnieszka.lakner@doctoral.uj.edu.pl

Conference fee

Conference fee: 200,00 PLN / 50 €

The fee includes:

Admission to the conference, conference program, publication of the paper in the conference proceedings, lunches and coffee breaks during sessions and conference attractions such as sightseeing and concerts. Registration fee does not include accommodation and transportation. If you wish, Organizers will help you to book an accommodation.

Organizer

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Department of Musicology

Address: Westerplatte Street 10; 31-033 Kraków, Poland

http://www.muzykologia.uj.edu.pl

 

 

Composition Schools in the 20th Century: the Institution and the Context

45th Baltic musicological conference dedicated to the centennial anniversary of Julius Juzeliūnas

19–22 October 2016

Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius

Keynote speakers are dr. Algirdas Ambrazas (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre), dr. Gražina Daunoravičienė (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre), dr. Marina Frolova-Walker (University of Cambridge), and dr. Melita Milin (Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts).

Secondary themes:
The idea of a composition school and the guidelines for its theoretical conceptualisation
The core of composition schools: traditions, programs, and pedagogical directions
Composition schools vs. individual tutors: differentiation and value criteria
Teachers of composition: pedagogic innovations and ties with traditions
Pedagogy of composition and the idea of writing national music: paths and crossroads
Active pedagogy in composition: ideas and realisation
Teaching the art of sounds in the 21st century
The phenomenon of Julius Juzeliūnas as teacher of composition
Exploring Julius Juzeliūnas’ personality and works
Traditions, directions and identity dimensions of the composition schools in the Baltic States
Ties between national schools of composition and traditions within the world’s largest centres of composition training
The micro-stories from different composition schools that capture imagination

There is no conference fee.

English and German are the two working languages of the conference. Participants who wish to speak during the conference or want to offer topics for round-table discussions and study group sessions should submit their proposals by 18 April 2016 to Zita Abramavičiūtė, coordinator of the conference (mokslas@lmta.lt). Individual speakers are expected to provide an abstract of up to 300 words for a 20-minute report and a CV of up to 150 words. Those intended to speak during round table discussions and study group sessions should send a general summary of their topic. The information about the selected themes is to be announced by the end of April 2016. More details regarding the programme and accommodation are due in May 2016 online. Please check the websites of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (www.lmta.lt) and the Lithuanian Composers’ Union (www.lks.lt).

The idea of national schools of composition which emerged in the leading European centres of culture in the 19th century was later gradually adopted by smaller nations seeking statehood and cultural identity. The three Baltic States and the neighbouring countries with similar cultural traditions saw the idea of national music coming into fruition in the early 20th century, the development that prompted their national composition schools to begin taking shape between the two world wars. The latter is an undeniable sign of maturity of a national musical culture. Evidently enough, scientific papers dedicated to the development of professional music often overlook the phenomenon of national composition schools the concept of which usually exists as a non-binding general category although no one has ever tried to play down its importance. Whenever we are trying to describe a national school of composition which, according to Algirdas Ambrazas, is “the commonness of self-awareness of a national culture, aspirations, and artistic images inspired by ethnic consciousness“, the term refers to the equivalent of a national culture of music.

The formation and development of pedagogic schools of composition plays a particularly important role within the structure of the phenomenon of a composition school. They bring together teachers, students, programs, classes, and creative efforts of both students and their tutors. Pedagogic schools of composition offer knowledge and expertise, orientation and technological principles vital in the process of developing skills the craft requires and, quite often, help to define one’s creative stance. As far as their concept is concerned, pedagogic schools of composition are based on several commonly accepted components, such as programme, teachers, students, and particular location, time and tradition. This level of the phenomenon reveals the ways alongside which a teacher’s oeuvre together with his or her stylistic and technological mindset, ideals and pedagogic traits inspire their students and, through their artistic endeavours, eventually influence the advance of a particular musical culture.

Artur Kapp, Heino Eller, Jāzeps Vītols and Juozas Gruodis – the four composers behind the emergence of national pedagogic schools of composition in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – have set the first milestones for the development of professional music in their native countries. Spanning over more than one hundred years, its history provides a wealth of material for anyone eager to learn more about its birth and evolution. This conference aims first and foremost at exploring the concept of national schools of composition in small nations and at examining their role in the processes of musical culture of the 20th century and early 21st century.

The conference offers a ground for discussions on a number of provoking subjects: What is the role of a traditional institution, a school for composers, within the contemporary culture given the ever increasing volume of exchanges in musical information? What is key in making a centre for composition studies attractive and productive? What are the priorities and methodical tools in developing a composer’s creativity and skill of his craft? Should the contemporary knowledge about making music be limited by a national tradition? Is teaching composition the exclusive privilege of the most famous composers? What are the ways of transforming experience and creativity in teaching composition? What famous schools of composition have emerged in the 20th century outside the world’s leading centres of musical education?

These are just a few intriguing questions that have inspired the organisers of the Conference dedicated to the centennial anniversary of Julius Juzeliūnas (1916–2001), one of the outstanding representatives of the Lithuanian school of composition. In Lithuania, Stasys Šimkus was the first to offer a course in composition in 1923 while working as a teacher for Klaipėda Music School, or Memeler Konservatorium der Musik as its was officially known at the time. It took another several years for a more systemic approach to develop after Juozas Gruodis began tutoring composition at Kaunas Music School which eventually grew into a conservatory. As one of the most famous and influential teachers of composition, Julius Juzeliūnas has ensured the continuity of the national tradition in professional music as well as its rejuvenation in the second half of the 20th century.