Naturalising Sounds: How Instrumental Music is (Made) National

International Conference, Regensburg, 22–23 January 2021
University of Regensburg, Department of Musicology

CfP deadline extended: 7 August 2020

In 1997 the symposium “French and German Music in the 20th Century” in Frankfurt am Main (“Französische und deutsche Musik im 20. Jahrhundert”) concluded that “today all national typology has lost its validity” (conference review in Die Musikforschung by Peter Jost). At the end of his article on “Nationalism” for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Richard Taruskin, citing Mark Slobin, expressed a hope for a pluralistic global culture consisting of a “fascinating counterpoint of near and far, large and small, neighborhood and national, home and away”. This now seems to be contradicted by the nationalistic tendencies that are gaining popularity worldwide. Music does not remain untouched by this and can become the subject of ideological appropriation. Against this background, nationalistic currents of bygone music history gain relevance once more, after having been considered for some time as over and done with. Here we find actual examples of the mechanisms of making music “national” in a nationalistically charged socio-political climate.

The conference’s main focus lies on instrumental music and those particular moments in modern music history when national or even nationalistic qualities have been attributed to it. These instances occur outside the sounding music itself; they are manifested verbally: in texts accompanying music performances, writings of music theory and music history and, last but not least, in the press – see for example such different cases as Robert Schumann’s articles on Nils Wilhelm Gade in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik or Carl Mennicke playing off the “Mannheimer Schule” against the Italian opera introduction (Hasse und die Brüder Graun als Symphoniker, Leipzig 1906).

For the interpretation of such cases a distinction needs to be made between terms such as “national” and “nationalistic”, as well as “political”, “popular”/”folksy” and—as Peter Benary emphasized in 1979—“scenic” (“landschaftlich”). Raising questions about “moments” of nationalising music seems to be in contradiction to the long cultivated concept of folk music being the basis of all national musical characteristics. Despite this view, folk music is essentially a local or at least a regional phenomenon. Since a national element cannot constitute itself purely on the basis of sounds, there still have to be acts of reflection and interpretation to attribute such qualities to folk music.

It is the aim of this conference to discover these instances in the wide realm of instrumental music, to examine, analyse and compare them.

Keynote speaker will be Prof. Dr. Stefan Keym (University of Leipzig). As part of the conference there will be a concert with a thematically related programme (esp. Dmitri Shostakovitch’s Seventh Symphony) by the University Symphony Orchestra on 23 January.

We welcome papers of 20 minutes’ length settled in the area of modern music history, focussing on questions such as (but not excluding others):

Is it possible to distinguish different strategies of branding music with a nationality in historical or contemporary music criticism and analysis?

Who decides about the nationality of music? What are the criteria?

How are differences of opinion handled?

How does one become a national composer? Can this status be lost again?

Are there instrumental genres that at certain times tended to be treated and interpreted in a national context? What are the reasons for this?

How are obvious inter-national overlaps of musical material handled (Scotch snap, Lombard rhythm, Hungarian word emphasis)?

How is the “internationality” of particular music established?

Abstracts (2000 characters), along with a short autobiography (700 characters), should be sent to Dr. Michael Braun (michael4.braun@ur.de), Department of Musicology at the University of Regensburg, no later than 7 August 2020 (Deadline extended). Conference languages are German and English. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 28 August 2020.

Beyond Sovereignism: New perspectives on Fausto Torrefranca

CALL FOR PAPERS

Beyond sovereignism: New perspectives on Fausto Torrefranca, 11-13 March 2021

Roma Tre University, via Ostiense 139 – 00154 Rome, Italy

Organizer: Department of Philosophy, Communication and Performing Arts – Roma Tre University

Fausto Torrefranca (1883-1955) was a prominent musicologist and music critic, and held the first Chair in Music History at any Italian university. His reputation has been tainted by his strong nationalistic feelings and inclination towards acrimonious and, by today’s standards, politically inconvenient controversies. After his death, he became remembered primarily as the interpreter par excellence of a dusty and obtuse musicological sovereignism. For this reason, he never enjoyed particular consideration among the scholars who came after him, nor was his work judged with the equanimity it deserved. However, the few musicologists who have examined his writings carefully have realized that his work, strong ideological connotations notwithstanding, does not lack a strong methodological foundation—on the contrary. In addition to a profound knowledge of the sources, his writings reveal a keen intuition and uncommon ability to elaborate innovative historiographical hypotheses.

The goal of this conference is not only to revisit but also to spread new knowledge about Torrefranca’s work, thereby restoring the international dimension that it had during his lifetime, when Torrefranca was one of the few Italian musicologists known and published abroad.

Suggested themes (in any case with reference to the career and works of Fausto Torrefranca) include, but are not limited to:

– Biographical aspects

– ‘Politically Incorrect’ Torrefranca

– Aesthetics

– Research methods and tools (philology, ecdotics, musical description and analysis, etc.)

– Study and cataloging of sources, bibliographic research

– Studies on the Middle Ages and the Fifteenth Century

– Studies on eighteenth-century instrumental music

– Studies on music theater from the seventeenth to the twentieth century

– Writings on the music of Torrefranca’s own time

– Dissemination of musical culture and knowledge exchange

– Relationship between music and other performing arts and media

– Professional networks in musicology (national and international)

PROGRAMME COMMITTEE

Luca Aversano (Coordinator, Roma Tre University)

Virgilio Bernardoni (University of Bergamo)

Giorgio Biancorosso (Hong Kong University)

Stephanie Klauk (Universität des Saarlandes)

Cormac Newark (Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London)Jacopo Pellegrini (Roma Tre University)

SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS AND DEADLINES

Scholars interested in participating are invited to submit, by 31 May 2020, an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short bio-bibliographical note (approx. 150 words) to the following e-mail address: torrefranca.roma2021@gmail.com. Papers must last 20 minutes ca.

The programme committee will select proposals based on their relevance to the themes of the conference. It will make its final decision on the abstracts by the end of June 2020, and prospective contributors will be informed immediately thereafter.

LANGUAGES

The official languages of the conference will be Italian and English.

FEE AND SOJOURN DETAILS

There are no registration fees. The organizers will provide meals and refreshments during the conference for all participants. Accomodation and travel expenses will be covered by all participants themselves. The organizers will suggest accommodation options (in partner Hotels) for different price categories.

PROCEEDINGS

The organizers are planning to publish the proceedings of the conference by the end of 2022.

CONTACTS

Please send all correspondence and queries to the following address: torrefranca.roma2021@gmail.com 

Nationality / Universality ‘Musical historiography in Central and Eastern Europe’

International Musicological Conference: Nationality / Universality  ‘Musical historiography in Central and Eastern Europe’

Radziejowice, near Warsaw, 15–18 September 2014

THEME
The central theme of the International Musicological Conference will be the musical historiographies of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. As well as attempting to recapitulate historical research of various profiles and surveying current research topics, the conference will provide an opportunity to reinterpret national musical historiographies and compare different perspectives on music history.
For several decades now, historiography, regarded as a central discipline of musicology, has witnessed a search for new directions and inspirations. The key tenets of historical musicology are being re-evaluated, particularly the notion that music history is forged by great individuals, great works, great traditions or great discoveries. The legitimacy of global and universal perspectives has been questioned, with scholars proposing that attention be focussed on regional reality and on everyday musical life. The question arises as to how such thinking affects local historiographies. Has there been any change in the methodologies and narratives of national music histories that lie outside the principal current of Western historical reflection? And, if so, in what direction?

SUBJECT AREAS

  • National music histories versus the history of musical regions and centres
  • National music histories in relation to methodological historiographic models the object of musical historiography: the history of music, the history of writing about music, the history of reception and of musical life
  • The ‘heroes’ of national music in national historiographies
  • The socio-political and cultural determinants of musical historiography in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe
  • The significance of folk traditions in national historiographies

SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS AND DEADLINES
You are invited to propose a paper by submitting the completed form together with an abstract of your paper in English (300–400 words). Proposals should be sent by 15 November 2013. Website address: http://www.chopin.nifc.pl/conference The list of accepted abstracts will be announced by 31 December 2013.

FEE
The fee for participation in the conference is 50 euro [200 PLN], which should be paid into the account of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute between 31 December 2013 and 30 June 2014. The organiser will provide accommodation and meals during the conference, but will not refund travel expenses.

LANGUAGE
The conference proceedings will be conducted in English.

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE
prof. dr hab. Sławomira Żerańska-Kominek, Institute of Musicology – University of Warsaw
prof. dr hab. Irena Poniatowska, Institute of Musicology – University of Warsaw, Polish Chopin Academy
dr hab. Paweł Gancarczyk, Musicology Section – Polish Composers’ Union, Institute of Art – Polish Academy of Sciences
dr Artur Szklener, The Fryderyk Chopin Institute

PROCEEDINGS
The organiser is planning to publish a book of conference.

CONTACT AND QUERIES
Further information on the conference will be posted on our website: http://www.chopin.nifc.pl/conference
Please send any queries by email: conference@nifc.pl
Your questions will be answered by members of the Organising Committee.

ORGANISER’S ADDRESS
The Fryderyk Chopin Institute
Research and Publishing Department
ul. Tamka 43
00-355 Warszawa
fax +48 22 44 16 113
e-mail: conference@nifc.pl
www.chopin.nifc.pl, http://en.chopin.nifc.pl/institute/events/conferences/year/2014

CONFERENCE VENUE
Dom Pracy Twórczej w Radziejowicach
ul. Henryka Sienkiewicza 4
96-325 Radziejowice
Poland