Improvisation, Community and Social Practice

Call for papers

Paper proposals are invited for an international, interdisciplinary conference on Text, Media and Improvisation, to be held at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on June 21 and 22, 2008. This conference is organized by members of an inter-university research project entitled Improvisation, Community and Social Practice.

While papers may touch on a wide range of themes related to the conference title, areas of concern might include the following:

  • problems in the notation and description of improvisatory practice;
  • cross-media, multimedia or intermedial improvisatory practices;
  • the status of improvised practice as text or discourse;
  • the relationship of sonic and graphic forms in improvisation;
  • improvised practice and cultural memory;
  • social and technological issues in the transmission and reception of improvisational practice.
  • While musical improvisation will be a core theme of the conference, papers on improvisation in relation to other cultural and social practices are welcome. Proposals for papers should include a title, the name and affiliation of the author and an abstract of 300-400 words. Please send proposals by January 31, 2008 to Will Straw

    Popular Music and place in contemporary Latin America

    SLAS Conference
    March 28-30
    University of Liverpool

    Call for papers

    Music is a present element in the life of individuals living as part of communities and nations. Music in Latin America holds a rich variety of expressions originated within and outside the region. In an expansive trend of cultural globalisation, the study of music in its relationship to place and identity becomes a tricky task. This panel invites paper proposals by researchers working in the field of popular music in contemporary Latin America. Special interest is drawn to topics which relate to the complexities of the relationship between music and nation, identity, and memory.

    Deadline for proposal submission 10th of February (Please not that you need to register to the conference no later than the 15 th of February).

    If you would like to present on this panel please send an abstract to Violeta Mayer

    Information on

    Music and the idea of the North

    Call for papers

    Music and the idea of the North

    6-7 September 2008
    Venue: Sullivan Room, Leeds Town Hall

    A conference to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of Leeds TownHall, hosted by: The Institute of Northern Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University Leeds University Centre for English Music (LUCEM), University of Leeds Leeds International Concert Season Opera North

    On 6 September 1858, Queen Victoria travelled to Leeds by rail to open the new town hall, built to an ambitious prize-winning design by the young Hull architect Cuthbert Brodrick. In the festivities which unfolded over her two-day visit, music played a prominent role, from the 32,000 Sunday-school children who sang hymns as the procession passed, to the massed choral forces which delivered the Hallelujah Chorus at the climax of the ceremony itself. In the decades that followed, Leeds Town Hall became one of the most widely recognised emblems of civic pride in the north of England, and a prestigious venue for the festival premières of works such as Edward Elgar’s Caractacus, William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony.

    To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the town hall, LUCEM and the Institute of Northern Studies present a two-day conference addressing connections between music and global northern identities: how does music express ideas of ‘the north’ and ‘northerliness’, and how have musical cultures been shaped by the dynamics of north vs south?

    Papers are invited on any aspect of music and the north, but are particularly encouraged on the following themes:

  • music and northern landscapes;
  • northern venues and institutions for music;
  • regional variation in audiences, markets, and consumption of music;
  • musical tensions between north and south (within nations, regions, cities, etc.);
  • cultural policy and regeneration;
  • comparative studies of music in northern centres;
  • music and ethnic-minority communities;
  • popular, folk, and traditional musics;
  • northern styles and genres;
  • music, industrialisation, and civic identity;
  • music, politics, and radicalism.
  • Proposals (up to 200 words) for papers of c. 20 minutes’ duration should be sent by 31 March 2008 to the programme committee:
    Professor Tony Collins, Leeds Metropolitan University
    Dr Rachel Cowgill, University of Leeds
    Professor Dave Russell, Leeds Metropolitan University
    Professor Derek Scott, University of Leeds

    Our keynote speakers will be:
    Professor Sherrill E. Grace, University of British Columbia, author of Canada and the Idea of North (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001)
    Professor Peter Davidson, University of Aberdeen, author of The Idea of North (Reaktion, 2005)

    Further details will be posted on the LUCEM and Institute of Northern Studies websites in due course.

    … alles hat seine Zeit. Age and Ageing in Popular Music

    Call for Papers

    … alles hat seine Zeit
    (All things have their season)
    Age and Ageing in Popular Music

    19th Conference of the Arbeitskreis Studium Populärer Musik
    (the German Association for the Study of Popular Music ASPM)
    31st October – 2nd November 2008 in Akademie Remscheid near Cologne, Germany

    Remember ‘Hope I die before I get old’ – that supposed pop consensus in the late sixties? Since then, the ageing process has certainly left its mark on the productive forces and forms of all genres, topics, performers and listeners of so-called popular music. The starting point of the discussion at the nineteenth ASPM conference will be the fact that such processes are not only increasingly having an impact on the production and reception of popular music – but in fact always have had.
    Age as a stamp of quality in the blues and jazz, age as a blind spot in pop, or as a simulation of perennial vitality and potency in rock (Mick Jagger) but also as a sign of premature ageing (Ozzy Osbourne, Keith Richards) … Of course we will scarcely be investigating the ageing process in the artists, but rather that of the genre itself. Can we speak of a ‘later style’ in the Stones’ work? Why can pop mainstream products – after a certain safe passage of time – be termed evergreens or (in an inversion of the meaning) oldies? Are sweet sixteens immortal?
    If the performers can’t be made responsible for the cliché of popular music as youth music, can we then look to blame the audiences? And what power to define ‘youthfulness’ (as in sex and drugs and rebelliousness) does popular music actually still have, when teenagers go to concerts with their Mamas and Papas?

    At the ‘… alles hat seine Zeit’ conference, German-language popular music scholars will be looking at this topic for the first time. We warmly invite scholars of all disciplines interested in the multifarious questions and processes of ageing in popular music to contribute.
    Selected contributions on the focus topic of the conference will be published after peer review in the Beiträge zur Popularmusikforschung (Contributions to Popular Music Research) series ( Bielefeld : transcript-Verlag).
    The languages of the conference and the publication will be German and English.

    Papers should be registered at the ASPM office with title and abstract by 1st April 2008:

    Arbeitskreis Studium Populärer Musik e.V.
    Ahornweg 154
    25469 Halstenbek

    or mailed to Alenka Barber-Kersovan

    Further details can be found on our website: Arbeitskreis Studium Populärer Musik

    The eXtensible Electric Guitar Festival

    the eXtensible Electric Guitar Festival

    Since its development in the mid-twentieth century, the electric guitar has had a profound influence on many aspects of music, creating new sounds, spurring the development of new musical styles, and reshaping concepts of musicianship. In the early twenty first century, despite retaining its iconic status as a symbol of innovation and transgression, the electric guitar and its uses now seem commonplace, almost routine; in short, the instrument may be in danger of losing its edge.

    The Extensible Electric Guitar Festival aims to rediscover and showcase the electric guitar’s spirit of innovation and exploration. To that end we are looking for music and musicians that use the electric guitar in innovative ways and which extend its capabilities. Music which uses the electric guitar as a controller, with electronics and computers, and with multi-media are encouraged. We anticipate having two evening concerts, one in a concert hall setting, another in a club setting. There

    Music: The Extensible Electric Guitar Festival
    Clark University, Worcester MA USA
    April 4-5, 2008Call for Music and PerformersDeadline: 01/01/08Project directors:
    David Claman
    Matt Malsky (Clark University)

    Symposium: The Extensible Electric Guitar Festival
    Clark University, Worcester MA USA
    April 4-5, 2008Call for Presentations
    Symposium: ‘Instruments of the Post-Prohibitive Age’Deadline: 01/01/08Our symposium begins where Kyle Gann’s keynote to the Extensible Toy Piano Festival (Nov. 2005) left us — with a consideration of the ‘post-prohibitive era’.** Listeners have access to music from every historical era, social context and geographic location, and it’s all accessible instantaneously. Musicians can synthesize all previous musical thought. Every musical style, unusual sound, revolutionary impulse or aesthetic ideal can be incorporated into new music. If modernism’s relationship with mass-culture was marked by a fear of contagion, our post-prohibitive era might be thought of in terms of information-overload. And how do we go about making sense of it all?

    Full text of this call

    Music and the Moving Image III

    Music and the Moving Image III
    Conference at NYU, May 30 – June 1, 2008
    Call for papers

    The third annual conference, Music and the Moving Image, encourages submissions from scholars and practitioners that explore the relationship between music and the entire universe of moving images (film, television, computer, video games, and interactive performance) through paper presentations, roundtables, and plenary sessions. This year live performance/screenings will be a featured part of the evening program. Streaming video versions of every presentation will be available only at NYU from May 30 – June 3, 2008.
    Accepted papers will be considered for inclusion in the new peer-reviewed online journal Music and the Moving Image:

    The Program Committee includes Macquarie Univ. faculty Rebecca Coyle (Reel Tracks: Australian Feature Film Music and Cultural Identities); NYU artist faculty Ira Newborn (The Naked Gun); NYU faculty Robert Rowe (Machine Musicianship); Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison faculty Jeff Smith (The Sounds of Commerce: Marketing Popular Film Music); and coeditors of Music and the Moving Image, Gillian B. Anderson (Haexan; Pandora’s Box; Music for Silent Film 1892-1929: A Guide); and NYU faculty, Ron Sadoff (The Moon and the Son).

    For more detailed information about last year’s conference, go to:

    The conference will run in conjunction with the NYU/ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop in Memory of Buddy Baker (May 16-23, 2008) and the NYU Song Writing Workshop [ May 27-30 ]:

    Abstracts or synopses of papers (250 words) should be submitted to Dr. Ron Sadoff, chair of the program committee, by no later than Jan. 14, 2008. E-Mail Ron Sadoff for more information.

    Ron Sadoff
    New York University
    35 West 4th St
    Rm 777H
    New York, NY, 10012

    Conference fee (May 30 – June 1): $135.00, Students: $65.00, Housing Available.

    IASPM-Canada Annual Conference: Popular Music & Popular Culture: Intersections & Histories

    IASPM-Canada Annual Conference
    Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario
    May 9-11, 2008

    Popular Music & Popular Culture: Intersections & Histories

    The conference title has a deliberately wide remit to encourage numerous and diverse interpretations of relationships between popular music and popular culture. Proposals are encouraged in, but not limited to, the following categories:

    Collectors and collecting
    Film and popular music
    Gaming and popular music
    Genre histories
    Histories of popular music studies
    The Internet and popular music
    Music videos
    Nation and popular music
    Popular music and/in fiction
    Popular music and identity
    Popular music and/on television
    Popular music archives
    Popular music biography
    Popular music canon(s)
    Popular music pedagogy
    Popular music’s star system
    Sound recording
    Technology and popular music
    Technological histories
    What makes popular music “popular”?
    Writing popular music’s history

    Deadline for Proposals: Friday, January 25, 2008. Please send a 250-word proposal and a brief biographical note (preferably in PDF) to one (or both) of the program co-chairs:

    Nick Baxter-Moore

    Scott Henderson

    The program committee plans to notify all prospective presenters by February 25.

    Appel de communicationsColloque Annuel De IASPM-Canada
    Brock University, Ste.Catharines, Ontario
    9-11 mai 2008

    Musique Populaire & Culture Populaire: Intersections & Histoires

    Notre thème de colloque est volontairement large afin d’encourager les nombreuses et diverses interprétations des relations entre la musique populaire et la culture populaire. Les propositions de communication dans les catégories suivantes sont encouragées, mais elles peuvent en déborder:

    Collecteurs et collections
    Film et musique populaire
    Jeux vidéos et musique populaire
    Histoires de genres musicaux
    Histoires de l’étude de la musique populaire
    Internet et musique populaire
    Comédies musicales
    Nation et musique populaire
    Musique populaire et/dans la fiction
    Musique populaire et identité
    Musique populaire et/à la télévision
    Archives de musique populaire
    Biographie de musique populaire
    Canon(s) de musique populaire
    Pédagogie en musique populaire
    Célébrités et musique populaire
    Enregistrement sonore
    Technologie et musique populaire
    Histoire de technologies
    Qu’est-ce qui rend la musique populaire «populaire»?
    Écrire l’histoire de la musique populaire

    La date limite pour soumettre vos propositions est le vendredi 25 janvier 2008. Veuillez envoyer une proposition de 250 mots et une brève note biographique (préférablement dans le format PDF) à un (ou aux deux) co-officier(s) de la programmation:

    Nick Baxter-Moore

    Scott Henderson

    Le comité de programmation entend avertir les futurs/res conférenciers/ières le 25 février 2008.

    De-Canonizing Music History

    Advance Conference Note and Call For Papers

    “De-Canonizing Music History”

    International Symposium for
    Histories of Popular Music, Jazz, and Folk Music
    November 29–December 1, 2007

    Sibelius Academy
    Helsinki, Finland

    Sibelius Academy proudly presents a call for papers for an international symposium dedicated to popular music, jazz, and folk music. Three departments of the Sibelius Academy will sponsor the event conjointly: the departments of Music Education, Jazz, and Folk Music.

    The purpose of the symposium is to acknowledge and discuss the various ways in which traditional music history is challenged by emergent critical and cultural views, de-canonizing our conventional understandings of the musical past.

    Within this extensive focus, the submissions may concern a wealth of subjects and methods. Thematic areas may include, but also reach beyond:

    • Style/Genre history
    • Philosophy/Theory of history
    • Biography
    • Jazz studies
    • Historical study of musical instruments
    • History of music technology
    • Media history
    • Music education
    • Feminist and gender studies
    • Interaction between Art, Folk and Popular Music
    • Non-Western perspectives on music history

    Keynote speakers:

    Professor Roberta Lamb (Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada)
    Professor Derek Scott (University of Leeds, UK)
    Professor Lewis Porter (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA)

    Deadline for submission abstracts: August 31, 2007.  Abstracts no longer than 250 words, email to

    Admission: Free of charge

    Contact: Laura Pohjola, Department of Music Education, Sibelius Academy,
    P.O. Box 86, FIN-00251 Helsinki, Finland

    IASPM-US 2008 Conference: Global Pop, Space and Place

    IASPM-US 2008 Conference:
    Global Pop, Space and Place

    University of Iowa
    April 25-28, 2008
    Iowa City, IA

    For many, popular music would, by definition, transcend any particular space, propelled by the technologies of mass media. Connecting every wired corner of the globe, today’s digital media technologies — from mp3s and p2ps to Myspace and YouTube — would appear to amplify popular music’s inherently translocal character. At the same time, popular music remains deeply entwined with significations of place, of home and away, town and country, here and there, black and white; and it remains shaped by real spaces and the changes that affect them. Popular genres and styles are nurtured and inflected in social spaces, and they enrich one’s sense of place as they shape one’s imagination of others. How is popular music shaped by, or how does it shape, social uses of space? Does popular music look and sound fundamentally different in an increasingly interconnected world? What happens to the notion of the popular in a peer-to-peer age? How does greater access to more music from farther away change our senses of our cities, regions, countries, selves, others? The conference program committee of the 2008 meeting of IASPM-US invites proposals for papers, panels, or roundtables relating to these questions and, of course, welcomes proposals on any aspect of popular music.

    Possible paper topics might address questions such as the following:

        * How do new uses of space inflect popular musics’ sounds, uses, and meanings?
        * How does popular music inform regionalism and geographical identity?
        * Are ‘translocal’ and ‘global’ popular music coterminous, or crucially distinct?
        * What is the relationship between popular music and urban space?
        * How does popular music draw the lines of community?
        * How do we conduct research in a MySpacey, YouTubey world?
        * What is popular music without the music industry?
        * In what ways does popular music animate politics, ideology, or propaganda?
        * How does popular music give voice and strength to its collective listeners?
        * How does popular music mediate social tragedy?

    Proposals will be read blind by the program committee, which consists of Connie Atkinson (University of New Orleans), Rebekah Farrugia (Western Michigan), Jonathon Grasse (California State University, Dominguez Hills), Kwame Harrison (Virginia Tech), Adam Krims (University of Nottingham), and Wayne Marshall (Brandeis University).
    Proposals will only be accepted via the online submission form at Abstracts for individual papers and roundtables should be no longer than 300 words, and proposals for panels should include an abstract of no more than 300 words for the panel as a whole, as well as abstracts of no more than 300 words for each paper proposed for the panel. The program committee reserves the right to accept a panel but reject an individual paper on that panel.

    For questions about the conference, contact Wayne Marshall, Program Committee Chair, at

    Submission deadline: 11:59 PST November 1, 2007.