Fantasy and music have always been closely linked through the association of music and creative powers. Thus in Tolkien’s Ainulindalë, music gives birth to the world, and evil is first manifested as a discordant theme in the symphony the Ainur compose. In addition, The Lord of the Rings is intertwined with songs and poems, a feature that also appears in the works of post-Tolkienian writers such as Guy Gavriel Kay. Songs are often accompanied by musician characters, who might be reminiscent of the mythological figures of Orpheus, whose music charms all living beings, or the bard Taliesin who is said to have been a companion of Bran the Blessed and to have attended the court of King Arthur. Taliesin actually appears in Charles de Lint’s Urban Fantasy novel Moonheart. And musicians (along with painters and writers) are prominently featured in the works of the Canadian author, who is himself a musician and regularly explores the many faces of artistic creation and creativity. Similarly, in Emma Bull’s novel War for the Oaks, music is a complete part of the story since the main protagonist, Eddi, is a rock singer and guitarist just like the author. Other writers imagine magical music instruments, such as the Dagda’s harp in Léa Silhol’s La Sève et le Givre, or faerie characters whose musical and singing abilities are far beyond what mere humans can produce.Continue reading
Special issue of Popular Music 40.4 (2021)
Prosecuting and Policing Rap
Contributions are invited to a special issue of Popular Music on the complex interface between rap music (taken in its broadest sense to include mainstream rap, gangsta rap, activist rap, drill, grime, etc.) and criminal justice systems around the world.
Rap music is an international youth-cultural powerhouse and, while its spread has been celebrated, it has also been attended by mounting criminalisation. This special issue asks researchers to explore the policing and prosecuting of rap and how this has been framed in media reporting. It also considers what might make rap susceptible to such state criminalisation and how rappers, communities, civil liberties groups, defence lawyers, and scholars have come to challenge ‘prosecuting rap’.Continue reading
Journal of Sound, Silence, Image and Technology (JoSSIT)
Monograph: Music, Sound and Silence in Videogames
Issue editor: Lidia López Gómez
Number: 3 (December 2020)
Deadline for full articles: 1st October 2020
Issue date: 22nd December 2020
The scientific publication the Journal of Sound, Silence, Image and Technology (JoSSIT) grew out of the research group of the same name (SSIT), which is linked to the TecnoCampus university centres, affiliated with Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). The journal seeks to bring together academic debate and scientific research on the relationship between sound as a broad concept and an audiovisual context.Continue reading
How is Covid-19 changing musical instrument practice? At the University of Sussex we are running a survey exploring this question and we would be delighted if you would consider filling it out. We interpret the word ‘instrument’ broadly and take it to include the voice and music software, for example.
We are interested in everyone’s reply, no matter what background, education, practice, genre or style. Amateurs and new musicians are especially welcome, so please feel free to share with your friends, family and networks.
Filling out the survey will take between 15-30 minutes of your time, and it hopefully invites you to reflect upon the meaning of music in your life:
Thor Magnusson and Mimi Haddon
University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
Heavy Metal Music and Dis/Ability seeks authors to join this edited volume of essays.
While many metal scholars have discussed people with disabilities and their lives in/with heavy metal music informally, or as part of panel discussions, little is in publication about music and people with disabilities, let alone metalheads and disability. Studies on disability and popular music exist, but do not include the very corporeal genre that is heavy metal music.
For this collection, the editor seeks authors who engage deeply and uniquely with questions of ability, heavy metal music, and the body. In addition, this collection seeks to bridge the gap between heavy metal scholars and heavy metal practitioners, so essays, photo essays, and op-ed pieces from performers, crew members, venue staff, and so on are welcome.Continue reading
Seeking Collaborative Projects: Studies in Musical Theatre
Hi, musical theatre scholars and practitioners,
You might know us already, but in case you don’t, we are Jess Sternfeld (Chapman University) and Liz Wollman (Baruch College, CUNY). We’ll become co-editors of Studies in Musical Theatre when founding editors George Burrows and Dominic Symonds step down in 2021 after a truly epic 15 years of service. The four of us have been working toward a seamless transition as we build new editorial and advisory boards and explore new directions for the journal. We two have big shoes to fill, but we can’t wait to serve our beloved field as SiMT co-editors.
As we prepare, we’ve been thinking a lot about how important collaboration is to our field, especially right now. The entertainments we study rely on it, of course, but then, so does our discipline; connections and conversations with fellow scholars have helped many of us weather, process, and rise to the challenges of the crises we’re living through. Our field is so extraordinarily interdisciplinary that it couldn’t have developed without reaching across borders and academic areas. It’s fitting that SiMT has always been co-edited; just as a show can’t go on without group effort, editorial partnerships can foster collaboration, mentorship, and varied perspectives and approaches.Continue reading
This book explores, from a variety of perspectives and methodologies, how record stores became such important locales. As an agora, a community center, and a busy critical forum for taste, culture, and politics, the record store prefigured social media. Once conduits to new music, frequently bypassing the corporate music industry in ways now done more easily via the Internet, independent record stores (in direct opposition to rock radio programmed by corporate interests), championed the most local of economic enterprises, allowing social mobility to well up from them in unexpected ways. In this way, record stores speak volumes about our relationship to shopping, capitalism, and art. The editors of this volume believe that record stores are spaces rife for examination because their cultural history is in some ways the story of the best side of capitalism seen in microcosm. To that end, this book employs three motifs: cultural history, urban geography, and auto-ethnography to find out what individual record stores meant to individual people, but also what they meant to communities, to musical genres, and to society in general. What was their role in shaping social practices, aesthetic tastes, and even, loosely put, ideologies? This book will collect stories and memories, and facts about a variety of local stores that will not only re-center the record store as a marketplace of ideas, but also explore and celebrate a neglected personal history of many lives.Continue reading
Editors Dr. Brent Keogh and Prof. Phil Hayward
Chapter proposals are invited for a collected edition on the theme of musical responses to plagues and pandemics. This book will chart a historical trajectory of musical responses to plagues and pandemics, providing a critical historical perspective on the lived experiences in the present. By focusing on major plagues, outbreaks, and pandemics, such as the Black Death, the Spanish flu, SARS, and Zika virus, we aim to historically contextualise musical responses to such disasters. In addition to charting historical contexts, this collection will address ways in which musicians have harnessed digital technologies to create forms of patronage, connect with fans, rehearse with band members, and network with peers and industry. The volume will also discuss musical responses in terms of the intersections of class and race, where social distancing is virtually impossible for some classes of people due to their specific living conditions, or where the prevailing Government policy is to “let it rip”, to allow a virus to sweep through the population for reasons of “herd immunity”, economic stability, or an under-resourced medical system. This edition will provide a timely work that not only accounts for the exceptional times we are living in, but sheds light on this time by thinking historically through musical responses to plagues and pandemics and suggesting manners in which future ones may be navigated by cultural producers and audiences.
Proposals due 31 July 2020
Chapter submissions of 4,500-7,000 words due 25 January 2021
Since the Covid-19 outbreak was announced as a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020, most countries announced lockdown or semi-confinement measures almost immediately, with all public events being cancelled. This had an immediate and direct effect on artists all over the world whose livelihood is heavily dependent on public performances.Continue reading
We are pleased to announce the launch of Sound Stage Screen (SSS), a new biannual peer-reviewed journal devoted to historical and theoretical research into the relations between sound, performance, and media. SSS will address a wide range of phenomena, practices, and objects pertaining to sound and music in light of the interconnections between performing traditions and media archaeologies: from opera to musical multimedia, and from cinema to interactive audio-visual platforms.Continue reading