Perspectives on Musical Improvisation

Call for papers
10th-13th September 2012
Faculty of Music, University of Oxford

Conference theme
Improvisation is arguably the most widely distributed form of musical practice – and yet remains the least studied or understood. Indeed, even the boundaries of what is or is not regarded as improvisation remain unclear. This conference will address the many faces of improvisation from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives – historical, psychological, ethnomusicological, analytical, technological, sociological, organological, and pedagogical. Over the course of four days, the conference will include papers, practical sessions, and poster presentations.

The conference is affiliated to the AHRC-funded Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (CMPCP) and enjoys the support of SEMPRE, IMR, BFE, and SMA.

Submission guidelines
Proposals are invited for individual papers, poster presentations and practical sessions on topics in the field of musical improvisation.  All proposals should include the following:

  • Author name(s) with email address, institutional affiliation and postal address for each author.
  • An anonymised attachment containing a title, abstract (300 words) and five keywords (in Word or pdf format). You should indicate whether the proposal is for a paper, poster presentation or practical session.
  • All proposals should clearly describe the topic of the presentation and illustrate the aims, research questions and significance of the work. Where appropriate, eg a proposal for a practical session, a soundfile (mp3 format) can accompany the submission.

Papers and practical sessions should be between 20-25 minutes in length.

Submissions should be sent to

Closing date for submissions:  Monday 9th January 2012.
Submissions will receive an automated acknowledgement. We will confirm whether the submission has been accepted for the conference by Wednesday 15th February 2012. Programme committee:  Eric Clarke (Chair), David Maw, Tina Ramnarine, John Rink and Mark Doffman.

Conference website
The conference webpages with the programme, conference fees, registration forms, accommodation information and other details will go live at the beginning of March 2012.

For information other than about submissions, contact Mark Doffman, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford at