Historical Approaches to Music: a One-Day Interdisciplinary Conference to be held at Trinity College, Oxford

Date of conference: 24th March 2017

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 13th January 2017

Scholars of both music and history have long accepted that each of their fields of study has much to offer the other. Musicologists regularly address the historical context of their subject matter, whilst historians increasingly seek to employ music in understanding cultural and political developments. The best of these works employ a critical, nuanced approach, examining a range of musical genres and modes of musical production with historical rigour. However, methodological interaction between the two fields is still limited, and often subject to lip service alone. Seen by many as a specialist topic, demanding a slightly inaccessible methodological approach, music is too frequently the lesser sibling of supposedly more accessible forms of culture, notably literature.

In order to discuss these issues, this one-day conference seeks to draw together historians and music scholars who are engaging in interdisciplinary research into history and music. In particular, it aims to encourage those taking a historical approach to the subject of music, and to test underlying assumptions in the historiographies of musical cultures. We invite proposals for individual 20 minute papers, lecture recitals, or longer group presentations (preference will be given to those with an interdisciplinary makeup). Additionally, we welcome suggestions for topics suitable for panel discussion.

Proposals may consider any aspect of music history, including but not limited to the following topics:

*Methods, Sources and Historiography*

  • How might historical methodologies enhance our understanding of musical cultures?
  • What can a wider range of primary source material tell us about the music history of a particular time and place?
  • How effectively and convincingly has music been employed as a historical source
  • How can musicologists present their work in a way that ensures it will be accessible and of interest to the wider historiographical discourse?

 

*Case Studies*

  • In what ways has music impacted upon historical figures and events?
  • How has historical context affected the nature of particular compositions and cultures?
  • What role does music play in the construction of historical narratives?
  • How might extramusical lines of inquiry shed new light on widely accepted views of events in music history?

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to hatmusic2017@gmail.com by 13th January 2017.

*Travel Bursaries*

We are hoping to make a limited number of travel bursaries available to postgraduate students and Early Career Researchers. Priority will be given to those presenting papers and those without institutional travel support.

If you would like to be considered for financial support, please submit a statement of no more than 200 words with your abstract. In your statement, please explain how the travel bursary would be used, including the following information:

  • What funding, if any, do you expect to receive from your university/institution?
  • Estimate the travel costs you expect to incur in attending the conference.

 

Kind Regards,

Richard Parfitt

Maura Valenti

Frances K. Watson

(Conveners)

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