HomeFinding Democracy in Music

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Published on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

For a century and more musicians have sought to relate their practices to the values of democracy. But political theory teaches that democracy is a highly contested category. This symposium aims to interrogate claims for the “democratic” nature of music.

Announcement

University of Huddersfield, 4-5 September 2017

Confirmed keynote speakers

  • Professor Georgina Born (University of Oxford);
  • Professor Tina K. Ramnarine (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Argument

For a century and more musicians have sought to relate their practices to the values of democracy. Composers have justified innovative approaches to musical material and performance in terms of democracy. Jazz and orchestral social inclusion projects have been championed as models of democratic process. Experiments in group improvisation, audience participation and online networked performance. New kinds of emancipation and egalitarianism in the name of musical democratization.

But what is meant by democracy in such instances? In recent months, the UK's Brexit vote and the US presidential election have made democratic processes the subject of unprecedented public debate. Political theory teaches that democracy is a highly contested category, one that has been imagined in many different ways, and any particular realization of which carries costs as well as benefits. This symposium aims to interrogate claims for the 'democratic' nature of music, asking questions such as: What ideas of democracy are assumed by different musicians and musical practices? To what extent do speeches ascribing democratic attributes to music map on the realities of music-making? What are the shortcomings as well as the gains, in terms of freedom and equality, of particular democratic arrangements? What can democracy do to democracy in the political field?

We invite proposals for papers exploring these and related questions in relation to any musical practice of the past 100 years. Proposals are welcome from scholars working in any discipline. ('Democracy in music'), or rather the 'democracy' ('democracy in music'), rather than music's diverse deployments within democratic politics ('music in democracy' ). In this regard the symposium forms a complementary counterpart to the 2015 Paris conference 'Music in democracy'. A volume of selected essays arising from the symposium will be published in the 'Musical Cultures of the Twentieth Century' (Routledge / Fondazione Giorgio Cini).

Submission guidelines

Papers will be 30-minutes in length with 15 minutes of discussion time, to enable the fullest exchange. Please submit Proposals (250-300 words) to adlingtonrc@gmail.com 

by the deadline Friday 16 February 2017, 5:00 pm.

The program will be announced in early March.

Conference organizers

(and programme selection committee)

  • Professor Robert Adlington (University of Nottingham; from 2017: University of Huddersfield)
  • Professor Esteban Buch (School of Higher Studies in Social Sciences, Paris)

For full details on the conference topic and how to submit Proposals visit  http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/music/news/findingdemocracyinmusic.php.

Places

  • University of Huddersfield
    Huddersfield, Britain (HD1 3DH)

Date(s)

  • Thursday, February 16, 2017

Keywords

  • democracy, music

Contact(s)

  • Robert Adlington
    courriel : adlingtonrc [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Robert Adlington
    courriel : adlingtonrc [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Finding Democracy in Music », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, https://calenda.org/390266

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